Signs identify region’s important bird areas

New information signs are being installed in three local important bird areas this fall: Kilpoola Lake, Osoyoos Oxbows and Vaseux Lake

New information signs produced with a grant from B.C. Parks’ Community Legacy Program are being installed in three local important bird areas this fall: Kilpoola Lake, Osoyoos Oxbows and Vaseux Lake.  B.C. Nature is installing the signs in partnership with B.C. Parks.

Five sites in the South Okanagan Similkameen earned the international designation “important bird area” in 2000 because they provide habitat for several birds listed as under threat by the Canadian Species at Risk Act. For example, Lewis’s woodpecker, western screech owl, yellow-breasted chat and sage thrasher.

“These signs will be a welcome addition to information in our local parks and protected areas,” said Eva Durance, local caretaker for the Vaseux Lake important bird area.

Durance is part of a network of over 50 volunteers in British Columbia who act as the ‘eyes, ears and hands on the ground’ for B.C.’s 84 important bird areas. Caretakers work within their communities to monitor and promote IBAs, and to ensure that local conservation ideas are put into action.

“Raising awareness about the importance of these particular areas for birds is a key priority for caretakers in the South Okanagan Similkameen” said Krista Englund, IBA caretaker co-ordinator for B.C. Nature.

“These signs will inform visitors to some of the South Okanagan’s most popular parks and protected areas about the local birdlife they might see during their visit, and what they can do to help protect these sites for birds. In addition to the three interpretive signs, we are installing IBA identification signs provided by Nature Canada at all five locations, including Chopaka Customs and White Lake.”

To view the new information signs, visit Blue Lake in South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area, Vaseux Lake Provincial Park or Haynes Lease Ecological Reserve along Black Sage Road at the north end of Osoyoos Lake.

These small signs will let visitors know when they are entering an IBA and feature QR codes that enable visitors to access information about the site on their smartphones.

The Important Bird Area Program identifies, monitors and helps protect the most vital places in Canada for birds so that conservation action can be directed in the most effective way possible.

Canada’s 600 important bird areas are part of a global system of more than 11,000 sites. Migratory birds depend on IBAs to rest, feed and breed. Without them, birds could not make their long and difficult journeys each year. The Important Bird Areas Program is an initiative of BirdLife International that is jointly co-ordinated in Canada by Bird Studies Canada and Nature Canada, and by Bird Studies Canada and B.C. Nature in British Columbia.

In celebration of their 100th anniversary in 2011, B.C. Parks provided $450,000 to community groups through the Community Legacy Fund to support improvements to 27 parks across the province. Grant recipients were determined by the B.C. Conservation Foundation and received up to $20,000 per project for work such as trail enhancements and improvements that supported recreational activities or conservation of the parks’ ecology or cultural history.


For more info about the Important Bird Areas Program or important bird areas within the South Okanagan Similkameen, please visit



Just Posted

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame in Penticton

The 26th ceremony welcomed powerful figures both on and off the ice

Peach Classic Triathlon

While Penticton contemplates changes in the long-distance triathlon community with Ironman returning… Continue reading

Armchair Book Club: Delving into the threat of big tech

Heather Allen is a book reviewer for Black Press that lives in the Okanagan

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Showers to start weekend, sun returning soon

Environment Canada forecasts rain on Saturday and the heat returning next week

UPDATE: Penticton resident’s dog found safe

Nicholas Bozak thanks the public for finding his 17 month old mastiff chow

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

COLUMN: Looking back to a time of optimism

The first lunar landing 50 years ago was a time to celebrate dreams and accomplishments

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Okanagan e-scooter company foils robberies

OGO Scooters staff helped return stolen property three times in 1st week of operations in Kelowna

Olympian brings women empowerment in sports to the Okanagan

Two-time medalist Natalie Spooner joined the Girls Rock the Rink event in Kelowna

Column: Understanding weather patterns a key to a successful garden

Columnist dives into Okanagan urban agriculture

Most Read