Luxor Linkage Conservation Area
Bighorn sheep on Luxor Linkage (Photo by Bonnie-Lou Ferris)
Luxor Linkage is a conservation land assembly located in the Rocky Mountain Trench, north of Edgewater, British Columbia. Stretching from the Columbia River wetlands, across Highway 95 and into the Rocky Mountains, these lands are a critical part of a natural corridor for wildlife and ecological communities.
Named after one of the creeks that flows through the property and into the Columbia River wetlands, Luxor Linkage is home to an abundance of wildlife that relies on its grasslands, pockets of deciduous forest, wetlands and rocky outcrops.
This project forms part of our efforts to secure critical conservation corridors that connect through mountains and valleys in the Canadian Rockies region in British Columbia and Alberta. This is one of the last areas on Earth where the full spectrum of native habitat and ecological communities continue to thrive.
In March 2016, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) secured the 630-acre (255-hectare) “mountain parcel.” In January 2017, NCC acquired the “wetland parcel,” adding another 330 acres (134 hectares) to the Luxor Linkage Conservation Area.
Open forest on Luxor Linkage Conservation Area (Photo by Bonnie-Lou Ferris)
Luxor Linkage supports an amazing diversity of wildlife, including the endangered American badger, mountain goat, cougar, wolf, bobcat, bear and many others. The conservation area is particularly important for bighorn sheep, which find high-quality winter habitat here. Moose, elk and deer also benefit from the open forest and grassland landscape.
The conservation area connects to Kootenay National Park via Crown land, providing safe passage for wide-ranging animals like grizzly bear, wolf and elk as they move between the Purcell and Rocky mountains.
Independent research biologist Michael Proctor has identified these lands as one of the most important zones between Fairmont and Golden for grizzly bears moving across the valley.
“Fragmentation of our natural systems continues to challenge nature’s ability to adapt. Providing for connectivity is one of the most important processes we can invest in now to ensure a lasting difference for key species at risk in the decades to come. The Nature Conservancy of Canada is using science-informed conservation solutions that wisely include the protection of these critical connectivity lands.” ~ Michael Proctor
Luxor Creek on Luxor Linkage Conservation Area (Photo by Bonnie-Lou Ferris)
Luxor and Kindersley creeks flow through the conservation area, merging into the internationally important Columbia River Wetlands. These wetlands are critical for maintaining regional populations of several species of amphibians and reptiles, including the northern leopard frog (re-introduced population), painted turtle and rubber boa.
A variety of fish are found here, including westslope cutthroat trout, bull trout, mountain whitefish, burbot and northern pike minnow. Spawning kokanee attract large concentrations of bald eagles each fall.
The wetlands also provide nesting, feeding and resting sites for ducks, geese, tundra and trumpeter swans, great blue heron, osprey, merganser, loon, grebe and kingfisher.
NCC will work to restore the traditionally open forest and grassland habitats. Restoration efforts on Luxor Linkage will complement similar work completed by the Province on adjacent lands. In particular, restoration projects will aim to improve winter habitat used by bighorn sheep.
Partners in conservation
This project was supported by funding from the Government of Canada through the Natural Areas Conservation Program, The Vital Ground Foundation, BC Hydro Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program, Sitka Foundation and other individuals.