Mountain ecosystems are especially sensitive to climate change, so Living Lakes Canada is undertaking a high elevation monitoring program in the West Kootenay.
The program began monitoring in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park last month. Data loggers were installed in Sapphire Lakes, Tanal Lake and Upper Joker Lake to track and log the changes in water levels. Additionally, temperature and light data loggers have been installed in Upper Joker Lake.
“They are also challenging to monitor,” said LLC program manager Heather Shaw. “We don’t currently have a good understanding of the climate impacts on water quantity and quality in these areas.
“The goal is to start creating baseline data to understand how the chemical and biological components of these lakes are functioning. Once this baseline is established, we can continue to monitor over time and understand how chemical and biological components in the lakes are responding to climate change.”
The Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park citizen science initiative is asking residents heading into the park to support Living Lakes Canada in creating an inventory of plant and animal species within the park boundaries.
This data collection is made easy thanks to the popular and easy-to-use citizen science app: iNaturalist.
Just download this free app on your phone before you leave on your next backcountry adventure. Once downloaded, open the app and search for “Kokanee Glacier- High Elevation Monitoring” project.
While you are out enjoying the Kokanee Glacier park, Living Lakes asks that you take photos of any flora and fauna using the iNaturalist app.
When back in cell service, upload your pictures/observations to the project where they will be stored and reviewed by scientists, the iNaturalist community, and Living Lakes Canada employees.
For queries contact program manager Heather Shaw at email@example.com.
For more information on the High Elevation Monitoring Program visit: livinglakescanada.ca/project/high-elevation-monitoring-program.
About Living Lakes Canada: Living Lakes Canada is a national non-profit organization based in B.C.’s Columbia Basin working towards the long-term protection of Canada’s freshwater.