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Small mammals are critical to the conservation of raptors and wading birds. Shrews, mice, and especially Townsend's vole are prey for these predatory birds. Some raptors, like the Northern Harrier and Rough-legged Hawk, feed almost exclusively on Townsend's voles. Small mammals are most abundant when there is ample vegetation to conceal them. To ensure that there is an abundance of small mammals for raptors and wading birds, Delta Farmland & Wildlife Trust encourages farmers to leave tall grass fields on their farms; these Grassland Set-asides soon become colonized with small mammals, the most common being Townsend's vole. Voles will even colonize fields that have been planted with a Winter Cover Crop of clover. Many of the mammals are rodents, but some are insectivorous, like the shrew. Shrews are the smallest mammals and feed on worms, beetles, and any other invertebrate they can catch. The drainage ditches of Delta farms also provide habitat for small mammals, including muskrats and beavers. Beavers can be troublesome for farmers because they can dam drainage ditches, causing fields to flood.
News & Events
DF&WT Hosts Young Naturalists' Club of BC
DF&WT teams up with the Young Naturalist Club of BC for a Grassland Set-aside monitoring Citizen Science Project!Read More..
Cover Crop Research Helps Refine Management
DF&WT research reveals the importance of planting date on the ability of a cover crop to support waterfowl.Read More..
- Get To Know SOME OF OUR WILDLIFE:
- Northern Shrike Known as the "Butcher Bird," the Shrike impales prey on thorns to attract mates and mark its territory.
- Lesser Snow Goose Snow Geese congregate on farm fields by the tens of thousands searching for potatoes, grain, and grass.
- Bumblebee These insects benefit farmers by pollinating crops. They find refuges in Grassland Set-asides and Hedgerows.