Starting in 2008 and continuing through 2010, Denman Conservancy is reaching out to Denman Islanders for support in maintaining meadow habitat for several rare species found on the Island. The project is supported by funding from the Government of Canadian Habitat Stewardship Program.
In the first year landowners of 1059 acres, (over 8% of the island) have committed to stewardship of their meadows.
The project has four objectives.
- to identify meadow-species at risk on private land
- to create a rare-meadow-species awareness among landowners and the community
- to gain information and share ideas about their ecology and habitat needs
- to inspire and assist landowners in adapting their land use for the mutual benefit of all.
Taylor’s Checkerspot butterflies, affectionately known as Cspots, once occupied Garry oak meadows and open areas of SW Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Populations dwindled to a last stand on Hornby Island before being declared “extirpated” or gone from Canada about 2001. Thus, their emergence in Denman Island clear-cuts in 2005 was greeted with both joy and amazement. The wet shrubby sites where the butterflies thrived didn’t look much like Garry oak meadows, but this focused additional conservation attention on those ‘vernal pools’ of the south coast meadows.