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Juvenile spotted owl behind a branch with a wooden background.

Our Neighbours are Wild

The Northern Spotted Owl Breeding Program is in rural Langley, with no sidewalks or subdivisions nearby, we have a different type of neighbour to contend with. On any given day we might see coyotes, weasels, deer, bears, and even wild barred owls and great-horned owls.

While most of these wildlife encounters are not dangerous, we still take many precautions to ensure our safety at the facility.

Whenever we are away from the main buildings, such as to check on the owls in their aviaries, we carry bear spray and whistles. Last summer, WildSafe BC came on site for an afternoon of training, including a live demo of how to safely use bear spray to compliment online wildlife safety training courses. Staff and volunteers have all been trained on safe refuges in case of a dangerous wildlife encounter and when it is time to go to the compost pile, we go in pairs as wildlife are known to gather at the very nice smelling compost.

How can you help make your yard WildSafe?

There are a few things you can do to minimize wildlife encounters. Wildlife are attracted to areas that have easily accessible food so by removing potential food sources, such as picking up fallen fruit, hanging bird feeders so they are inaccessible to bears and keeping cats and other pets indoors, you can help reduce wildlife conflict.

You can also remove access points to your yard by pruning overhead branches that lead to your roof or balcony, using solid fencing such as wood panel fences to deter deer or bears and removing unnecessary wood piles or heavy brush which act as shelter for many smaller species.

For more info and tips on reduce wildlife conflicts, please refer to the WildSafeBC website.

This article was originally published in our 2022 Newsletter.


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