Wildlife in the Kimberley Nature Park
By Laura Duncan
Within the City of Kimberley lies an 840-hectare area with over 50km of trails called the Kimberley Nature Park (KNP). Adjacent to the KNP is the 200-hectare Horse Barn Valley. Combined, these areas form a wonderful resource for Kimberley residents and visitors alike. A map of the KNP and Horse Barn Valley shows their location and size.
With the priorities of Conservation, Education and Recreation in mind, the Kimberley Nature Park Society manages the Park for the benefit of flora, fauna and people. The Park is home to forested hillsides, grassland slopes, old-growth cedar groves, rugged talus slopes, small lakes and wetlands. This diversity means there are a variety of flora and fauna to be found within its boundaries.
Although species like moose, elk, deer, bear, cougar, squirrels, chipmunks, varied thrushes, owls, bats, frogs and rubber boas are among the wildlife known to be found in the Park, many species are hard to see. To get a better idea of what species live in or travel through the KNP, four wildlife cameras have been set up within the KNP and Horse Barn Valley. Since the cameras are intended to capture photos of animals, not humans, the cameras are set up off the well-marked trails.
Over time, the cameras will be moved to cover different habitats within the Park, adding important knowledge as the Kimberley Nature Park Society makes decisions about management of the KNP.
Emily Chow of the BC Ministry of Forests provided invaluable help in choosing sites and setting up the cameras while a teams of eight KNP volunteers will maintain, move and download photos captured by the cameras.
The first photos from the cameras caused great excitement among the Wildlife Camera Team. Not surprisingly, they showed mule deer, white-tail deer, squirrel and elk. Over time, these cameras may show us other, less commonly seen animals making use of the KNP.
The KNP and HBV website is a great source of information about the Kimberley Nature Park. This project will add further knowledge about this Park that is an important and treasured part of our community.
Thanks to the Board of the Kimberley Nature Park Society and Teck Resources for supporting this project.