Eagle Nest Project
Gabriola Eagle Nest Monitoring Program
A number of Gabriolans are participating in an eagle nest-monitoring program with the BC Federation of Naturalists. Their Wildlife Tree Stewardship (WITS) initiative has created a network of property owners and environmentally minded citizens committed to mapping and monitoring eagle nest activities on Vancouver and the Gulf Islands. Their purpose is to work together to protect essential nesting habitat so we can keep the Georgia Basin’s population of Bald Eagles a vibrant and healthy part of our coastal communities.
Most Bald Eagle Nests and perch trees are found within 100-200 metres of the coast. Eagles build massive nests, usually in 200-400 year old Douglas Fir. There are very few stands of the original coastal forest remaining and single “veteran’ nest trees, spared by logging and development, are gradually being lost to natural decay or are being removed because of their danger of falling on homes.
Here on Gabriola we have approximately twenty-two nests with recent reports of two new nests. April is a good time to note nest activity and update the status of active nests. This winter was a stormy one so there may have been some casualties. Gabriola is fortunate to have a number of dedicated community members who over the years have monitored and protected nests in their neighborhoods and on their own property. In the past three years however, we have lost a new nest to an indiscriminate developer and there has been an increase in complaints to building and clearing near nests.
Destroying a Bald Eagle’s nest at any time of the year, whether it is occupied or not is a criminal offense (maximum fine $50,000.00).
What can you do?
AVOID tree or branch clearing, excavation or any other disturbance nest trees during the nesting season (January –August).
DESIGNATE the Bald Eagle nest tree a “Wildlife Tree” by contacting the Ministry of Environment.
RETAIN mature trees or privately owned lands, and some younger replacement trees to ensure there are suitable nest tress for the future.
PARTICIPATE in local eagle nest monitoring and community education by joining WITS
For more information please contact your local coordinators:
Darlene Mace 247-7415
Iain Lawrence 247-7656
By Darlene Mace