Awarded to Wildsight Golden to build increased awareness for swallow species and their conservation status, coordinate volunteers to inventory/monitor swallow nests and erect artificial nesting structures for swallows to increase habitat availability.

PROPONENT: Wildsight Golden

DESCRIPTION: There has been a documented historical and expected future decline in the population and distribution of a number of swallow species in British Columbia (BC). The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada listed both Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) and Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia) as Threatened in Canada in 2011 and 2013, respectively. These species were then listed on Schedule 1 of Canada’s Species at Risk Act in 2017. This listing now requires the production of a federal recovery strategy, which is meant to be completed two years after this listing date. In this strategy, the threats to the species’ will be defined and its critical habitat identified. Unfortunately, there is an overall lack of information on the status of swallows in the Columbia Valley, and their important habitats (e.g. nesting and roosting locations). However, it is well known that both bank and barn swallow species nest in the Columbia Valley. There is a great need to undertake inventory work to determine nesting locations and also a need for hands-on stewardship activities, such as enhancement (i.e. artificial nesting structures), to conserve swallows and their habitats.

OBJECTIVE: The main goals of the two-year Columbia Valley Swallow Project (CVSP) are to: a) build increased awareness for swallow species and their conservation status; b) coordinate volunteers to inventory/monitor swallow nests; c) erect artificial nesting structures for swallows to increase habitat availability. The main purpose of year one of the CVSP will be to locate Barn and Bank Swallows and determine the location of their nest sites. Volunteer citizen-scientists will be trained and involved with monitoring known nest sites. Nest locations and nest success will be used to inform the management of nest sites and contribute to provincial and federal recovery planning and implementation processes, including the conservation of swallow species in the Columbia Valley. In year two, the emphasis of the CVSP will be on-the-ground stewardship and conservation activities such as erecting artificial nesting structures on private land.

PHOTOS: Rachel Darvill

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Watch the video for an excellent overview of this project.