Heron numbers lower around the Columbia Basin

Heron Numbers have been decreasing around the Columbia Basin.

Marlene Machmer is a biologist based in Nelson.

She started monitoring the blue listed species in 2002, with the latest monitoring done in 2016 and 2017.

She says the numbers have plummeted over the years, with a steady decline in the number of active nests.

According to Machmer, in 2017 we were down to 173 active nests in the entire Columbia Basin, from the high 3-hundreds when she first started monitoring so that's almost down to half.

Machmer says there are a number of reasons for the decline, including development around heron habitats leading to habitat loss, and more predators like eagles and crows.

She's made a series of recommendations to establish wildlife habitat areas to protect specific breeding sites, she's been working with private landowners , and promoting awareness of the decline.

For information or to report breeding sites, email mmachmer@netidea.com