2016 - 2017 Coastal Western Screech-Owl Surveys and Habitat Assessment Report

WSOW 20162017 reportThe 2016 - 2017 Coastal Western Screech-Owl Surveys and
Habitat Assessment Report is now available online!

Some highlights:
-This year automated recording units are being used to record and analyze audio of owls at key sites.
-30 boxes placed
- 216 owl monitoring surveys conducted for a total of 86 survey hours by 39 volunteers
- 5 survey stations had Western Screech Owl detections, including 1 that was not active in 2016

Click here to read the full report.

Would you like to help Habitat Acquisition Trust study and enhance habitat for coastal Western Screech Owls? You can donate to support this important work online here


Read more: 2016 - 2017 Coastal Western Screech-Owl Surveys and Habitat Assessment Report

Take our survey to help plan Conservation Connection Forum 2017

Take the survey here

Conservation Connection Plain Logo

Have you attended the Conservation Connection Forum before? Are you involved with one of Greater Victoria's nature-focused environmental or community groups?

We need to hear from you, please fill out our survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZBC286Y) to help make this year's Conservation Connection Forum the best yet!

Every two years, Habitat Acquisition Trust hosts a forum inviting individuals from over a hundred local environmental organizations along with students and those focused on the conservation sector. Together we meet to share ideas, build-skills, network, and collaborate for an efficient and vibrant conservation community.

Provide your feedback before June 1st with this survey


Help Habitat Acquisition Trust win $10,000 for nature with the Great Canadian Giving Challenge!

giving challengeWe would like to to tell you about the Great Canadian Giving Challenge! Habitat Acquisition Trust hopes that you can help us to inspire our fellow Canadians to say YES to charitable giving this June, a time when giving reaches its lowest levels.

Summer is such a wonderful time in Canada – great weather and longer days mean more fun outdoor activities, weekends away, BBQs and much more. It’s easy for Canadians to forget to support their favourite charities and causes, and to give back to the natural areas we deriver such joy from visiting. To help save charities coast-to-coast from the summer-giving drought, CanadaHelps and The GIV3 Foundation have launched the third annual Great Canadian Giving Challenge.

What is The Great Canadian Giving Challenge?

It is a National public contest for charities. Through this contest Every $1 donated to a Habitat Acquisition Trust in June via CanadaHelps.org, automatically enters your local land trust to win an additional $10,000 donation for nature. Wow! The minimum applicable donation is $3. That means for $3 you are giving local wildlife a big chance at greater protection. The grand prize draw is on Canada Day and we would like to celebrate with you.

With your special June donation our charity will be able to better serve our community for nature preservation and knowledge-building. That's something to celebrate! 

Make a donation online today and amplify the protection of nature. 

GCGC button 2


Read more: Help Habitat Acquisition Trust win $10,000 for nature with the Great Canadian Giving Challenge!

Eagles Lake Western Painted Turtle Habitat Enhancement

small wpt eagles lake weedingAs it turns out, Eagles Lake is not just for the eagles. Habitat Acquisition Trust has teamed up with the Highlands district to enhance the space of the resident Western Painted Turtles. 

The first step taken was installing basking logs that the endangered turtles will use to maintain their ideal body heat, important to their survival. 

Next, the Habitat Acquisition Trust team removed weedy plants from the shoreline. Excessive weed growth can get in the way of turtles looking for a space to nest. Finally, they spread some nice sandy soil. This substrate offers the turtles the right kind of material for digging a nest in. 

small wpt eagles lake spreading soil John PotterTurtle tips: in the spring, especially on warm days, keep an eye out for Western Painted Turtle Activity. Turtles can easily become road kill and baby turtles among the grass stand no chance against a lawnmower. If you spot a turtle in the road, you can help move it to safety. It's best to move the turtle safely away from the side of the road in the direction it was headed. Otherwise, it may attempt to cross again.

If you would like to help with turtle habitat restoration Habitat Acquisition Trust and CRD Parks are teaming up to remove invasive vegetation (primarily thistles) from nesting habitat along Beaver Lake. This event takes place Tuesday 23 May 2017 06:30pm - 09:00pm. The meeting location is the Equestrian Centre parking lot at Beaver Lake. Please RSVP with Colleen Long This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A special thanks to volunteer John Potter for giving his time and energy to the turtle enhancement. Keep an eye out on Shaw TV to see Paige Erickson-McGee, Habitat Acquisition Trust's Stewardship Cooridnator speaking about this project.

small wpt eagles lake Paige and Shaw TV


Read more: Eagles Lake Western Painted Turtle Habitat Enhancement

A nice day at Ruby Creek

Written by Royal Roads Service Learning Course Student and Habitat Acquisition Trust Volunteer Sherry Guo

On May 6th, 27 Habitat Acquisition Trust volunteers joined together near Witty's Lagoon to have an invasive plant removal day. Volunteers met together at a conservation covenant protected by HAT and CRD and learned about the removal of invasive Laurel-leaved Daphne and Himalayan Blackberry. Their tasks were the removal of these plants and a slug walk, with hopes of finding the rare Blue-grey Taildropper Slug.


The sun was shining bright and all of us met to have breakfast, then work together to clean out those Laurel-leaved Daphne, which is an evergreen shrub that thrives on the shady forest floor throughout south Vancouver Island. Since the Daphne has toxins that are concentrated in the bark, sap, and berries, everyone wore long sleeves and long pants and sturdy shoes and were careful when working with the troublesome plant. Though it was a sunny day, it was nice and cool in the forest. Volunteers did a great job on cleaning those toxic Daphne, removing almost an entire 10 yard bin full of invasive plants. This bin was generously supplied by Sooke Disposal. Thank you Sooke Disposal!


After lunch, Biologist Kristiina Ovaska did a gastropod walk with all the volunteers, searching for the elusive Blue-grey Taildropper Slug. Though we did not find those blue-grey ones, we found other kinds of slugs and had a chance to learn about the beauties and mysteries of nature.


At the end of the day, we cleaned a large area of Daphne near the Witty's Lagoon and it was a great and nicely organized volunteer experience to meet people from all different places together. Everybody helped to throw over 10 garbage bags of Daphne to the waste bin before they left. It is a meaningful task to sustain the ecological diversity and protect the nature here.

 c150ltabcSIGN 002Habitat Acquisition Trust is grateful to the Land Trust Alliance of BC for sponsoring this event in celebration of Canada's 150th. Thank you to The Nest Cafe for sponsoring this event with pastries, we love that you care about your community! Our next habitat restoration event with be held in September, if you would like to get regular updates please sign up here or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Read more: A nice day at Ruby Creek

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