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Banding Together for Waterfowl

2012 Winter Habitat Conditions in Canada

February Habitat Conditions from DU Canada
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  • British Columbia
    photo by DUC
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British Columbia / Western Boreal Forest

Although the winter started off drier and warmer than usual along the coast, conditions have become wet and cool, which is typical for this region. Current predictions are calling for a weak-to-moderate La Niña pattern lasting into the spring. Snowpacks are currently below normal but more snowfall is expected over the next few months. Waterfowl are acquiring nutrients from estuary habitats as well as remnant crops and grass in local fields. Large flocks of wintering waterfowl can be found around the Fraser River Delta and along the east coast of Vancouver Island, including snow geese, American wigeons, trumpeter swans, mallards, northern pintails and many others.

British Columbia

In the central Interior, snow conditions are variable overall and below average at lower elevations. Temperatures have been mild, with several thawing events reducing snow even further. The prospects for the spring runoff are fair. Snow conditions have recently improved in the southern Interior, but are still below average at low and moderate elevations. The prospects for the spring runoff are fair. Snow conditions are about average in the southeast Interior.

In the Peace region, although high-elevation snowpacks are normal, snow conditions are significantly below average at low elevations, where many areas are almost bare. Temperatures have been above normal for most of the winter. The prospects for spring runoff are not promising, as fall soil conditions were relatively dry, making for a poor frost seal. Conditions could improve with some heavy, wet snowfalls. Fortunately, most DUC wetland projects went into fall in good condition thanks to heavy mid-summer precipitation. Vegetation conditions were also good in the fall, which should provide good residual cover for early nesters next spring.

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