Habitat Conservation Fund 2017 Approved Projects


2017 NSHCF Approved Projects
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Priority Activities | Conditions for Awarding Grants | Proposal Submission Form | Funded Projects

Black bear population structure and distribution in relation to habitat in Nova Scotia
Acadia University
Amount Approved: $20,000.00
This research will benefit the management of black bear in Nova Scotia by improving our understanding of population structure and habitat requirements. We will use molecular genetics to estimate black bear population size, structure and distribution in relation to habitat by applying microsatellite technique to identify individuals. This will be a collaborative project involving Acadia University, NSDNR, NS Federation of Anglers and Hunters and the Trappers Association of NS.


Brown Bat House Nesting Project
Port Morien Wildlife Association
Amount Approved: $7,832.00
Nova Scotia’s Brown Bat population has been decimated by the White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). This disease has killed more than 5 million bats since it first appeared in 2006. This project will partner with local schools and volunteers on Cape Breton Island to build, install and monitor bat houses, and report our findings.
Final Report


Characterizing and mitigating risks in newly discovered Blanding’s turtle populations
Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute
Amount Approved: $10,240.00
This two-year project will provide information on habitat use, distribution, abundance and genetic structure of a population of Blanding’s turtles on the Medway watershed discovered in 2016. Working with landowners, crown land managers and industry, we will use this information to recommend a management plan to minimize the population’s risks to forest harvesting and other anthropogenic activities in the area.


Common Loon Nesting Platform Project
Port Morien Wildlife Association
Amount Approved: $9,747.00
Studies have shown that mercury levels in our Provincial lakes are affecting the reproductive success of Common Loons. This project is planning to partner with local schools and other volunteers on Cape Breton Island to build and install artificial nesting platforms and monitor their success.
Final Report


Community Driven Wood Turtle Stewardship in the Annapolis River Watershed
Clean Annapolis River Project
Amount Approved: $12,500.00
This project will use wood turtles as a focal species to engage communities in the stewardship of native wildlife and their habitat. An outcome of the project is for community members to become actively involved in species at risk monitoring and land management decisions that benefit wildlife habitat.


Community Wildlife Management Workshops
Bluenose Long Beards Chapter (Cdn Wild Turkey Federation)
Amount Approved: $13,395.00
Interactive community wildlife management workshops will be delivered to schools throughout Nova Scotia on natural resources and wildlife conservation. The program highlights the connection between species and habitat; the critical role of education in their stewardship; and the past, present and future role of hunting and trapping in wildlife management based upon the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.


Consequences of nest habitat selection for tree swallows
Acadia University
Amount Approved: $13,000.00
Tree swallow populations in northeastern North America are in decline. One hypothesis for the decline is predator populations have increased, but tree swallows have not evolved to recognize features of the human-modified landscape associated with increased risk of predation. This study is evaluating whether habitat immediately adjacent to nest boxes and at a larger scale is associated with predation and abandonment events.


Conservation of High Quality Habitat for Landbirds at Risk in Nova Scotia
Dalhousie University
Approved: $10,000.00
Although three species of landbirds at risk (Olive-sided Flycatcher, Canada Warbler, and Rusty Blackbird) are distributed across Nova Scotia, we do not know where areas of high quality habitat for these species are located and what distinguishes these habitats. This project will involve the public in identifying areas of high quality habitat and their stewardship. It will also assess site and landscape features and incorporate this information into a model to identify high quality habitat across Nova Scotia.


Environmental and Economic Impacts of Wild Turkey Introduction in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters
Amount Approved: $18,390.00
The Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters will undertake a follow-up study on the introduction of Eastern Wild Turkeys to Nova Scotia. This study will look at the environmental impacts and economic activity resulting from an introduction of wild turkeys to Nova Scotia. Estimates will be based on a self-sustaining population large enough to support an annual harvest.
Final Report


Factors influencing population decline of marine birds on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore
Acadia University
Amount Approved: $6,000.00
This project will support 3 research efforts along the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia: a) deployment of nesting structures for Common Eiders in the Eastern Shore Islands WMA and assessing use of those deployed in 2016; b) assessment of dietary overlap and contaminants in ESI WMA breeding marine birds; and c) GIS evaluation of key coastal habitat use by Purple Sandpipers and Harlequin Ducks based on survey data.


