Photo by Alistair Fraser

With Kootenay Lake Local Conservation Fund (KLLCF) support, the Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society (FOKLSS) are in their second year with their Osprey Nest Monitoring Project.

The objectives of this project are to observe Osprey, measure the number of species using nests, measure wildlife tree availability and determine threats to the Osprey species that are using the main body of Kootenay Lake as a breeding ground. The project aims to educate and inform community members through a number of outreach activities and by hosting citizen scientist workshops.

Osprey Nest Monitoring workshops were held in 2016 and taught by a wildlife specialist. These free workshops were all filled to capacity for the first season of the project. After training, the new citizen scientists had Osprey-monitoring tools to use from their home or while recreating on the lake. Through this program, FOKLSS gained valuable information from around the lake on Osprey behaviour, population and breeding locations.

FOKLSS photo

All trained citizen scientists were also given the opportunity to join the FOKLSS on a field survey trip. A total of five field survey trips were successfully completed by boat on the main body of Kootenay Lake. These successful monitoring surveys in combination with citizen scientist data are the baseline for long-term data that will help FOKLSS create a realistic picture of the present state of Osprey populations and breeding on the main body of Kootenay Lake.

From the data collected during the first year of this project, FOKLSS were able to create a map detailing the locations of nests around Kootenay Lake. The study on the main body of Kootenay Lake is increasing knowledge of connectivity between the two areas and giving insight into the reasons for declining populations.

Long-term scientific data will help FOKLSS in furthering plans for restoration and enhancement of habitat.

Click here for a PowerPoint presentation that will guide you through the history of Osprey Nest Monitoring as well as the behaviours and biology of this sentinel species.

Click here for the online PDF of the FOKLSS handout on Osprey Nest Behaviour and Biology.

The Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) in partnership with the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) provides funding for projects that benefit conservation in the rural areas around Kootenay Lake through the Kootenay Lake Local Conservation Fund (KLLCF). The purpose of the KLLCF is to provide local financial support for important projects that will contribute to the conservation of our valuable natural areas; one step towards restoring and preserving a healthy environment.