Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the project and who is
WiTS is a stewardship program of the Federation
of BC Naturalists. The goal is to create, coordinate and assist a
network of community stewards committed to conserving wildlife tree
habitats through volunteer monitoring, landowner agreements, and
community education in Southern British Columbia. This program
increases public awareness and appreciation of the value of wildlife
trees in our communities for both habitat and biodiversity.
WiTS representatives are the Federation of BC
Naturalists, BC Ministry of Environment, Environment Canada, and BC
Hydro. In addition there are supporters of the project who provide
in-kind and cash contributions.
How are the monitors/stewards involved?
Many wildlife tree monitors are members of the
Federation of BC Naturalists and others are interested observers and
What kind of information is collected?
At present, volunteer monitors have been
encouraged to monitor wildlife trees which support nests protected
year-round under Section 34 of the BC Wildlife Act, namely (for the
Vancouver Island Region) bald eagles, great blue herons, and osprey.
As we have not yet established monitoring protocols for volunteers
around great blue heron colonies, the monitoring details are
primarily for bald eagles and osprey. WiTS would like to start a
more formal process of identifying and mapping wildlife trees that
support other wildlife species as time and resources become
available. Information collected on nest trees includes nest
productivity, tree condition, and possible threats to the tree as
well as landowner name, address and contact number.
How will this information be used?
Information collected on each identified
wildlife tree will be placed in a database that provides information
to an online Wildlife Tree Atlas. Information on Section 34 (BC
Wildlife Act) nest trees is made available to local government
planners so that the information can be used in decision-making
processes around land development. Landowner information is
maintained as confidential and will not be accessible to the public.
How often does the monitor visit the wildlife
Under the WiTS program, we request that the
monitor observe the nest tree three times during the critical
nesting periods of egg incubation (suggested period for eagles -
mid- late March, April), egg hatching (suggested period for eagles -
late April to early July), and fledging (suggested period for eagles
- mid-late July, early August). Monitors should follow the
monitoring guidelines provided by WiTS. If the nest doesn't appear
active, wait up to an hour because during incubation the females can
be extremely quiet and a nest which appears empty may be quite
active! Repeated visits may be required to determine if the nest is
Monitors may start observing the nest tree
as early as October and continue into August, if desired, and if the
landowner supports this number of visits. Arrangements for visiting
nest trees should be discussed on an individual basis between
the monitor and landowner(s).