The primary objective of the project is to address the decline of American Badger populations in their associated grassland habitats in Simpcw-Úl̓ecw. Habitat loss, fragmentation, human disturbance, and most critically, road mortality, have all contributed to declines in badger populations in British Columbia. This decline not only poses a threat to badgers but has significant implications for the health and functioning of grassland and open forest ecosystems and the species dependent on these habitats.
The Simpcw Badger Study aims to increase capacity for conducting conservation activities that benefit badgers and their habitats in British Columbia. We have identified the following specific goals:
- Conduct non-invasive population assessments of badgers to better understand their distribution and abundance in the area. To achieve this, we have initiated a hair-snag DNA and camera trap study, commencing field surveys in May 2023.
- Utilize drones for aerial surveys of grassland habitats to assess their quality and the presence of badgers. These assessments are designed to contribute towards defining Critical Habitat for badgers in the North Thompson.
- Train members of the Simpcw community in badger survey methods, data management, and analysis. By providing training opportunities, we aim to enhance the community’s capacity to conduct future surveys and analyze data. This training will not only support our conservation efforts but also equip community members with valuable skills and knowledge.
- Collaborate with Simpcw members, local landowners, and stakeholders to develop and implement comprehensive management strategies that benefit badgers and other species dependent on these habitats. By engaging in this way, we will establish collaborative partnerships and work together to create effective plans that address the needs of multiple species and habitats.