Thursday, 09 August 2012 17:05

Fence clipping near Manyberries should help sage grouse

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When one hears the term “clipped” and it has to do with birds, the thoughts of a wing being clipped for research purposes come to mind.

However, this Saturday, the idea of clipping involving vinyl plastic clips hooking on fence wires.
With the help of some volunteers, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, along with the Grasslands Naturalists will be clipping fences in an area just west of Manyberries Aug. 11.
Rob Gardner, the conservation co-ordinator in the Grasslands region, says they were able to acquire and identify some land in the Manyberries area where they could clip some wires on the fences in order to allow sage grouse to fly through.
“The sage grouse have trouble with wire fences,” explained Gardner who added this was especially true in the sunrise and sunset periods.
Fifteen per cent of sage grouse die because they get caught in wire fences. Gardner was unaware of any extraordinarily high numbers of the birds dying in this fashion.
The vinyl-plastic, j-shaped clips clip onto the wires which Gardner says “takes less than a second” to hook. Gardner hoped this would set an example for other ranchers in the area to want to do the same act. He believes ranchers want wildlife in the area and are generally interested and concerned about environmental issues.
This is the fourth time the group has done the clipping exercise. Gardner noted five to 10 volunteers have helped in the day-long event in the past. He said the Aug. 11 event will involve 10 kilometers of fenceline.
Those who want to volunteer can contact Gardner at 403-527-2052 or email rob.gardner@nature
The Haugan Stewardship Work Party will run from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor

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