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Report: Sensitive Ecosystems Inventory (SEI) - Vernon Commonage, 2005

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This report presents information on sensitive ecosystems in the Vernon Commonage of the North Okanagan Valley, and provides guidance regarding their conservation and management. Volume 1 provides information on conservation and protection of sensitive and important ecosystems. Volume 2 details the terrestrial ecosystem mapping (TEM) methods. Volume 3 includes habitat summaries and species-habitat models for eleven wildlife species considered at risk in British Columbia.

Author:  Iverson, K., P.Uunila, A. Haney and M. Sarell

Old Reference Number:  4477 TEM, 4497 SEI

Old Reference System:  BAPID

Date Published:  Jan 2006

Report ID:  4159

Audience:  Government and Public

The Okanagan Basin of British Columbia has very high biodiversity, including many vulnerable, rare and endangered species and plant communities. A high diversity of ecosystems occurs in close proximity, providing habitat for many species. The region has been subject to extensive agricultural conversion, intense human settlement pressure, noxious weed invasion, uncontrolled motorized recreation, and forest ingrowth and encroachment associated with fire exclusion. The study area lies within the north Okanagan Valley of south-central British Columbia. It is bounded by the urban extent of the City of Vernon in the north, Okanagan Lake in the west, Kalamalka Lake in the east, and the District of Lake Country in the south. The area covers 6,728 ha and includes private land, provincial parks, Department of National Defence land, and small areas of provincial crown land. The study area is located within the Southern Interior Ecoprovince, the northern extension of the Columbia Basin and lies within the North Okanagan Basin Ecosection. The area is within the Okanagan Very Dry Hot Interior Douglas-fir Variant (IDFxh1). The Vernon Commonage SEI initiated in 2004 provides inventory information on rare and fragile ecosystems that can be used for ecologically sustainable land use and development planning. Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping (TEM) provides a base to theme the Sensitive Ecosystems map. The inventory was compiled through aerial photograph interpretation and field sampling in the summer of 2005. Thirty-one percent of the study area is comprised of sensitive ecosystems (SE); fourteen percent in the other important ecosystem (OIE) categories. Wetlands, old forests, riparian ecosystems, and broadleaf woodlands were extremely rare in the study area. Although greater areas of intact grasslands, coniferous woodlands, and sparsely vegetated ecosystems remained, much of the area was altered ecosystems including extensive agricultural fields, young forests, and some disturbed grasslands. Remaining grasslands are at risk to invasive plant species introduction or spread.

Report Type
  Terrestrial Information
  Amphibians & Reptiles - Gopher snake: Pituophis catenifer
  Amphibians & Reptiles - Painted Turtle: Chrysemys picta
  Amphibians & Reptiles - Western Rattlesnake: Crotalus viridis
  Birds - Grasshopper Sparrow: Ammodramus savannarum
  Birds - Long-billed Curlew: Numenius americanus
  Birds - Swainson's Hawk: Buteo swainsoni
  Birds - Western Screech-Owl: Otus kennicottii
  Birds - Yellow-breasted Chat: Icteria virens
  Biogeoclimatic Zone - IDF Interior Douglas-fir Zone
  Mammals - Badger: Taxidea taxus
  Mammals - Spotted Bat: Euderma maculatum
  Region - Okanagan
  Terrestrial Information - Habitat Modeling
  Terrestrial Information - Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping (TEM)
  Terrestrial Information - Wildlife Habitat Ratings (WHR)
  Terrestrial Information - Sensitive Ecosystem Inventory (SEI)

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