Barn Owls are closely tied to agricultural landscapes, and if you are lucky you might see them flying silently over grass fields at dusk hunting for small mammals. In BC, Barn Owls are only found on the South Coast with the odd occurrence on southeast Vancouver Island. Unfortunately, their population is declining, mainly as result of reduced food abundance caused by the conversion of grass habitats to urban land and changes in agricultural practices. Loss of nest sites as old barn are demolished and road mortality is also a major concern. A new emerging threat are what are called second generation rodenticides used in pest control. These chemicals may not directly kill animals that prey on contaminated rodents, but can accumulate in a predators internal organs leading to "sub-lethal" effects.
This new best practices pamphlet was developed by Barn Owl specialist Sofi Hindmarch as a resource for Environment Canada's recent consultation on the status and conservation of this threatened species in BC.
image credit Marie O'Shaughnessy (used with permission)
For the most up to date information regarding guidelines and regulatory requirements for various species and ecological communities at risk in BC, please contact the relevant staff with the Province of BC, Environment Canada, Pacific Region or the Species at Risk Program of the Ecosystems Management Branch, Department of Fisheries & Oceans Canada, Pacific Region. Detailed contact information can be found on our CONTACT page.