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Parks, Recreation & Culture » Sustainable Kamloops » Environmental Sustainability » Natural Environment

Grass Lands

Grassland areas are among the most threatened ecosystems in the province. Kamloops is identified as a critical junction between several major grassland regions within the province. A number of species-at-risk are linked to Kamloops' grasslands and their associated ecosystems. These include:

  • Mammals - burrowing owl, western rattlesnake, bighorn sheep, badger and big-eared bat;
  • Birds - sharp-tailed grouse, several hawk and owl species, American white pelican and trumpeter swan, great blue heron;
  • Amphibian - great basin spadefoot toad;
  • Reptiles - western rattlesnake, rubber boa, western painted turtle;
  • Insect - monarch butterfly; and
  • Plants - rough pennyroyal, rusty-cord moss, awned cyperus.

The value of grasslands as carbon-sinks is also recognized.

Area-specific investigations have been conducted in selected portions of the City. These include:

  • Aberdeen - this is a complex area comprising ten ecological communities that include grasslands, shallow-soiled rock outcroppings, forests and wetlands. Approximately 110 plant species, five mammal species and 45 bird species exist in the 17,000 hectares of grasslands extending from Aberdeen to Shuwmay Lake. Elements which make the area especially unique include alkaline ponds, geomorphic features (talus slopes at Coal Hill, glacial drumlins), and badger habitat.
  • Lac du Bois - a complete grasslands ecosystem exists within the 17,000 hectare Lac du Bois area, of which about 5,000 hectares fall within City boundaries. It is here where the intersection between several of British Columbia's major grassland regions occurs. Many of the species-at-risk noted above are present here, including the burrowing owl, great basin spadefoot toad, western rattlesnake, sharp-tailed grouse, and bighorn sheep. Special geologic features, including hoodoos and canyons, are located in Lac du Bois. From a climatic perspective, the Lac du Bois area provides warm, dry grasslands with very low snowfall and an early spring melt, thus allowing animals food and shelter at times when other areas are still snow-covered.
  • Southern Silt Bluffs - Kamloops' silt bluffs extend along a ridge south of the South Thompson River and encompass about 1,300 hectares from the City's eastern boundary to Peterson Creek. The bluffs are a result of past glacial activity, and are an impressive natural land form as well a segment of Kamloops' grasslands and habitat for various species.

» BC Grasslands

Sustainability Services
955 Concordia Way
Kamloops BC V2C 6V3
ph 250-828 3461
fx 250-828-3790

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