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Report: Biophysical Habitat Units of the South Okanagan Study Area

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Note: this project has been updated. See "An Updated Terrestrial Ecosystem Map (TEM) for the South Okanagan Valley (with Sensitive Ecosystems Inventory - SEI)".

Author:  Lea, E.C., R.E. Maxwell and W.L. Harper of the Resources Inventory Branch, British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks

Old Reference Number:  0019

Old Reference System:  BAPID

Date Published:  Feb 1998

Report ID:  1846

Audience:  Government and Public

The South Okanagan Biophysical mapping project was undertaken by the BC Ministry of the Environment to classify the South Okanagan region according to its ability to support different rare, threatened and endangered species Each habitat unit represents an area that is relatively homogenous in terrain, soils, topography, bedrock geology, vegetation and animal use. Most units are further classified according to successional stage (for forested areas) or range condition (for shrub-grasslands). The area mapped includes the south Okanagan and Similkameen valleys and extends from Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park to the U.S. border and from Anarchist Mnt. to the Ashnola River. The study area covers portions of mapsheets 82E/3 and 82E/4 and includes the Northern Okanagan Basin (NOB), Northern Okanagan Highlands (NOH), Southern Okanagan Basin (SOB) and Southern Okanagan Highlands (SOH) Ecosections. Portions of the following BGC units are mapped: the Okanagan Very Dry Hot Bunchgrass variant (BGxh1), the Okanagan Very Dry Hot Ponderosa Pine variant (PPxh1), the Okanagan Very Dry Hot Interior Douglas-fir variant (IDFxh1), the Thompson Dry Cool Interior Douglas-fir variant (IDFdk1), the Kettle Dry Mild Interior Douglas-fir variant (IDFdm1), the Shuswap Moist Warm Interior Douglas-fir variant (IDFmw1), Okanagan Dry Mild Montane Spruce variant (MSdm1), the Very Dry Cool Montane Spruce subzone (MSxk), and the Very Dry Cold Engelmann Spruce - Subalpine Fir subzone (ESSFxc). Capability and suitability maps for a number of different wildlife species can be generated from the habitat mapping including: Badger (Taxidea taxus), Fringed Myotis (Myotis thysanodes), Great Basin Pocket Mouse (Perognathus parvus), Nuttall's Cottontail (Silvilagus nuttallii), Pallid Bat (Antrozous pallidus), Soutern Red Bat (Lasiurus blossevilli), Spotted bat (Euderma maculatum), Townsend's Big-eared Bat (Plecotus townsendii), Western Harvest Mouse (Reithrodontomys megalotis), Western Small-footed Myotis (Myotis ciliolabrum), White-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus townsendii), Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis), Mule deer (Odocoileus hemiomus), White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos), Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), Brewer's Sparrow (Spizella breweri), Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia), Canyon Wren (Catherpes mexicanus), Common Poorwill (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii), Flammulated Owl (Otus Flammeolus), Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammondramus savannarum), Gray Flycatcher (Empidonax wrightii), Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), Lewis' woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis), Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus), Perigrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus), Sage Thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus), White-headed Woodpecker (Picoides albolarvatus), White-throated Swift (Aeronautes saxatalis), Williamson's Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus), Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens), Eared Grebe (Podeceps nigricollis), Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus), Long-eared Owl (Asio otus), Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis), Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus), Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni), Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura), Yellow-headed blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus),Gopher Snake (Pituophis melanoleucus), Night Snake (Hypsiglena torquata), Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma douglassii), Western rattlesnake (Crotalus viridus), Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta), Rubber Boa (Charina bottae) Western Skink (Eumeces skiltonianus), Western Yellow-bellied Racer (Coluber mormon) and Great Basin Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus intermontanus).

Report Type
  Terrestrial Information
  Biogeoclimatic Zone - BG Bunchgrass Zone
  Biogeoclimatic Zone - ESSF Engelmann Spruce - Subalpine Fir Zone
  Biogeoclimatic Zone - IDF Interior Douglas-fir Zone
  Biogeoclimatic Zone - MS Montane Spruce Zone
  Biogeoclimatic Zone - PP Ponderosa Pine Zone
  Region - Okanagan
  Terrestrial Information - Terrestrial Biophysical Habitat Mapping
  Terrestrial Information - Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping (TEM)
  Terrestrial Information - Sensitive Ecosystem Inventory (SEI)

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