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Wildlife Trees

The City of Nanaimo has a Tree Protection Bylaw that prohibits anyone from cutting down Wildlife trees without a permit. Permits are also issued for trees that are an immediate threat to people or property, as determined by a Certified Arborist.

A Wildlife tree is defined as a tree that provides shelter or wildlife habitat for an egg or a nest protected under Section 35 of the Wildlife Act or that is listed in Schedule 'B' of the Tree Protection Bylaw No. 4695.

These trees play an integral role in local ecosystems by contributing to and maintaining the biological diversity of many species found in our neighbourhoods. A number of factors contribute to the creation of wildlife trees. Such things as fire, insect infestation, fungi, human disturbance (fill placed around root systems, etc.), frost heave, etc. can all lead to the degradation of a tree that can provide opportunities for wildlife to find food and shelter.

Wildlife trees are valuable because of a number of features that are not found in other surrounding trees and that help various species. Features such as natural cavities can offer nesting sites for birds or maternity dens for bats.

The capacity to maintain a population of wildlife tree dependent animals in urban areas depends directly on maintaining adequate habitat for these species. This means conserving wildlife trees in various stages of decay to provide food, nesting and shelter opportunities over time.

However, some high value wildlife trees can be hazardous. Depending on the individual tree, its location, and the type of exposure to human activity, each tree must be assessed on a site-by-site basis.

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