Brit Gardner - I went for a Langley walk yesterday along the West Creek headwaters, in Gloucester Industrial Estates. Close to where I grew up. Thanks to the beavers, these wetlands are a beautiful, thriving, and complete ecosystem. The creek headwaters are home to salmon spawning, geese, ducks, rare and migratory birds, rabbits, and countless other wildlife.
Two tributaries in Bradner have been found with serious pollution in recent weeks. Both lead to Bruff (Bradner) Creek and Beaver (Nathan) Creek, which are salmon bearing creeks... children play in them and wildlife drinks from them. There is a good chance that polluted water may be running through your property... These tributaries are so bad that when discovering them your eyes will water, your nose and throat will sting... for days and you will gag, you'll only dry heave if you're lucky.
By Ashley & Karolina Rempel
Brander Elementary School's Division 1 class went on an amazing fieldtrip to the Fraser River. Their first stop was Weaver Creek Spawning Channel in Harrison Mills, BC. It was a beautiful October day, not too hot not too cold, as the kids had so much fun watching the weak salmon try and swim upstream and jump over the mini waterfalls. The students got to run around and observe the alive, almost dead and dead salmon. Some of the students were able to step on the rotting carcases and make them squirt out their eggs…eww gross right?!! They watched as the greedy seagulls squawked at each other while fighting over the dead salmon that covered the paths…we were told the fishy smell attracts bears and eagles to the area, which would have been exciting to see.
By Brian Kingman
Bradner BC - Please be advised that a Cougar was chased out of the Binning family property yesterday, October 5th 2015, late afternoon. This occurred at the Southern Railway crossing known as Dennison (Ross Road close to Harris Road). At this time of year animals such as cougars and bears are looking for extra food to bulk up for winter. Unfortunately that food includes little pets too. For more information on cougars read the Bradner Barker's recent article or visit WildSafeBC.
Bradner BC - The Smit Nursery Flower Farm reported a bear seen in their fields on October 1st, 2015, which is just off Bradner Road & 58th Ave.
Cherry Groves of Bradner wrote in that a bear has been sighted around Lefeuvre and MacTavish a couple of times this past summer and again this past week on a neighbour's front lawn.
She also adds that if anyone is missing a wolverine hide there's one on the shoulder of Leveuvre Road just south of the MacTavish corner. It's folded and looks pretty fresh so could possibly have fallen off a hunter's truck.
By Heather Lemieux, Editor
Mt Lehman BC - On Thursday, September 24th, 2015 a black bear was seen on the doorstep of Etsell Winery. The winery is located in the heart of Mt Lehman near the post office, school and library to name a few. At this time of year bears are looking for food, fruit, berries and nuts to store up for their winter hibernation. They will also target residential compost and garbage bins.
The black bear is the most common and widely distributed of the three bears found in Canada. BC boasts one of the highest populations of black bears in the world with their numbers being anywhere between 120,000-150,000 animals. The Wildsafe BC website says that, 'pretty much all of BC is considered 'bear country' with bears inhabiting everything from the coastal forests, through to the interior grasslands. From north to south and east to west in this province you’ll have a chance to see black bears.
There is no place like Williams Park to beat the heat during the summer!
On August 18th, 2015 from 5:00 - 8:00 pm the Glen Valley Watershed Society will be partnering with the Lower Fraser Aboriginal Society to offer dinner in the park, a chance to come together with our community, stewardship groups, members of LEPS and families to celebrate the beauty of the Salmon River Watershed.
Members of our restoration teams will be on hand to discuss three of our major restoration projects - The North Langley Fingered Wetland Project and the Salmon River and West Creek Enhancement and Restoration Projects.
Family activities include the life cycle salmon board game, salmon hats and a nature scavenger hunt!
Some food will be provided but we welcome you to bring along a picnic of your choice or participate in a pot luck.
Registration required for planning purposes, please contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org
Williams Park, 68th Ave. & 238th St., Langley BC
By Heather Lemieux, Editor
Bradner BC - A member of the community reported to the Bradner Parent Advisory Council (PAC) that a large cougar was spotted just South of the lookout at the end of Bradner Road near Jubilee Hall last night, June 17th, 2015 at about 8:00 pm.
The cougar is the largest of the three wild cats in Canada and is a fierce hunter. These cats are light brown in colour and are quickly identified by their compact head and large heavy tail which has a black tip. Cougar tracks are large padded prints with no claws showing. Like domestic cats, cougars keep their claws retracted until needed for attacking their prey or climbing trees.
Use the Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP) to find a map that shows where cougars have been sighted in the community along with information about what has attracted them. By knowing where wildlife is and what is bringing it in, we can do our part to keep our wildlife wild and our community safe.
Cougars are stalking hunters with extremely good vision. They have large home ranges and males have been recorded traveling over 50km in one day. Young cougars stay with their mother for up to two years. Many urban incidents occur with young cougars that have not yet learned how to hunt effectively or older animals that can no longer hunt in the wilds.
Cougars are secretive animals and are seldom seen by hikers and also go by the name mountain lion, puma and panther.
Cougars are strictly carnivorous and usually hunt deer, sometimes young moose, elk and bighorn sheep. Cougars will also prey on rabbits, squirrels, beavers or other small animals if the opportunity presents itself. When rabbits are plentiful they can form a substantial part of a young cougar’s diet. Since deer are one of the cougar’s primary food sources, there is a good possibility of finding cougars using an area where deer are abundant, especially a wintering area.
