Priority species habitat conservation in the Stave watershed

Restoration project benefits toads, turtles, owls, and bats near Stave River

Athene Ecological is helping priority species and enhancing biodiversity near Mission. This work includes community engagement, habitat restoration, mitigation measures, and monitoring to support toads, turtles, owls, bats, and other species.

A new nesting area will increase hatchling survival for Western Painted Turtles. To increase survival of young Western Toads, temporary fencing was installed to keep toadlets off busy roads. While it is not a long-term solution, discussions are underway with the provincial government to install toad-friendly culvert crossings.

Netting and monitoring of bats, such as the Little Brown and Yuma Myotis, south of the Ruskin Dam is providing valuable information to inform future conservation planning. Partnering with bat specialist Dr. Cori Lausen, the results provide baseline data, as work continues, to develop a prophylactic probiotic that introduces living microbial agents to combat White Nose Syndrome.

During this work, funded by FWCP, biologists recorded a rare find — a new Western Screech owl territory. Only three territories have been previously observed in the Stave River Watershed. Work will continue to conserve the owl’s sensitive habitat.

Read more: COA-F19-W-2727