Nearly 200 turtles hatch at Elizabeth Lake

Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program approves $5.5 million for 43 regional fish and wildlife projects

A project to increase the hatchling survival rate of western painted turtles at Elizabeth Lake is yielding results. Turtle nests next to the lake near Cranbrook produced 193 hatchlings of the Blue-listed species this year, compared to just 13 hatchlings in 2019.

The FWCP funds projects like this through its annual grant intake which is now open. Grant applications for fish and wildlife projects are due Oct. 30, 2020, and the FWCP is interested in receiving applications for projects that align with priority actions in its regional action plans. Learn more at fwpc.ca.

The western painted turtle project is coordinated by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and led by the Rocky Mountain Naturalists. Greg Ross with Naturalists is carrying out the stewardship work, which includes increasing the frequency of nest monitoring, maintaining protective fencing around the nests, and removing skunks in 2019. Nest predation has been cut in half compared to last year.

“This project is having a very positive impact on a vulnerable species,” says FWCP’s Columbia Region manager, Crystal Klym. “We have seen 15 times more western painted turtle hatchlings than last year.”

The FWCP is a partnership between BC Hydro, the Province of B.C., Fisheries & Oceans Canada, First Nations, and public stakeholders to conserve and enhance fish and wildlife in watersheds impacted by BC Hydro dams.

Across its Coastal, Columbia, and Peace regions, the FWCP has approved approximately $8.7 million for 99 projects this year. To learn more about FWCP projects and results, how to apply for a grant, or how to subscribe for updates, visit fwcp.ca.

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