Why Island Karst Research?

IKR was established to promote exploration, research, management and conservation of caves and karst ecosystems on Vancouver Island.  Its mandate now has expanded across British Columbia.  While karst covers only about 4% of Vancouver Island, it hosts exotic ecosystems, is home to the rarest bat in Canada, the Keen's Long-eared Myotis and its caves form critical hibernation sites.  IKR pioneered research into this elusive species and first demonstrated cave use by this bat as well as identifying nearby maternity roosts and feeding sites.  While karst soils have been demonstrated to enhance tree growth and vigour, as well as richer salmon-spawning habitat, current logging practises paradoxically degrade these environments to a greater degree than non-karstic sites.   IKR is instrumental in promoting responsible karst management and conservation in BC by government and industry.  Based on its science,  IKR also plays a major role in the establishment of protected areas such as provincial parks, recreation sites, Wildlife Habitat Areas and Old Growth Management Areas that conserve exceptional karst on Vancouver Island and elsewhere.

 Who is Island Karst Research?

Martin Davis established IKR and works with other specialists and/or employees as needed, specific to project requirements.  He has been an active caver since childhood and is currently a member of the Vancouver Island Cave Exploration Group, the British Columbia Speleological Federation, Karst Specialist Association of BC, BC Bat Action Team, BC Cave Rescue and the Canadian Cave Conservancy, of which he was the Chairman for five years.  He has explored and conducted research in caves and karst in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. Recent projects include exploration and research of the caves of Weymer Creek, Thanksgiving Ridge and Huckleberry Ridge on Vancouver Island; the Taku River karst in northwestern BC; and White Rabbit Cave in the Monashee Mountains of BC.  He has recently become Coordinator for the BatCaver program, funded by the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada and works in association with Cori Lausen, PhD with Birchdale Ecologics.  This program focuses on bat research and inventory of bat hibernacula across BC and Alberta as well as public education, outreach to the caving community and policy development.  For more information, visit the BatCaver website.

Island Karst Research has been contracted or funded by:

 

Bat Conservation International

BC Ministry of Environment

BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

BC Parks

Canadian Cave Conservancy

Canadian Forest Products

Department of Defense

Forest Renewal BC

Habitat Conservation Trust Fund 

Pacific Forest Products

Science Council of BC

Integrated Forest Management

Wildlife Conservation Society Canada


Left:  Myotis volans (Long-legged myotis) hibernating at Ursa Major Cave System, Vancouver Island.  This site was the first multispecies bat hibernaculum discovered in British Columbia - identified by our research.


 
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