Field to Fork Nova Scotia (F2FNS)
Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters
Amount Approved: $15,770.00
This project is a year long comprehensive mentoring program that includes class, field and kitchen time for young adults (25-35 years old) on techniques related to hunting and angling, finding areas to hunt/fish, the harvest of fish & game, and its processing preparation for consumption to maximize both yield and enjoyment.


Illegal dump site clean-up
Trappers Association of Nova Scotia
Amount Approved: $8,500.00
The Association will undertake a clean-up at several illegal dump sites in forested areas. Expected benefits include removal of polluting materials from wildlife habitat, and regeneration of the site as healthy wildlife habitat.


Stewarding Urban Wetlands through the Secondary Wetland Centre of Excellence Program 2017/2018
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Amount Approved: $12,000.00
Wetland conservation work is made meaningful when the importance of wetlands is understood and cared about by youth and society. Through mentoring Project Webfoot classes by secondary Wetland Centres of Excellence, DUC provides youth with opportunities to re-connect with nature and make a difference in protecting these vital habitats. DUC will also study the impact of these education programs.


Strengthening Landowner Stewardship of Aerial Insectivores (Year II)
Bird Studies Canada
Amount Approved: $10,000.00
Aerial insectivores (swifts, swallows, flycatchers and nightjars) are declining more rapidly than any other bird group in Canada. Their dependence on human-influenced habitat for foraging and nesting provides a unique opportunity to engage the public as citizen scientists and environmental stewards. Bird Studies Canada will work with landowners to address threats and strengthen our network of aerial insectivore stewards and monitors across NS.


The role of emergent aquatic insects in transporting toxic elements from historical gold mine wetlands to terrestrial ecosystems
Saint Mary’s University
Amount Approved: $10,000.00
Many Nova Scotia wetlands are near historical gold mine sites contaminated with mercury (Hg) and arsenic (As). Many wetland insects (e.g., mayflies, dragonflies) can spend ~1-3 years underwater before emerging as adults. These insects may be transferring Hg and As to terrestrial ecosystems from impacted wetlands. This work will examine toxic chemicals in aquatic insects pre- and post-emergence and there-by improve or ability to quantify the risk.


The Youth Expo
NS Women That Hunt Fundraising Association
Amount Approved: $5,920.00
The nature of childhood has changed due to increased urbanization and technological change. The Youth Expo is designed to expose, educate and inspire youth to try something new and learn more about the natural world around them by We need to reintroduce the outdoors to our children. Although the material covered in the Youth Expo is broad, there is a strong focus on wildlife management, conservation, and hunting and fishing.
Final Report


Toxic/non-toxic ammunition and exchange program
Halifax Wildlife Association
Amount Approved: $25,000.00
Toxic (lead) ammunition used by the hunting community will be replaced with non-toxic ammunition. Its replacement will remove a toxic substance from the environment and prevent humans, birds of prey, and animals being exposed to toxic fragments in the food they eat. The Association will work with a diverse group of stakeholders and distributers to extend our outreach to hunters and trappers. Emphasis will be placed on education and obtaining understanding and acceptance on the benefits of switching to non-toxic alternatives, and less on the actual ammunition exchange. Education will focus on groups, clubs, associations and the public. An ammunition exchange will be used to introduce first time non-toxic ammunition users to its environmental and hunting ballistic benefits.
Final Report


Trapper Mentorship Program
Trappers Association of Nova Scotia
Amount Approved: $18,000.00
This mentoring program to increase trapper participation targets new and young trappers to improve their knowledge on humane and current trapping methods and dog-proof equipment/sets. Students will also gain knowledge and skills on diverse wildlife habitats and the role trappers play in conservation of wildlife habitats.
Final Report


Youth Hunter Mentorship Program
NS Women That Hunt Fundraising Association & Hants West Wildlife Association
Location: Province wide
This mentored hunting program to 20+ youth is designed to develop responsible and ethical young hunters. The program will provide participants with knowledge and hands on experience of wildlife identification and their habitats, the importance of conservation, firearm/outdoor safety, hunting ethics, obtaining permission to hunt on private property, outdoor safety and survival skills, and camping basics.
Final Report

Project Approvals: 19
Total amount funded: $233,423.00