Habitat Conservation Fund 2015 Approved Projects


2014 NSHCF Approved Projects
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Priority Activities | Conditions for Awarding Grants | Proposal Submission Form | Funded Projects

Chignecto Region Wildlife Connectivity Analysis
Nature Conservancy Canada
Amount Awarded: $6000
Location: North western Nova Scotia, primarily the Chignecto region.
Wildlife connectivity is an essential ecological process that ensures genetic flow between populations and facilities dispersal in response to environmental changes. Using corridor mapping software, NCC will identify potential wildlife corridors through and beyond the Chignecto Isthmus into the Cobequid Hills in this highly fragmented landscape (Chignecto region). Results will inform future land conservation efforts as well as landscape and resource planning initiatives.
Final Report


Consequences of nest habitat selection for tree swallows
Acadia University
Amount Awarded: $16000
Location: Grand Pré and Starrs Point, Nova Scotia
Tree swallow populations in north eastern North America have been declining for several years, but causes of those declines are not known. One possibility is that predator populations have increased, but tree swallows have not recognized features of the landscape associated with increased risk of predation. This project will evaluate a suite of variables associated with habitat around nests sites while simultaneously monitoring predation events.
Project Cancelled


Ecological significance of fungal symbients of the Endangered Plant Geum peckii in Nova Scotia
Acadia University
Amount Awarded: $12000
Location: Several sites on Brier Island and Digby Neck, Nova Scotia.
It is important for the recovery of the endangered plant Geum peckii in Nova Scotia to understand the habitats in which it occurs. Fungal endophytes have been identified worldwide as an ecologically important and understudied component of biodiversity in a variety of wildlife habitats. These beneficial microbial partners may have a role in augmenting habitat protection and restoration strategies through their interactions with native plants.
Final Report


Factors influencing population decline of marine birds on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore Islands
Acadia University
Amount Awarded: $9000
Location: Eastern Shore Islands Wildlife Management Area and Country Island, Nova Scotia.
This project will support a research assistant to work along the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia to assist with three research efforts: a) deployment of nesting structures for Common Eiders in the Eastern Shore Islands Wildlife Management Area (ESI WMA); b) assessment of dietary overlap, specialization, and contaminants in ESI WMA breeding marine birds; and c) analysis of predation by voles on Leach’s Storm-petrels on Country Island.
Final Report


Forest lichens in NS: creating access to baseline collections data
New Brunswick Museum
Amount Awarded: $8000
Location: New Brunswick Museum, Saint John NS
This project will contribute to the conservation of forest lichens and their habitats in Nova Scotia by creating access to habitat, locality, and species data from c. 6,000 collections made between 1964 and 2004. The resulting baseline of information will enable the assessment of changes in species distributions and abundance. The project will also identify or highlight specific areas, forest types, stands, and species of conservation importance.
Final Report


Fostering Landowner Stewardship and Conservation for Aerial Insectivores
Bird Studies Canada
Amount Awarded: $10000
Location: Multiple locations across Nova Scotia
Aerial insectivores (swifts, swallows, and nightjars) are facing come of the steepest population declines of any bird group in Canada. Their dependence on human influenced habitat for foraging and nesting provide a unique opportunity to engage the public in conservation activities. Through the proposed project, Bird Studies Canada will work with landowners to address threats and develop a network of aerial insectivore stewards and monitors across NS.
Final Report


Garden Lots Salt Marsh Interpretive Site & Youth Education Program
Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation
Amount Awarded: $8500
Location: Garden Lots Salt Marsh, Lunenburg County NS.
The Garden Lots salt marsh in Lunenburg County is a beautiful example of a salt marsh that has been restored by nature, and is an excellent location for an outdoor education and interpretive site. The site will be used to develop and promote salt marsh conservation and stewardship in the local community, as well as serve as a living laboratory for youth programs. Coastal Action will develop an interpretive site and associated youth education programs at this location.
Final Report


Learn 2 Hunt – Leave No Trace
Nova Scotia Association of Crossbow Hunters
Amount Awarded: $8600
Location: On farmland within deer management zone 107, Beaver Brook, Nova Scotia.
To teach new female and youth hunters, safe, ethical, leave no trace hunting skills and provide easy access opportunities for people with physical disabilities while limiting crop damage to farmers.
Project cancelled


Mapping and tracking for adaptive management of Endangered Avens on Brier Island
Dr. Nick Hill
Amount Awarded: $15000
Location: Big Meadow Bog, Brier Island, Nova Scotia
Big Meadow Bog, critical habitat for Endangered, Eastern Mountain Avens, was ditched and forgotten as 1000s of gulls fouled the bog for 30 years. This project is a key piece for a major funded, hydrological rescue of Bog and Avens. The vegetation mapping provides the benchmark state of the Bog captured in 300 quadrats. It will be linked to available remote sensing imagery and allow for tracking recovery and adaptively management of the restoration.
Final Report


Migration and staging and wintering habitat of Northern Saw-whet Owls in the Maritimes
Université Sainte-Anne), St. Francis Xavier University, Acadia University
Amount Awarded: $7300
Location: New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
Banding data indicate that western Nova Scotia provides important staging and wintering habitat for large numbers of Northern Saw-whet Owls. Through tracking of radio-marked birds with the Motus Network, our study will provide the first information on landscape – and stand- level habitat selection of saw-whets during migration and wintering in the Maritimes. Ultimately, this information will help guide conservation efforts for this species and management practices in preferred saw-whet habitat.
Final Report


