Facilitating the protection and restoration of species and ecosystems at risk on BC’s South Coast

Guidelines & Best Practices

A number of guidelines and best practices have been developed in BC, nationally or internationally for the conservation and recovery  for species at risk, rare plants and ecological communities on the South Coast and BC. Not all of these methods or techniques are tied to regulatory requirements but they are based on the best available science on species at risk, protecting their critical habitat needs or maintaining the ecological integrity of local landscapes. As such the resources presented here are generally accepted as superior to any alternatives or are considered the accepted, credible standard. A selection is provided here that provide relevant applications to South Coast species and ecological communities or represent transferrable approaches and applications from other jurisdictions. The SCCP has been given special permission to host some of the materials which have been produced by regulatory agencies but have yet to be published through government sites. Remember to check out the SCCP's own made-for-the-South Coast land use resources and guidance tools found on our pages for Local Governments and Landowners 

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, Species at Risk Program of the Ecosystems Management Branch, Environment Canada, Pacific Region or the Department of Fisheries & Oceans Canada, Pacific Region. Further information can be found on our contact page.


 Spotlight on the South Coast and BC (national and international bmps can be found at the bottom under "Resources"):

Best management practices are guidelines that help development projects meet necessary legislation, regulations and policies. For example, legislation might dictate that projects cannot harm a stream, while best management practices provide practical methods to avoid harming a stream. Developers and other professionals can rely on best management practices to help improve operations because they're based on science and they’ve been proven to work. They also help developers act as environmental stewards – completing projects on land or water in a way that doesn’t interfere with living resources and their habitats.

Resources include: Develop with Care 2014 Environmental Guidelines for Urban and Rural Land Development, Develop With Care Species factsheets, Develop With Care Special Guidelines, Best Management Practices for Amphibian and Reptile Salvages in British Columbia, Wildlife Guidelines for Backcountry Tourism/Commercial, Best Management Practices for Bats in British Columbia, Guidelines for Translocation of Plant Species at Risk in British Columbia, Wetland Ways: Interim Guidelines for Wetland Protection and Conservation in British Columbia, Standards and Best Management Practices for Instream Works.


A Guide to Multi-species Restoration on the South Coast: Why approach restoration from a multi-species lens, what are the methods and tools to apply? This presentation provides a primer being developed for the South Coast.







Best Management Practices Guidelines for Pacific Water Shrew in Urban & Rural Areas (2010): The Ministry of Environment, with the Pacific Water Shrew Recovery Team, has developed this document to provide planners, developers, and consultants with information about the Pacific Water Shrew (Sorex bendirii), and guidelines on how to include Pacific Water Shrew in environmental assessments. This document suggests actions that municipalities, regional districts and developers can take to ensure the recovery of Pacific Water Shrew, and use of these guidelines demonstrates due diligence towards species protection and recovery. See also Habitat Suitability Modelling for Pacific Water Shrew v.2 Draft and  Species Account & Preliminary Habitat Ratings for Pacific Water Shrew (Sorex bendirii) using SHIM Data V.2 DraftAvailable only through the SCCP website


Oregon Forestsnail Best Management Practices Guidebook (April 2018*): This document provides information on management measures that will benefit the endangered Oregon Forestsnail (Allogona townsendiana) and associated native terrestrial gastropod fauna (slugs and land snails) found within moist deciduous and mixed-wood forest stands fo southwest BC. Available only through the SCCP website, *anticipated to be updated annually.





Measuring Nesting Productivity at Pacific Great Blue Heron Colonies (2006): The purpose of this document is to summarize relevant background information on the Pacific Great Blue Heron and outline a standard survey protocol for the documentation of reproductive productivity at Pacific Great Blue Heron colonies in British Columbia and Washington State. This protocol will assist in ensuring consistent data collection within and among regions. Available only through the SCCP website




Farming With Barn Owls In BC - Best Practices for Land Management: 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 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 on the conservation of this threatened species in BC.


Best Management Practices for Drainage Maintenance Works in Oregon Spotted Frog Habitat (2010): The Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Team recognizes that drainage maintenance works on active farmland areas are necessary to reduce flooding and crop damage, and is committed to working with municipalities to ensure that channel maintenance works in known and suspected Oregon Spotted Frog habitats are as efficient and harmless as possible. This is a living document that may change based on the availability of new information regarding frog habitat requirements, drainage needs and maintenance techniques. See also Standards and Best Practices for Instream Works (2004)


Guidance on Coastal Tailed Frog Monitoring of Run-of-River Hydropower Projects (2014): The Ministry of Forest, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations (FLNR) is currently in the process of implementing a collaborative study to monitor tailed frog tadpoles and habitat conditions at several facilities in the South Coast, using a Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) design to assess if hydropower construction or operation affects tadpole survival, distribution, or abundance. This document summarizes the project study design and field sampling methods, as well as the first year of data collection in 2013. These are the most up-to-date FLNR tailed frog recommendations to Run-of-River Hydropower proponents regarding development of Long-Term Monitoring Plans, as per Water License conditions. See also DRAFT Power Analysis for Coastal Tailed Frog Monitoring of Run-of-River Hydropower Projects


Testing the use and feasibility of using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to survey and monitor for amphibian egg laying: A technical guide for the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV, drone) for wildlife research. Developed for the Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Team, this document introduces biologists to the legislative, logistic and technical aspects of using a DJI Phantom Vision drone for amphibian egg mass surveys.






*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.




Written and edited by Christina Luzier and Shelly Miller this document is a product of the Pacific Northwest Native Freshwater Mussel Workgroup. For further information see the SCCP's species profile page on Winged Floater or the Xerces Society's extensive resources on freshwater mussels.
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