Our partners in Canada have a good reason to celebrate. The new S'amunu Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Duncan, British Columbia adds a layer of long-term protection to an area long known to be important to wildlife and significant to native people.
The new wildlife area is part of the Somenos Marsh ecoystem, an Important Bird Area. Somenos Lake and Marsh support about half of the Pacific Flyway's wintering Trumpeter Swans and are home to Great Blue Heron rookeries. The area is also used by about 200 other species of birds and supports one of Vancouver Island's rare Garry Oak communities.
We are proud to be a partner in the designation of the S'amunu Wildlife Management Area. We’ve been working since 1976 to secure key land parcels to ensure the many habitats comprising the Somenos conservation lands are protected in perpetuity. The new S'amunu WMA demonstrates what is possible when conservation partners work together.
- Jasper Lament, CEO, The Nature Trust of British Columbia
One of the purposes of a WMA is to help ensure that the habitat and wildlife values will be conserved over time, while also encouraging stewardship and participation with local First Nations and other stakeholders. With S'amunu, there is an important cultural history that the Cowichan Tribes will help conserve, and wildlife viewing and stewardship will remain priorities with the engagement of the local community.
Key partners in this project were The Nature Trust of British Columbia, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Province of British Columbia. The partnership aspect of this project, and future work in the area, is extensive, however, as explained in the Cowichan Valley Citizen's article New partnership has big plans for Somenos Marsh.