Lions Bay, BC earns Nature Canada’s “Bird Friendly City” designation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Unceded Algonquin Territory – Ottawa, ON, 10 May, 2022 – Nature Canada is proud to announce Canada’s next certified Bird Friendly City, Lions Bay, BC. Lions Bay becomes the tenth municipality in Canada to earn the designation, and the first municipality to be certified using the Small Town Bird Friendly City criteria. Nature Canada’s Small Town Bird Friendly City criteria was created for municipalities with a population of 15,000 individuals or less.
The Village of Lions Bay has worked in collaboration with Nature Canada to make their community a safe haven for wild birds.
From Councillor Neville Abbott on behalf of Council for the Village of Lions Bay:
Thank-you to all the Bird Friendly team members whose hard work and determination has made Lions Bay the first small community in Canada to achieve Nature Canada’s Bird Friendly City status. It is with pride that the Council of Lions Bay adds the protection of birds and their habitat to the list of environmental commitments such as Bear Smart and participation in the Howe Sound Biosphere Region.
The village has implemented bird friendly policies and actions to help birds thrive in Lions Bay. These actions include:
- Educational campaigns led by the Bird Team to raise awareness of the threats birds face and provide information about how to mitigate them;
- Eliminating the use of harmful pesticides and rodenticides that impact bird populations;
- Developing municipal strategies to protect natural features, biodiversity and key habitat.
The Bird Friendly City designation has been developed by Nature Canada to encourage Canadian cities and municipalities to become safer and better places for birds.
Birds play an essential role in maintaining healthy and resilient ecosystems in our communities and on our planet. But there are three billion fewer birds in North America today than 50 years ago. Much of these losses are caused by human activities. As urban expansion continues, cities must act quickly to ensure that North America’s bird populations are protected and supported. Nature Canada’s Bird Friendly City program encourages communities to take action to:
- reduce the number of human-related threats to birds such as roaming cats, the use of pesticides, and glass treatment on buildings with large windows,
- create safe environments for birds by promoting stewardship and ensuring that natural habitats are protected and restored,
- engage and educate citizens about the benefits of Bird Friendly Cities and celebrating birds in our communities.
In each municipality seeking to become Bird Friendly certified, Bird Teams are created and residents are actively engaged in protecting, monitoring and celebrating their local bird populations.
Nature Canada is pleased to acknowledge the support of Environment and Climate Change Canada for the Bird Friendly City program and World Migratory Bird Day. As part of the Bird Friendly City program, Bird Teams are encouraged to host World Migratory Bird Day events to celebrate welcoming migratory birds back into our neighborhoods each spring!
From Ruth Simons, President of the Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative Society:
Congratulations to the Lions Bay team for putting the Village on the map as the first Bird-Friendly Village certified by Nature Canada. The Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound biosphere region has two Important Bird Area designations, and this is a recognition of the care and pride residents have for the local and migratory birds we so enjoy. This initiative directly contributes to fostering an environment where humanity and nature thrive.”
From the Lions Bay Bird Friendly team:
Our team is absolutely thrilled that Lions Bay is the first Small Town to be designated a Bird Friendly City! We are passionate about making a difference for our birds and this will support the ongoing work required to protect them, their habitat and their food sources. As part of the Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Biosphere Region and the English Bay/Burrard Inlet/Howe Sound IBA, it’s fitting that Lions Bay actively protect and promote biodiversity in these important conservation areas. We always knew our community found immense joy in the many bird species we are so fortunate to see in our forests and on our beaches, but were nevertheless blown away by the overwhelmingly positive response to our Bird Friendly Initiative. We sincerely hope we can inspire other small communities to do the same.