News Room

2% of endangered badgers in B.C. killed off in 2 days, conservation group says

Jul 27. 16

B.C. badger biologist says Ministry of Transportation should do more to keep the animals off highways

By Brady Strachan, CBC News

The endangered badger population in B.C. took a hit this week after four animals were struck and killed by vehicles on Okanagan highways according to a conservation group that works to protect badgers in the province.

The badgers were killed in a span of two days on Highway 6 near Lumby and on Highway 97 North near the University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus in Kelowna, according to Badgers in B.C.

The badger killed near Lumby was found dead on the highway near a road sign alerting drivers to badger activity in the area, said Rich Weir who is spokesman for the conservation group and a biologist with the Ministry of the Environment.

"We were hopeful that the (road sign) was going to help, but people tend to ignore road signs sometimes I guess," said Weir.

The badgers killed in Kelowna are believed to be a family unit which had taken up residence in vegetation near a parking lot at UBC Okanagan, said Weir.

"It looks like the whole family got wiped out, which is really unfortunate," he said.

"In the Okanagan Valley there probably aren't 20 badgers, so to lose those three is not going to help the population much."

Badgers are extremely rare in B.C. — according to Parks Canada, there are only about 200 of them left in the province.

Badgers in B.C. says the loss of these four badgers this week means two per cent of the endangered population has been killed in only 2 days.

"Road mortality is clearly the biggest threat (to badger populations.) If you are a badger in the Thompson or Okanagan that's how you are going to die," Weir said.

Many badgers in B.C. live in valleys and have to cross roads to reach parts of their territory, said Weir.

Challenges getting ministry cooperation

The conservation group wants to pilot a project to put barriers along highways in known badger territory and force the animals to use culverts to get from one side of a roadway to the other.

However Weir told CBC News the group is having challenges getting the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on board.

"It's frustrating, because we are trying very hard to reduce mortality, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of flexibility," he said.

"A lot of the feedback we get from the highways folks is that we can't do that, because this will cause water problems on the road surface, or whatnot."

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure did not immediately provide a response to CBC News.

Meanwhile, Weir wants the public to do its part in keeping B.C. badgers safe by slowing down at night and keeping an eye out for animals crossing the road.

He also wants people to report any badger sightings to Badgers in B.C. on its webpage.

 

Read the original article here

Latest News

Wildlife Management Roundtable Slated for Cranbrook in March

Feb 14. 17

A coalition of First Nation, hunting, environmental and outdoor based groups have collaborated to sponsor a Wildlife Management Roundtable to be held March 11 at the Heritage Inn in Cranbrook from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Keep Reading...

BC Parks receiving $35M over next three years for wildlife conservation

Feb 04. 17

The provincial government is investing $35 million through to 2020 to BC Parks in an effort to maintain wildlife and their surrounding environment.

Keep Reading...

Recent Press Releases

Wilderness Committee launching world premiere of “Toad People” documentary

Nov 30. 16

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 (All day)
VANCOUVER - The Wilderness Committee is excited to launch the world premiere of Toad People, a unique and powerful documentary at SFU Woodward’s at 6:30 p.m. tonight.

Keep Reading...

Govt Documents Reveal Huge Support For South Okanagan National Park

Sep 08. 16

BC government documents obtained by the Wilderness Committee reveal huge public support for a South Okanagan National Park

Keep Reading...

Media By Month