Species at Risk Conservation Fund 2009 Approved Projects



Species at Risk Conservation Fund

 

Distribution, Habitat, and Population Structure of Nova Scotia Brook Floater
Saint Mary's River Association
Approved:      $5,000.00
Freshwater mussels are one of North America's most threatened taxonomic groups. In Nova Scotia, the Brook Floater is uncommon to rare, listed by COSEWIC as "Special Concern" with it’s distribution and numbers poorly understood, because the species has been under-surveyed. This project proposes to increase the provincial occurrences database through surveys and habitat assessments, and the establishment of long-term monitoring plots. This species will be benefited through a better understanding of distribution, population size, habitat characteristics, local threats, and establishment of base line data for future monitoring and comparison. The project will focus on all currently known Brook Floater sites in the province (western, central and eastern regions of Nova Scotia).

Final Report

Genetic integrity of Long's bulrush at Lac de l'École on the Tusket River
Mount Saint Vincent University
Approved:      $8,000.00
This project will investigate the genetics of Long's bulrush, a special concern species, at Lac de l'École. Unusually, this population produces flowering plants every year. MacKay et al. (2010) have shown that annually-flowering bulrush on the Medway River is the product of hybridization of Long's bulrush and the weedy woolly bulrush. This study will determine whether the Lac de L'École population has been similarly compromised - an important consideration in assessing the conservation-status of this species.

Final Report

Informing Management Planning of Critical Habitat for Endangered Piping Plovers in Nova Scotia
Bird Studies Canada
Approved:      $4,000.00
Over half of the 52 proposed critical habitat sites for endangered Piping Plovers in Nova Scotia are managed by the NS Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) Parks and Recreation Division.  Planning is needed to ensure the availability of quality habitat over the short and long-term. This project will summarize historic Piping Plover data, and will engage DNR staff and members of the NS Piping Plover Working Group to develop an effective scheme for prioritizing sites for management planning in Nova Scotia. The project will examine critical habitat sites for Piping Plovers in NS. Information shared with DNR habitat managers to guide management planning will focus on provincially owned beaches, including designated Parks and Protected Beaches.

Final Report

Investigating the distribution of Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentine) in Southwest Nova Scotia
P. Kydd
Approved:      $5,000.00
This project will study the Snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) population in Southwest Nova Scotia.  Capture-mark-recapture analysis, trapping, and tracking data will provide both a general census of the Snapping turtle population of the Grafton Lake watershed, and a baseline for future studies of the Snapping turtles in Nova Scotia. Information on movement patterns and rates, home range sizes, nesting, over wintering, and summer feeding habitat will greatly increase the knowledge base on this species in Nova Scotia.

Project cancelled


Inventorying and promoting stewardship for red‑listed cyanolichens in calcareous areas
Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute
Approved:      $5,000.00
There are very few records for provincially red-listed cyanolichens that live in calcareous areas in Nova Scotia. The proponents propose to conduct field surveys in appropriate habitats to survey for these cyanolichens and to measure basic parameters about the cyanolichens and their habitat. At all locations where red-listed lichens are found, landowners will be contacted to notify them of rare species and to pursue stewardship agreements and data will be entered in a database.

Final Report

Nova Scotia Provincial Status Reports for Groundseltree (Baccharis halimifolia) and Spotted Pondweed (Potamogeton pulcher)
Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Center
Approved:      $7,000.00
This project will result in the preparation of provincial status reports for Groundseltree and Spotted Pondweed. Both are disjunct Atlantic Coastal Plain species of plants that are extremely rare in Canada. In Canada, Groundseltree is known only from in and near the Tusket River estuary while Spotted Pondweed is limited to a few NS locations. The preparation of provincial status reports for these two species is an essential step towards their legal protection and effective conservation.


Nova Scotia Provincial Status Report on Hoary Willow (Salix candida Fluegge ex Willd.)
Acadia University
Approved:      $3,300.00
A status report on the provincially rare (red listed) Salix candida will serve as a basis for a status designation under the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act. This will result in the conservation and recovery of this species at risk within the province of Nova Scotia.

Status Report on Hoary Willow (Salix candida Fluegge ex Willd.)


