The Creston Valley has been home of Marc-André for nearly two decades. During this time he has worked on a range of conservation and wildlife related projects, from cavity nesting birds in forest ecosystems of the Rockies, to reptiles and amphibians in wetland ecosystems of the Central and West Kootenays. His passion lies primarily with birds because he says “you encounter every other kind of wildlife when you’re chasing birds around”.
Marc-André is the Head of Operations for the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area (CVWMA) and has a long history with the organization. One of his favorite projects has been the Northern Leopard Frog Recovery Project on the CVWMA, with which he has been involved since 2000. “So much has been done in the past 14 years to prevent this species from being extirpated – it has been challenging and sometimes downright depressing but overall very successful and extremely rewarding”. Northern Leopard Frogs seem to be recovering in the Creston Valley and re-introduced individuals are now breeding in the East Kootenays.
As Wetland Manager/Biologist for the past nine years at the CVWMA, he also highlights the work that has been done to upgrade the water management infrastructure used to manage the wetland compartments and optimize wildlife use. More than half of the water controls installed in the wetland in the early- to mid-70s have been successfully replaced, with the amount spent exceeding $1,000,000. He emphasizes that collaboration with partner organizations, such as Ducks Unlimited Canada, have been key to accomplishing this crucial work.
Marc-André concludes by saying, “The most satisfying aspect of working for the CVWMA has been the people I meet and the projects I get involved with, even if it’s just for a day. I’ve been lucky enough to wrangle a grizzly bear…and several alligator lizards!” The network of biologists and other professional in the region is instrumental to his work and he says that is why he supports the work of organizations like the Kootenay Conservation Program.
Click here to learn more about Marc-André and his work with the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area.