Endangered birds counted

More than 100 different bird species, including several endangered and threatened, were spotted during an annual count west of Osoyoos.

Eleven volunteers covered the Chopaka East and Kilpoola Lake area on June 9. The region is classified as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) for supporting nationally significant populations of several rare bird species.

Over 100 bird species and other wildlife, including bear, deer, coyote, badger, and snakes were noted.

The Kilpoola IBA is one of five in the South Okanagan. There are more than 80 province-wide.

"Organized official counts like this are an important tool in conservation planning, " said Jason Bieber, one of the IBA Caretakers who organized the count.

“It would be great to do these counts on a more regular basis to explore differences in diversity and numbers of birds based on seasonal conditions. It's also great baseline data , as we see an increase in pressure on our birds and habitats. Ten years ago we may not have foreseen some of the population declines that are now being reported.”

Volunteers came from as far as Vancouver Island to participate in the count. The results of the count have been uploaded to ebird.org.

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