Wildlife Tree Stewardship Program Home

Species description, sounds, nesting habits & moreFrequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the project and who is involved?

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 landowners.

Species description, sounds, nesting habits & moreWhat 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 tree?

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 indeed inactive/vacant.

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).

images and information 2012 Wildlife Tree Stewardship Program