Habitat Conservation Fund 2018 Approved Projects

2018 NSHCF Approved Projects
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Priority Activities | Conditions for Awarding Grants | Proposal Submission Form | Funded Projects

Brown Bat House Nesting Project
Port Morien Wildlife Association
Amount Approved: $5,694.00
Studies have shown that the Brown Bat population is being decimated by what's called the White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). This disease has killed over 5 million bats since it first appeared in 2006. We propose the building, placing and monitoring of nesting bat houses. Through this project we hope to partner with local schools (education) and other volunteers to build and install bat houses and monitor and report our findings.

Characterizing and mitigating risks in newly discovered Blanding's turtle populations- Year 2
Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute
Amount Approved: $10,850.00
This is the second year of a two-year project to provide information on habitat use, distribution, abundance and genetic structure of a population of Blanding's turtles on the Medway watershed that was discovered in 2016. Working with landowners, crown land managers and industry, we will use this information to recommend a management plan to minimize risks of forest harvesting and other anthropogenic activities in the area.

Common Loon Nesting Platform Project
Port Morien Wildlife Association
Amount Approved: $7,070.40
Studies have shown that mercury levels in our waterways are affecting the reproductive success of Common Loons in our Province. We propose the building, placing and maintaining of artificial nesting platforms. Through this project we hope to partner with local schools (education) and other volunteers to build and install platforms and monitor their success.

Consequences of culling coyotes on the remaining individual's reproduction and health
Acadia University
Amount Approved: $10,500.00
In 2011, Nova Scotia offered trappers incentives to harvest coyotes. Some hypothesized that a cull would fail because coyotes at reduced population densities would have larger litters. To test this, NSDNR has been collecting data on trapper-harvested coyotes that includes each animal's size, sex, age, provenance, fat levels, and for females, litter size based on placental scars. We will undertake analysis of these data to test how culling is affecting NS coyotes.

Consequences of nest habitat selection for tree swallows
Acadia University
Amount Approved: $8,000.00
Tree swallow populations in northeastern North America have been declining for several years. One hypothesis is that predator populations have increased, but tree swallows have not evolved to recognize features of the human-modified landscape associated with increased risk of predation. I am 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: $12,000.00
We know that three species of landbirds at risk (Olive-sided Flycatcher, Canada Warbler, and Rusty Blackbird) are distributed across Nova Scotia but 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 stewarding them. It will also determine site and landscape features and model high quality across Nova Scotia.

Field to Fork Nova Scotia (F2FNS)
Halifax Wildlife Association
Amount Approved: $15,770.70
This project is a yearly mentoring program that includes class, field and kitchen time to teach interested young adults (Target audience will be 18-35 year olds) The program will begin with a weekend (Two and a half days) event followed by a year of ongoing mentor-ship, that includes comprehensive instruction related to hunting, identifying area to hunt, identifying species to hunt and associated bag limits and seasons, proper field dressing of harvested animals, proper storage and care of harvested game, processing harvested game and preparing harvest to maximize yield and enjoyment.

Impacts of logging, acid rain and invasive species on at-risk lichens of Nova Scotia
Saint Mary's University
Amount Approved: $10,000.00
Old swamp forests of Nova Scotia are global hotspots of biodiversity and host numerous at-risk species, ranging from lichens (e.g., boreal felt lichen), to songbirds (e.g., Canada warbler) and trees (e.g., black ash). These forests may be threatened by logging, acid rain, and invasive species, but the importance of each threat is not known; this hampers our ability to manage threats effectively. Using at-risk lichens as indicators, we propose to quantify the relative importance of threats to these ecosystems, and thereby provide guidance to managers.

Investigating wildlife and roadway interactions in the Chignecto Isthmus, Nova Scotia
Dalhousie University
Amount Awarded: $8,000.00
Wildlife need connected habitats. Roads disrupt habitat through roadkill and avoidance, impacting wildlife populations. Using roadside surveys, we will identify hotspots of animal interactions with roads that intersect wildlife movement corridors identified in a model by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Our results will verify NCC's modelled corridors and inform habitat conservation efforts, such as land acquisition and road-crossing mitigation.

Mercury, lead, arsenic and other elemental contaminants in Nova Scotia Bald Eagles
Saint Mary's University
Amount Awarded: $15,000.00
Bald eagles in Nova Scotia have already been demonstrated to be impacted by lead pollution via consumption abandoned carcasses left by hunters and anglers. Mercury and arsenic have extensively been demonstrated to be a significant risk to other wildlife. We will sample bald eagle carcasses and live eagles undergoing rehabilitation at Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre to assess contaminants. This will provide guidance for risk assessment of environmental contaminants in the Nova Scotia habitats for piscivorous wildlife.

