University of British Columbia Researchers at the OK Ranch

Friday, May 19, 2017

For the second consecutive year, SYLVIS has partnered with the University of British Columbia on a research project at the OK Ranch, in Jesmond BC.  The research focuses on how wildlife responds to biosolids applications.  A team of students from the Okanagan campus, including one graduate student and one undergraduate student, will be continuing the field monitoring this summer.  This research will address three main questions:

  • Do biosolids affect habitat use and nest success by dusky grouse?
  • Does songbird diversity or behavior differ between biosolids-treated and untreated grasslands?
  • Is there a difference in grasshopper abundance or diversity between these grasslands?

Summer long work by the students will involve the placement and tracking of radio-collars on female grouse.  Songbird diversity will be assessed through point counts, acoustic monitoring, nest searching, and cameras.  As well, grasshopper populations will be estimated through repeated trapping. 

Understanding how wildlife responds to biosolids applications will allow SYLVIS to further improve our best management practices for grasslands restoration through ecologically sensitive and appropriate practices.