South Okanagan Wildlife Management Area
About This Wildlife Management Area
Date Designated: April 14, 1994 (OIC 493/94)
Purpose of Wildlife Management Area: Management of habitat primarily for ecosystems and species at risk.
Size: 434 hectares
Location and Maps
7 km north of Osoyoos.
Nature and Culture
Wildlife values in this WMA are of high provincial significance and provide habitat for Osprey, Yellow Breasted Chat, Bobolink, Lark Sparrow, Gopher Snake, Racer, Painted Turtle, Spotted and Pallid Bats, Fringed Myotis, Nuttall’s Cottontail, Yellow Badger, American White Pelican, Great Blue Heron and many other species. Many rare birds may be seen in migration throughout the WMA and it is one of the few places in the Okanagan River system where Sockeye Salmon still spawn. In addition, there are numerous examples of invertebrates that are known in Canada only from this locality. Adjacent properties include the Haynes Lease Ecological Reserve and properties owned by The Nature Trust of BC, The Nature Conservancy of Canada and Ducks Unlimited Canada. These, along with several Wildlife Habitat Areas and Land Act reserves, help maintain habitat connectivity and movement corridors for wildlife in the South Okanagan.
Physiography, Climate And Vegetation
Dominated by the hot, dry summers of the South Okanagan, this WMA is comprised of sandy outwash deposits and dry benchlands (primarily globally imperiled antelope-brush and needle-and-thread grass plant communities), riparian woodlands, marshes and ponds. The WMA is made up of a core area and numerous discrete parcels of land – particularly isolated relict river oxbows. The larger portion is located on the old floodplain of the Okanagan River. The floodplain contains water-filled oxbows, once cut off from the Okanagan River Flood Control Channel but reconnected by a weir constructed by Ducks Unlimited Canada, and flatlands dissected by numerous old in-filled oxbows in different successional stages.
Compatible Resource And Recreation Uses
A portion of this WMA is grazed under range use tenure managed by the Ministry of Forests and Range with input from the Ministry of Environment to ensure that habitat objectives are not negatively affected.