A baby purple martin swallow getting ready to leave the roost. (Pixabay)

A baby purple martin swallow getting ready to leave the roost. (Pixabay)

‘Wildlife corner’ eyed for Sooke Basin

Purple martin nest boxes and a seal haul-out proposed by Wild Wise Sooke

A wildlife corner, proposed in Sooke harbour near the Prestige Oceanfront Resort, will create a protected area where residents and visitors can view wildlife in its natural habitat.

The initiative is led by a conservation group and will feature purple martins, harbour seals and other wildlife. It includes habitat signage and wildlife-viewing cameras.

The district council learned of the proposal during a presentation by Wild Wise Sooke on Monday.

RELATED: Wild Wise Sooke urges bear awareness

“We’re doing it for the animals,” said Sam Webb, president of Wild Wise Sooke, of the project.

The wildlife corner is envisioned near the Prestige boardwalk looking out to the harbour, but other areas are under consideration.

Wild Wise Sooke hopes to construct and locate several purple martin nest boxes and a seal haul-out in the area.

The purple martin, the largest swallow in North America, is an at-risk species in B.C. Over the last three years, Wild Wise has located nest boxes for the birds on the waterfront, and this year plans to construct 24 new boxes – 12 to replaces older boxes and the rest for new nests.

Ideally, the new nest boxes would best be placed near the Prestige and Jock’s Dock, where a purple martin colony exists.

“The Prestige boardwalk is so perfect that we can add some nests there, and then the Wild Wise team will monitor them throughout the season,” Webb said.

The second project involves building an artificial haul-out for seal pups off-shore. Webb expects completion of the haul-out this spring. The haul-out would allow a mother seal to leave her pups while she forages for food.

Many seal pups now haul-out on docks, beaches and rocks, but that often leads to negative interactions between wildlife and people, Webb said.

“We want to minimalize risk to any wildlife. We certainly don’t want people picking up seal pups,” she said.

RELATED: Wild Wise expands into West Shore

The wildlife corner’s purpose is to protect the animals, but residents and visitors are encouraged to view the wildlife. Wild Wise Sooke is also planning to install cameras in the area for security and at-home wildlife viewing.

“The wildlife corner is preferable in one area of Sooke, so people can learn about wildlife and appreciate it,” Webb said.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

SookeWildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The District of Sooke has launched a new online community engagement platform, letstalksooke.ca, where residents can share feedback and stay up to date on projects and initiatives that are happening in their community. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke launches online engagement portal

The District of Sooke has launched a new online community engagement platform… Continue reading

This map shows the pharmacies in Greater Victoria offering the AstraZeneca vaccine for people born in 1981 and earlier. As the map shows, no pharmacies on the Saanich Peninsula are offering the vaccine. (B.C. Government map)
No pharmacies on Saanich Peninsula offering AstraZeneca vaccine

People born in 1981 and earlier eligible for AstraZeneca vaccines

Victoria police are looking for a 38-year-old man after he allegedly assaulted and choked a missing 15-year-old victim in Beacon Hill Park Tuesday night. (Black Press Media file photo)
15-year-old choked in Beacon Hill tent, Victoria police assaulted while intervening

Police searching for 38-year-old suspect, two officers injured in altercation with park residents

West Shore RCMP responded to 164 calls for service the last weekend, including numerous violent assaults. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore RCMP responds to 164 calls for service over weekend

Calls included numerous bear spray assaults and domestic violence incidents

A total of 10 flight exposures have affected the Victoria International Airport in April so far, making it the highest monthly total since the start of the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hits record-breaking number of monthly COVID-19 flight exposures

As of April 21, 10 flight exposures reported for the month

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Police road checks are coming for people travelling between regions while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Vehicle checks on highways, at ferry terminals to start Friday

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards accysed

Canadian driver Paul Tracy pulls out of the pits during the morning session at the Molson Indy in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, July 26, 2003 (CP/Richard Lam)
Vancouver is considering hosting a Formula E race using electric cars

The race would be part of a three-day event focused on climate and sustainability

Most Read