Population structure and habitat use of Black bears in Nova Scotia
Acadia University
Amount Approved: $15,000.00
This project will identify movement patterns, population sub-structuring and the habitat needs, of black bears in Nova Scotia using microsatellite analysis of hair and teeth. The ultimate goal is to better understand the ecology of black bears and provide information for management strategy development. This project is in cooperation with Acadia University, NSDNR, the Federation of Anglers and Hunters, and the Trappers Association of NS.

Solutions for sharing space with shorebirds in the Minas Basin, Bay of Fundy
Bird Studies Canada
Amount Awarded: $9,000.00
In late summer, hundreds of thousands of migrant shorebirds spend three weeks on the shores of the Minas Basin to rest and fuel up for their epic 4,000 km over-ocean flight to S. America. This project will collaborate with recreational users to find "shared space" stewardship solutions that maintain safe shorebird habitats while supporting recreational, cultural and tourism values at coastal beaches and dykelands in the Grand Pré and Avonport area.

Strengthening Landowner Stewardship of Aerial Insectivores (Year 3)
Bird Studies Canada
Amount Approved: $14,200.00
Aerial insectivores (swifts, swallows, flycatchers and nightjars) are declining more rapidly than any other bird group in Canada. Their dependence on anthropogenic habitat for foraging and nesting provides an opportunity to engage the public as citizen scientists and environmental stewards. Through the proposed project, Bird Studies Canada and participating landowners will address threats and strengthen our network of aerial insectivore stewards and monitors in NS.

Taking it to the next level: Predatory arthropods as sentinels for historical gold mine wetlands
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). We have established that those contaminants are being accumulated in aquatic invertebrates and transported to terrestrial ecosystems. The next stage is to establish a sentinel biomonitor program incorporating aquatic spiders and water striders which provides a way to quickly assess the transfer of toxic chemicals into wildlife food webs.

Trapper Mentorship Program
Trappers Association of Nova Scotia
Amount Approved: $18,000.00
Increase knowledge of new trappers (preference given to young trappers) on humane and current trapping methods and dog proof equipment/sets. Increase trapper participation through a highly functional mentoring program focusing on natural renewal products from Nova Scotia's fur bearing animals. Make new trappers aware of sound habitat and wildlife management for today, tomorrow and future generations. Students will also gain knowledge and skills on diverse wildlife habitat and the role trappers play in conservation of wildlife habitats.

Water'n Woods Weekend
NS Women That Hunt Association
Amount Approved: $15,832.54
The Water'n Woods Weekend is a 3 day, 2-night weekend where the Canadian Firearms Safety and Hunter's Education courses are taught through a hand on, interactive program, adapting the courses to a more suitable learning environment for youth. Youth walk away certified hunters with a developed knowledge and skill base to better understand wildlife, habitat and the role hunters play in conservation.

Wildlife and Habitat Stewardship through Education
Trappers Association of Nova Scotia
Amount Approved: $15,000.00
Wildlife habitats are productive ecosystems to may wildlife species and are valuable to all Nova Scotians. The TANS Wildlife and Habitat Stewardship Program will provide youth with hands on experiential learning opportunities through curriculum linked education resources and field trips including class trips, Kids in the Forest and Woodlot Owner of the Year Award. This program will provide students the background, knowledge and skills to take action to mitigate risk to wildlife habitats.

Wildlife Habitat Stewardship and Enhancement in the Annapolis River Watershed
Clean Annapolis River Project
Amount Approved: $7,000.00
This project will use a multi species approach to engage communities in the stewardship of native wildlife and their habitat. As a result of the project, community members will be actively involved in species at risk stewardship and land management practices that benefit wildlife habitat.

Youth Expo
NS Women That Hunt Association
Amount Approved: $10,000.00
The Youth Expo is a unique event designed to expose youth to new activities related to the outdoors, fitness, art, community programs, nutrition and overall general health and wellness. The Expo is designed to be interactive, guided by professionals and experts in various fields to educate and inspire. The nature of childhood has changed, there is not much nature in it anymore. Although the youth expo is broad, featuring as many ideas as possible, there is a strong focus on wildlife, conservation, hunting and fishing.

Youth Leading Environmental Change
Clean Annapolis River Project
Amount Approved: $3,028.00
The Youth Leading Environmental Change program engages youth throughout the Annapolis River watershed in environmental education and leadership training. Youth develop new skills and knowledge and apply their understanding of these concepts through participation in a variety of environmental conservation and stewardship projects that positively impact their community. Youth then share their knowledge and achievements by leading public outreach events.

Eagle Project
Port Morien Wildlife Association
Amount Approved: $10,000.00
Our goal is to educate hunters, trappers and the public of the effect that both lead ammo and tackle has on the bald eagle and other birds of prey.

Project Approvals: 21
Total amount funded: $229,952.64