Where do Barn owls hunt when farmland disappears?

Even though their habitat is becoming increasing urbanized, Barn owls still persist (albeit in lower numbers) in the Fraser Valley. Sofi started studying the hunting and feeding habits, in the western end of the valley, of these owls seven years ago and her results have just been published in the Journal of Landscape and Urban Planning. Congratulations Sofi!

Her results show that as the grassland habitat dissapears, their next preferred hunting grounds are the roadside grass verges and highway medians. They truly are daring hunting along side Lower Mainland traffic! Read her full article here to learn all about how these adaptive birds hunt and feed despite the changing landscape:

Habitat use by barn owls across a rural to urban gradient and an assessment of stressors_Hindmarch et al. 2017

Looking for 2 hard working, keen to learn, summer students!

We are looking for two exceptional students to join our team for the summer. If you are interested in learning more about what a land trust does, aren’t afraid of doing hard work to restore and enhance native habitats, and you are a good communicator who enjoys spreading the importance of caring for the environment to complete strangers, then read on…

Our summer students will work under the supervision of Fraser Valley Conservancy (FVC) biologists and alongside community volunteers. Work will include:

  • managing FVC conservation properties including lots of invasive species control, as well as completing ongoing surveys (photo-point monitoring, vegetation transects, gastropod and amphibian surveys);
  • assisting with ongoing maintenance and monitoring of the juvenile Western Toad migration through the toad tunnel at Ryder Lake;
  • helping with the delivery of our landowner contact program; and,
  • organizing and hosting outreach events, and promoting conservation values to the community.

These positions are a great opportunity to gain experience in the conservation field. While we do not require extensive previous work experience, we will be seeking candidates that have some experience (work, volunteer or academic) in the follow areas:

  • Physically fit and comfortable working outside in all weather conditions
  • Keen interest in local conservation issues
  • Native flora and fauna identification knowledge
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills
  • Must have access to a reliable personal vehicle as the work will take place around the Fraser Valley (Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Mission). The students will be responsible for their own transportation to and from the daily meeting locations in each community
  • Must be willing to work a flexible schedule (which can include evenings and weekends) to coincide with toad migrations and public events

Additional qualifications that will be considered an asset:

  • Knowledge of amphibian biology, wetland ecology and species at risk issues (especially local species and ecosystems)
  • Field work experience; including monitoring methods, data collection, data analysis and technical reporting
  • Streamkeeper or other related volunteer experience
  • GPS knowledge and basic mapping skills
  • Experience coordinating volunteers and hosting events

These positions are funded through the Canada Summer Jobs program; therefore candidates must meet the following qualifications:

  • Currently enrolled in post-secondary education (must have been registered full-time in the previous academic year and returning to full time studies in September 2017)
  • Be between 15 and 30 years of age (as of May 23rd, 2017)
  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred and be legally entitled to work in Canada

Two student stewards will be hired as term employees from May 23rd to August 25th, 2017. The rate of pay will be $14.00 per hour, 40 hours per week.

To apply please email a cover letter and resume clearly outlining how you meet the above requirements and resume to admin@fraservalleyconservancy.ca

Resumes will be accepted until 8:00 am Friday May 12th. Applicants who meet the criteria for an interview will be contacted for interviews  the week of May 15th.