Odonate Surveys on Major Mainland Nova Scotia Rivers
Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Center
Approved:      $8,000.00
This project will intensively survey randomly selected segments of mainland rivers in Nova Scotia that have a high potential to support Odonata (dragonfly & damselfly) species that are rare or as yet unrecorded in NS. Surveys will combine observation and collection of adults with intensive survey and collection of exuviae, not previously extensively attempted in NS. Exuviae collections will find species difficult to observe and capture as adults. The project will significantly increase understanding of the distribution and status of NS odonates in NS and eastern Canada.

Odonate Survey

Rare plant surveys in Cape Breton Island
Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Center
Approved:      $8,000.00
Rare plant surveys will take place in two areas having an exceptionally high diversity of rare plants: 1) and in rich river valleys in southwest Cape Breton Island, which include the Margaree River system, River Denys, River Inhabitants, Skye, Indian, Hays, Mabou, Mull and Southwest Mabou Rivers; and 2) the Cape Breton Highlands in and around the Big Southwest Brook ravine.  The project will produce an excellent picture of the current status of rare plants in the survey areas, thus providing a strong basis for prioritizing conservation efforts in southwest Cape Breton, which has been identified as a high priority area for land acquisition, but lacking good current data. The project will also provide valuable insight into the provincial status of numerous very rare species, enabling accurate status re-assessment. Data on Arctic species in Big Southwest Brook will provide information on effects of climate change (if old sites have been lost) and will be a baseline for future investigation.

Final Report

Structure and movements of bat populations among hibernacula in Atlantic Canada
Saint Mary's University
Approved:      $7,000.00
Little brown and northern long-eared bats are yellow listed species that compose the core bat community of the province where they over winter in caves and abandoned mines. In the past 3 years, tens of thousands of these bats have died from white-nose syndrome in the NE United States during hibernation. In light of this serious threat, we must be pro-active in managing this situation by characterizing and monitoring our bat populations as it seems likely that this condition will make its way to Nova Scotia soon.   The research will take place at known hibernacula in Hants, Colchester and Halifax Counties in Nova Scotia with additional sites in New Brunswick (with other funding). The scale of potential movements of bats and the geographic proximity of hibernacula in both NB and NS necessitate the need for the project to be carried out across provincial jurisdictions in the region.

Final Report


Tracking Nova Scotia's Bicknell's Thrush population

Bird Studies Canada
Approved:      $7,000.00

Data from BSC's High Elevation Landbird Program have shown Bicknell's Thrush to be in severe decline in NS and elsewhere. We will continue Bicknell's Thrush monitoring to verify if declines are continuing, and work to improve monitoring in industrial forest which makes up over 40% of the species' habitat in NS.  We will also use geolocator technology to track migration routes and wintering range of Nova Scotia's Bicknell's Thrush which will ultimately help us to determine if migration and wintering habitat is limiting.  This project will cover areas of Nova Scotia that encompass the known provincial distribution of Bicknell's Thrush, including Cape North, Cape Breton Highlands between the Margaree Valley and Indian Brook, and Cape Breton Highlands National Park (CBH NP) and the Greater Park Ecosystem.

Final Report

Increasing knowledge of the distribution of freshwater turtle species at risk in Nova Scotia
Acadia University
Approved:      $6,000.00
By developing an online-password protected database that encompasses all of Nova Scotia's freshwater turtle species, the results of this project will provide standardized data collection, user-specific ability to enter and access data, and consistent data management tools. Outcomes of this project will also allow turtle conservation and recovery practitioners to: assess current knowledge of Nova Scotia turtle species at risk; identify knowledge gaps and priority sites to target for further research; and, increase knowledge of the species' distributions.  Posters will be used to solicit sightings and identify previously unknown areas containing these species.

Final Report


Conservation genetics of the wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta)
Acadia University
Approved:      $7,000.00
The wood turtle is a vulnerable species experiencing a steady decline throughout its range. The Saint Mary's River Watershed (SMRW) in Guysborough County contains the largest known population of wood turtles, however little is known about the species in Nova Scotia. This study will examine the population genetics of wood turtles in Nova Scotia at several spatial scales and provide information on population genetic structure of wood turtles in Nova Scotia.

Final Report

Total Projects approved: 13
Total Amount approved: $80,300.00