Non-lead education and exchange program
Halifax Wildlife Association
Amount Awarded: $15000
Location: All of Nova Scotia
Lead is a poison and lead ammunition has been identified as significantly harmful to the environment and wildlife. Although significant headway has been made to move hunters towards using non-lead ammunition, more focused work is required. Emphasis this year shall be on education and acceptance and less on the actual exchange of ammunition. Education will focus on groups, clubs, associations and public gatherings while the exchange will be utilized first time users to covert. The education presentations will contain an exchange component and serve a dual role. A massive amount of peer reviewed research is available.
Final Report


Population structure and distribution of Black Bears in Nova Scotia
Acadia University
Amount Awarded: $12000
Location: All of Nova Scotia
Estimate black bear population size, structure and distribution for Nova Scotia based on application of molecular genetic techniques using microsatellite technique for identifying individuals and genetic relationships developed in 2014/15. Hair samples will be collected by DNR personnel from bears trapped and shot throughout Nova Scotia.
Final Report


Post-breeding dispersal of island-nesting Blackpoll Warblers
Acadia University
Amount Awarded: $12000
Location: Bon Portage and Seal Islands, Nova Scotia
The southernmost populations of Blackpoll Warbler nest on Nova Scotia’s south-western islands (Bon Portage Island, Seal Island). In 2014, the motus telemetry array (www.motus-wts.org) was used to follow individuals during the post-breeding period. These studies revealed that many individuals move extensively throughout coastal areas of the Maritimes and Maine prior to embarking on their trans-oceanic migration to South America. Here we propose to undertake a second year of post-breeding movements of Yellow-rumped Warbler, which also nest on the southern Islands. This study will compare post-breeding movements and habitat use of the two species across the entire Gulf of Maine and throughout the Maritimes.
Final Report


Promote and educate new trappers on sustainable natural renewable resources from Nova Scotia’s fur bearing animals
Trappers Association of Nova Scotia
Amount Awarded: $10000
Location: Throughout Nova Scotia
Increase knowledge of young trappers on humane and current trapping methods and new and dog proof equipment and sets. Increase trapper participation through a highly functional mentoring focusing on natural renewal products from Nova Scotia’s fur bearing animals. Make young trappers aware of sound habitat and wildlife management for constant renewal resources for today, tomorrow and future generations.
Final Report


The Geography of Diet: Population impacts of food available to a generalist species, the Herring Gull (Laurus argentatus)
Atlantic Lab for Avian Research, UNB
Amount Awarded: $10000
Location: Brier Island (NS) and Kent Island (NB)
This study will investigate how anthropogenic food subsidies impact our Herring Gull population. Following a successful pilot study in 2014, work is proposed to be undertaken at two gull colonies which are influenced differently by human activity. Combining GPS tracking, diet analysis, and field observation, the study will identify point sources of anthropogenic food which are important to gulls, providing find-scale data to inform our gull management efforts.
Final Report


Understanding population declines for four species of swallows
Dalhousie University
Amount Awarded: $6000
Location: Cumberland County and Halifax County in NS and Westmorland County NB
This project will identify whether swallow breeding success is limited by declines or a mistiming with peak aerial insect abundance, their main food source. This information can be used to direct recovery efforts for swallows through actions to manage aerial insects (e.g., habitat management and reduced insecticide use). In addition, the habitat characteristics of Bank Swallow roost sites will be determined for habitat protection.
Final Report


Wetland Conservation into the Future
Ducks Unlimited Canada – Atlantic Region
Amount Awarded: $12500
Location: Multiple locations across Nova Scotia
The program aims to increase youth awareness about the value of wetland habitats and inspire them to take action to protect these vital areas. DUC’s wetland conservation education program offers these opportunities through experiential learning, mentorship and stewardship of local wetlands.
Final Report


Wood Turtle Research, Conservation, and Stewardship in the Annapolis River Watershed
Clean Annapolis River Project (CARP)
Amount Awarded: $12000
Location: Throughout the Annapolis River Watershed (Kings, Annapolis, and Digby counties)
The goal of this project is to ensure the long-term persistence of the wood turtle, a species at risk, and to work with community members across the Annapolis watershed to implement actions and behaviours that work to conserve critical habitat for this species. This project will provide important data about the wood turtle, while creating the opportunity for community members of all ages to actively participate in research and stewardship efforts.
Final Report


Young Naturalists Club
Young Naturalists Club
Amount Awarded: $10000
Location: Multiple locations across Nova Scotia
The YNC is a free club for youth and families that promotes the appreciation and conservation of nature. Members learn about NS wildlife species and the importance of wildlife habitat conservation through interactions with adult naturalists and hands-on learning experience in local natural areas. Natural history knowledge and skills are passed from one generation to the other. Positive experiences in nature for youth can lead to the development of a lifelong conservation ethic.
Final Report


Youth Hunter Mentorship Program
Hants West Wildlife Association
Amount Awarded: $6000
Location: Majority in Hants County, and also in Colchester, Kings, and Annapolis Counties.
Participants, in the program, will have developed the knowledge and skills to understand the importance of a diverse wildlife habitat AND the role hunters play in conservation of wildlife habitats through experiential learning in an outdoor environment.
Final Report




Project Approvals: 20
Total Amount Funded: $205,900.00