A delicate ecosystem

Osoyoos has an unusual climate that fosters several rare animal species

Owl on a tree branch
Osoyoos is part of the endangered antelope brush ecosystem. — Photo courtesy of Great Horned Owl Eco-Tours

With a desert landscape that stands out against the contrasting B.C. territories, Osoyoos has unusual and endangered wildlife that you won’t see anywhere else in the province.

“There are over 300 species of bird that can be seen throughout the year,” said Greg Byron, owner of Great Horned Owl Eco-Tours. “About half of all the bird species in Canada can be seen here. We have the highest diversity of animals anywhere in Canada, but we also have the highest number of species at risk.” The Osoyoos Desert Society is another organization devoted to the preservation and appreciation of this environment.

“Opportunities to experience and connect with nature are becoming increasingly rare,” said Denise Eastlick, executive director of the society. “Over 100 rare plants and over 300 rare invertebrates are found here—and nearly one-quarter of British Columbia’s endangered and threatened vertebrates call this region home. Today, less than nine per cent of this unique habitat remains relatively undisturbed. Organizations like the Osoyoos Desert Society work very hard to protect and conserve our local ecosystems.”

Both Great Horned Owl Eco-Tours and the Osoyoos Desert Society are well worth a visit; the information they provide is as entertaining as it is educational.

RESOURCES: www.okanaganecotours.com , www.desert.org

Related Articles