Contrary to popular belief, cougars do not pounce on their prey from overhanging rocks or trees, but stalk an animal and then use an explosive series of bounds to leap on their prey. Using both their razor sharp claws and powerful jaws they can quickly kill most prey they choose to attack. Large prey takes a number of days to eat and the cougar will pull debris over the carcass to keep off scavengers. The cougar will stay near a kill site, returning to it regularly until the prey is completely consumed.
Attacks by cougars are rare but can be fatal, especially if young children are involved. Cougars in conflict are usually young cougars that have not yet learned how to hunt efficiently and are looking for an easy target, or are older cougars that can no longer hunt efficiently in the wilds.
If you encounter a cougar, keep calm. Make yourself look as large as possible and back away slowly, keeping the cougar in view, and allowing a clear exit for the cougar. Pick up children and small pets immediately. Never run or turn your back- sudden movements may provoke an attack.
If you notice that a cougar that is watching you, maintain eye contact with the cougar and speak to it in a loud firm voice. Reinforce the fact that you are a human and not an easy target. Back out of the area and seek assistance or shelter.
If a cougar shows aggression, or begins following you, respond aggressively in all cases as cougars see you as a meal. Keep eye contact, yell and make loud noises, and show your teeth. Pick up nearby sticks, rocks, or whatever you have at hand to quickly to use as a weapon if necessary - crouch down as little as possible when picking things up off the ground. If the cougar attacks, fight back, focusing on its facial and eye area. Use rocks, sticks, bear spray, or personal belongings as weapons. You are trying to convince the cougar that you are a threat, and are not prey.
Call the Conservation Officer Service reporting line at 1-877-952-7277 to report the incident.
Cougars are wide ranging animals and may show up in urban settings from time to time. If they are passing through it is important they do not find prey items that may encourage them to stay. Feed pets indoors, or if fed outdoors, bring in any uneaten food as the smell of pet food may attract cougars in addition to the pets (potential prey) themselves. Keep your pets indoors, especially at night. Cats and small dogs that are left to free-range can become easy prey targets. Bird feeders can attract cougars. If the ground below the feeder is not kept clear, seeds can accumulate, attracting rodents and, in turn, attracting cougars that feed on the rodents and other animals such as deer that are brought in by the bird feed. If you keep chickens or small livestock use a properly installed and maintained electric fence. Store all your feed in a secure location and ensure feeding areas are clean and free of attractants.
Never feed deer or other possible prey species for cougars. While deer may be pleasant to watch, they can attract large predators into residential neighbourhoods.
Cougars may view children as prey targets due to their small size, high-pitched voices, and quick movements. In the event of a cougar encounter, pick up your children immediately.
It is important to talk to your children and teach them what to do if they encounter a cougar. Children playing outdoors in cougar country should play in-groups. Do not leave children unsupervised. Consider getting a dog or using a dog as an early warning system. A dog can see, smell and hear a cougar sooner than a human. Consider erecting a fence around play areas. Make sure children are home before dusk and stay indoors until after dawn - the period of time cougars are most active. If there have been cougar sightings, escort children to the bus stop early in the morning. Clear shrubs away from around the bus stops, making a radial area of about 9 metres.
Before heading out into the outdoors, familiarize yourself with cougar habits and biology. Travel in pairs or groups, be alert for tracks, scat, scratched trees and other signs of cougars like animal carcasses buried under vegetation and make noise as you travel to alert wildlife of your presence, avoiding surprise encounters. If you come across a food cache ex. buried prey, leave the area immediately. If you happen to encounter cougar kittens, leave the area immediately and do not approach or handle them. Female cougars are very defensive with their young.
Cougars hunt at any time of day and night through all seasons, but they are most active during the period from dusk until dawn and this period requires extra vigilance by hikers or campers while in cougar country. To stay safe in cougar country, avoid hiking alone, travel in pairs or groups. Cougars are less likely to attack groups of people.
If you keep chickens or small livestock, a properly installed and maintained heavily woven-wire or electric fence can help prevent your animals from becoming meals for a cougar. Chicken coops and runs should be covered as cougars may leap or climb over fencing. Put small domestic livestock in an enclosed area at night. Use lighting around barns and pens to deter predators. Store all your feed in a secure location and ensure feeding areas are clean and free of attractants. Livestock feed attracts rodents and other animals, which in turn can attract cougars.
Additional animal husbandry techniques may be useful in deterring cougars from preying on livestock. Cougars prefer to hunt and stay where escape cover is close by. Removal of brush and trees within .4 km radius of buildings, barns and livestock corrals can result in reduced predation/harassment. Keeping newborn livestock inside barns or sheds will usually prevent predators and will also reduce newborn deaths that result from inclement weather. Avoid using pastures that have had a history of predators. Pastures that are closer to buildings and human activity can be safer for young livestock.
Pastures with rough terrain or with dense vegetation bordering them offer cover for predators. Check on the status and condition of livestock regularly in order to ensure that predator problems are identified quickly. Regularly counting livestock is important in large pastures or areas with heavy cover where dead livestock could remain unnoticed. It is not unusual for livestock producers that don't regularly count their herd to suffer substantial losses before they identify that they have a predator problem. Sick, injured or old livestock should be removed from the herd as predators may key in on these animals. Once a predator identifies livestock as easy prey it will likely continue to kill even healthy animals. Remove livestock and poultry carcasses by burying, incinerating or rendering to reduce attractants.
Farmers and ranchers must comply with all federal, provincial, and municipal regulations surrounding hunting, trapping and the use of firearms.
If livestock is injured or killed, you may report it to the Conservation Office Line at 1-877-952-7277.
Please report all wildlife sightings to the Conservation Officer Hotline
1-877-952-7277 or post on WildSafeBC wildlife tracking website www.wildsafebc.com/warp
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