Wildlife Connectivity

How did this project begin?

The concept for our project originated in May 2019, with a concerned citizen’s presentation to District of Squamish Council. She pointed out that Squamish has recognized in our Bylaws and Official Community Plan the need to create and support wildlife and habitat connectivity but that action was not being taken to do so. Private donations enabled our Society to engage CoastRange Environmental in 2021 to do some preliminary work  on what it might take to do better. Private donations plus grants from the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District and BC Nature/BC Naturalists’ Foundation enabled us to continue in 2022 – 2023 with CoastRange Environmental for our current scoping phase. This year we began to collaborate with the Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative Society, responsible for managing the Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Biosphere Region, in recognition of the potential for our Squamish project to have significance for the entire Biosphere Region. Because biodiversity does not recognize boundaries, we have defined the scope of our project as the northern end of the Biosphere Region.

Why do we need to act now?

Southwestern British Columbia, like many densely settled regions of the world, is experiencing increased threat of biodiversity loss caused by the pressures of urban growth and development. More than 25% of wildland habitat in our Biosphere Region has  been lost either to permanent human settlement or to ongoing resource development activities. Such resource development activities have been supported by road infrastructure that is increasingly transforming the backcountry into a human-dominated landscape (BC Cumulative Effects, 2021). These pressures threaten the culture and values of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) as well as the rich biodiversity for which our area is known. Climate change is already affecting habitat and the need for animals to move to adapt will only increase. While current patterns of disturbance by humans are likely to continue, the potential for biodiversity loss can be mitigated in part by establishing habitat connectivity networks that facilitate the flow of wildlife and ecological processes across a rapidly changing landscape.

What do we hope to achieve? Goals

Next steps: Project Plan

Have questions? See our Frequently Asked Questions

Letters of Support for our project

Project Documents

From the Squamish Chief (September 2022): What is a wildlife corridor and why should you care about it? 

Videos of local wildlife

Photo by Brian Aikens: a pair of Roosevelt Elk (Cervus canadensis ssp. roosevelti), a blue-listed species in BC, in the Squamish Valley. The elk were re-introduced to the Squamish Valley in 2006 in two small herds. In the years since, seven elk have been struck and killed by motor vehicles on Highway 99 in Squamish.