Species at Risk Conservation Fund 2013 Approved Projects



Species at Risk Conservation Fund


A continued inventory of non-vascular Cryptograms on exposed gypsum at selected sites in Cape Breton.
Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute
Approved: $6,831.00
There are very few records for red-listed cyanolichens and other non-vascular cryptograms that live in calcareous areas in Nova Scotia. We propose to conduct field surveys in appropriate habitats to survey for these cryptograms and to measure basic parameters about the cryptograms and their habitat. Geospatial data will be collected at all locations where rare lichens and mosses are found, data will be entered in a database and shared with NSDNR and ACCDC.

Final Report


Atlantic Coastal Plain Pollinator Surveys
Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Center
Approved: $10,000.00
Atlantic Coastal Plain habitats will be intensively surveyed for bees and flower flies, something previously not attempted in Nova Scotia. Surveys will provide baseline data essential to the General Status Assessment of bees and flower flies, as well as documentation of pollinators previously not recorded in NS (and possibly Canada). Pollinator species visiting the COSEWIC-listed plants above will be documented, a first step in identifying which pollinators may be important to the limited seed set of these species.

Final Report


Benchmarks and Goal Posts to guide restoration of endangered Avens Habitat, Big Meadow Bog
Nick Hill
Approved: $17,043.00
The Endangered Eastern Mt. Avens has persisted in a metapopulation at Big Meadow Bog but recent analysis shows that it may not survive this period of the accelerating impacts of bog ditching. Bog restoration is critical. Before adaptive restoration can proceed, we need to establish benchmarks and goal posts.  This study will provide key data on hydrology, the link to Avens physiology, Avens regenerative ability, community structure, bog chemistry and bog history on Brier Island, Nova Scotia.


Developing and implementing a strategic population monitoring plan for Blanding's Turtle
Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute
Approved: $6,125.00
This project will result in a strategic, site-specific monitoring plan for Blanding's turtles. It will fulfill a priority action identified in the Recovery Strategy and will ensure that the voluntary stewardship actions, which have become a cornerstone of the species' recovery program, will be based on a sound scientific approach. Based on an analysis of existing data, the plan will include recommended timing, frequency and amount of effort required to reliably assess population size and trends in this long-lived species.

Final Report

Genetic characteristics of bats that survive and succumb to a white-nose syndrome outbreak
St. Mary's University
Approved: $10,000.00
Populations of little brown and northern long-eared bats are being decimated by white-nose syndrome (WNS) with mortality rates of 95-100% in some populations.  COSEWIC has listed both species as endangered. The Minister of Environment is considering this recommendation for SARA.  We have PIT-tagged >500 bats at Rawdon Gold Mine, during swarming and over the last few years >100 of these have been recorded during hibernation counts, some many times.  The majority of these bats have now likely succumbed to WNS, hopefully others have not.  We aim to conduct a preliminary assessment of whether genetic profiles of bats surviving WNS is different from those that have not.  This project will permit us to start inferring the extent to which there may be a natural resistance to WNS within the population.

Project Cancelled


Habitat Modeling for landbird species at risk in Southwestern Nova Scotia
Dalhousie University
Approved: $10,000.00
Three species of landbirds, designated at Risk (Schedule 1 SARA), occur in both protected and managed forest landscapes in Nova Scotia. Specific habitat requirements and their spatial configuration, however, are unknown. This project will determine important habitat features and build spatially-explicit species distribution models to identify suitable habitat for these species. This will allow targeting of important habitat in the development of recovery and management plans.

Final Report


Hemeon's Head Conservation Lands

Nova Scotia Nature Trust
Approved: $10,000.00
The Nature Trust is working with Acadia University and an adjacent landowner to permanently protect 310 acres of ecologically significant coastal and wetland habitats in southwest Nova Scotia, significant for a diversity of birds, including the Endangered piping plover and other species at risk. The Nature Trust will protect the land in perpetuity through conservation easement and purchase, and develop a long-term stewardship and habitat monitoring plan in collaboration with Acadia, Bird Studies Canada, and the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Final Report

Improved Monitoring and Conservation for Bicknell's Thrush in Cape Breton
Bird Studies Canada
Approved: $5,500.00
In NS, the federally Threatened Bicknell’s Thrush is primarily found in two habitats: naturally, stunted dense conifers at high elevations and headlands and industrial forest, used for timber harvest. Key to our recovery efforts is our ability to evaluate our progress through a scientifically-robust monitoring program to track population change. In 2012, BSC began a new, standardized monitoring program for Bicknell’s Thrush in its natural habitat in Cape Breton. Through the proposed project we will continue monitoring Bicknell’s Thrush and expand the program to include industrial forest.

Final report


Nova Scotia White Cedar Project

Acadia University
Approved: $4,000.00
Nova Scotia Eastern White Cedar is found on 32 sites across Nova Scotia. This project will secure propagation material from five sites in four counties. Seedlings will be produced and out-planted in the Acadia University woodlands. Individual plants will be accessioned by location and voucher specimen (E.C. Smith Herbarium) creating a official records and an ex-situ collection to support future conservation activities and, if necessary, restoration activities in the event of in-situ losses.

Final Report


Plant surveys in priority areas for provincially rare biodiversity
Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Center
Approved: $10,000.00
The project will produce an excellent picture of the current status of rare plants in the survey areas, providing a basis for prioritizing conservation efforts in the Lahave River valley, where provincially unique features and species have limited protection. The project will provide valuable insight into the provincial status of numerous very rare species, enabling accurate status assessment. Data on Arctic species in Cape Breton will provide a baseline for future investigation of climate change impacts.

Final report

Sharing knowledge and stewardship outcomes with users of Piping Plover Beaches in NS
Bird Studies Canada
Approved: $4,970.00
People and plovers can and must coexist on beaches, yet recreational activities coninue to limit Piping Plover recovery in NS. We will develop and pilot seasonal signs at beach entrances that communicate site-specific outcomes on annual status of plovers and level of beachgoer stewardhsip and compliance. This new communication approach will empower beachgoers with meaningful knowledge about their beach and highlight stewardship successes as well as areas for improvement.

Final report

Total Projects approved: 11
Total Amount approved: $94,469.00