Course:LFS350/Projects/2014W1/T2

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Name of the organization:

Gambier Island Sea Ranch

Address:

end of Long Bay, Gambier Island

Website (if applicable):

www.searanch.ca

Name:

Rosalie Boulter

Email address:

rosalie7@shaw.ca

Phone number:

604-687-2024

Availability for contact (in September, October and November):

Should be available via email. Available by telephone in evenings.

A scope statement for the project:

Project Title: A GISR PREDATOR CONTROL PLAN Project Context: The Gambier Island Sea Ranch (GISR) farm vision strives for an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable farm that enables us to make a small profit. The farm has seven fenced fields, fenced chicken and turkey runs, animal shelters, a barn, and housing for turkeys and broilers. GISR typically raises pigs, sheep, broilers and turkeys that are brought over in the spring and either taken off island for processing (pigs and sheep) or processed on site (turkeys and broilers). Year round we keep laying hens and peacocks. The peacocks assist with keeping the layers safe. We were free ranging our laying hens from 2012 to spring 2014, when they started getting attacked. The hens loved being free and are now afraid to go too far out. Over the years we have had various challenges with predators. Most recently, an otter killed our peacocks and a couple of laying hens and an eagle is feeding her youngster with our laying hens. Other predator issues at GISR over recent years include the following. A bear tried climbing into our pigpen. It was shot. We lost several lambs to what was likely a wolf. Cougars have been spotted in the past two years. Several deer carcasses were found on our property that looked like cougar kills. Cougar paw prints have been seen. The farm dog had a run in with what we believed to be a cougar. It was likely a surprise encounter for both of them as the dog’s injuries were limited to two puncture marks on her rear. Mink have gotten into the chicken shelters and killed several hens. Raccoons have been attacking our chickens for years. What we have already done. Installed electric fencing around the pigs to deter predators. Run a grid of wires with flagging tape attached over the chicken/turkey run to deter eagles. Purchased new peacocks to help protect the layers. Purchased Muscovy ducks because we had read that they would protect chickens; however, the eagle took them almost immediately. The budget for farm improvements is not large. All materials need to be brought over by boat or barge and any predator solutions need to be easily maintained by the on-site Farm Manager. GIRS power is generated by solar, hydro and diesel or gas generators. Project scope: Develop an anti-predator plan. In addition to what we are already doing, what else can be done to address predators such as eagles, mink, otters, raccoons, wolves, cougars, bears, etc.?

Main project goals and objectives:

Project goal: Our goal is to provide detailed analysis of the site and make recommendations based on the pros and cons of each suggested solution.

Recommended research method(s):

Recommended research method: GISR site tour and assessment and research on predator control methods.

Potential information sources:

Potential information sources: GISR site plan; small farm best practice resources; similar non-industrial farm operations in BC; agriculture and building materials supply firms, etc.

Expected outcome(s):

Expected outcome: Report with recommendations for a minimum of two optional approaches, supported by detailed pros and cons.

Please list potential community service opportunities for LFS 350 students in your organization (preferably related to the project):

List of possible GISR Community Service Opportunities for students: Assist with the GISR October turkey kill and processing. If timing right, could help with getting pigs and sheep off island and doing pen/shelter clean up. As the GISR is reached via Water Taxi and poor weather issues increase as Fall progresses, it is suggested that the Community Service be scheduled as early as possible. The project may need to take place on a weekend if community members need to assist.