Habitat Conservation Fund 2019 Approved Projects

2019 NSHCF Approved Projects
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Priority Activities | Conditions for Awarding Grants | Proposal Submission Form | Funded Projects

Assessing old forests in the Annapolis Valley area and reviewing policy options for their protection on private lands
Acadia University
Amount Approved: $18,805.00
Old forests are critical to healthy wildlife populations, serving as excellent cover for large mammals, providing water filtration for streams and rivers, and creating habitat that many species need to thrive on. This project will study and collect valuable data on old forests in the Annapolis Valley region. The results will provide high-priority target areas for conservation efforts through the NS government, and/or private land trusts, and will shed light on policy options for encouraging the protection old forest on private lands.

Conservation of eiders using nesting structures on the Eastern Shore
Acadia University
Amount Approved: $12,000.00
We have worked on declining eider populations since 2012. In 2019, we will visit nesting islands where a new type of protective, artificial nesting structure was deployed at several sites. We will determine whether eiders use these structures, if so whether their reproductive success is greater in them, and whether the physical conditions provided by the structures are suitable for nesting as compared to the older structures at the site.

Determining the spring migratory behaviour of Ipswich Sparrows
Acadia University
Amount Approved: $16,620.00
Migrations account for significant mortalities in bird populations, Mortality rates are affected by the movement patterns of birds during migration, yet, we know little about these patterns and areas that support migratory birds. To understand the spring migration of a Nova Scotian songbird, the Ipswich Sparrow, we will track them through radio-telemetry, and identify critical areas that support them during migration, which may inform conservation actions.

Effects of the coyote incentive program: condition, reproductive output, capture bias, etc.
Acadia University
Amount Approved: $17,150.00
Beginning in 2010, 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, NSDLF collected 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 are analyzing data to test for effects of culling, among other things.

Examining the impacts of herring gull guano on the mercury cycle of a restored bog on Brier Island
Acadia University
Amount Approved: $23,100.00
Mercury is a toxic contaminant that accumulates in ecosystems, affecting the health of wildlife and degrading habitat. Mercury distribution and accumulation in wetlands affected by avian bio vector (guano) inputs are currently unknown. This research provides fundamental information critical to the recovery and maintenance of a recently restored bog ecosystem that is impacted by resident herring gulls feeding at mink farms in south-central NS.
Final Report

Identifying and Conserving Habitat of Rare Forest Dependent Plant Species
Ramalina Institute
Amount Approved: $15,130.00
This project will increase knowledge to aid in the conservation of habitat for forest-dependent plant species of conservation concern (FDPCC) in Nova Scotia. Specifically, it will identify the habitat of five FDPCC in the province as well as determine how natural and anthropogenic factors may be acting to conserve or negatively impact these species. We will also provide recommendations for the conservation of FDPCC for land managers.
Final Report

Outreach to hunters and anglers for monitoring Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in Nova Scotia
Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute
Amount Approved: $2,971.56
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid causes significant tree mortality in the forests it infests. Hemlock stands provide critical habitat and environmental services for wildlife and game populations such as trout and deer. Humans recreating in the wilderness are a known vector of HWA dispersal and can also be eyes and ears for early detection. The threat of Hemlock Woolly
Adelgid (HWA) spreading throughout the range of hemlock in Nova Scotia and the rest of eastern Canada is a serious concern.

Preserving seeds and genetics of trees in peril, Hemlock & Ashes in NS
Acadia University
Amount Approved: $20,625.00
The loss/near-loss of dominant Acadian Forest tree species is inconceivably detrimental to wildlife and their habitat, and even the most ambitious in situ conservation efforts may not protect them.  This project will result in the storage of seeds and genetics from hemlocks and Ashes, which includes three species facing substantial devastation from invasive alien species. This effort will act as general species conservation but also for assisting research efforts towards the potential restoration of these species across or landscape.

Promoting Biodiversity and Climate Change Adaptation on Agricultural Lands
Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation
Amount Approved: $7,500.00
The proposed project will install and showcase (education) innovative climate change adaptation and mitigation Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) that increase both farm resilience and wildlife habitat in an unpredictable climate as well as sequester atmospheric carbon in plants and soil.  Through perennial cropping and agroforestry, habitat (enhancement) will be provided for native species, such as many at risk pollinators.
Final Report

Restoring, enhancing and protecting wildlife habitat in the Annapolis River watershed
Clean Annapolis River Project
Amount Approved: $14,136.70
This project will provide direct support for the implementation of wildlife habitat restoration and enhancement activities, using a multi-species approach in order to provide benefit to the broadest suite of species possible. Additionally, the project will provide hands-on opportunities for local students and members of the public to contribute to wildlife conservation in their community.

Safe Space to Roost in the Minas Basin: Reducing disturbance at vital shorebird habitats
Bird Studies Canada
Amount Approved: $9,000.00
Minas Basin coastal beaches are vital roosting (resting) spaces for over 100,000 migrant shorebirds during high tide periods in late summer. Lack of safe roost spaces can impact shorebirds’ ability to survive their epic 4,000 km over-ocean migration to South America. This project will provide safe roost space by reducing human-caused disturbance at two important roost sites and will forge partnerships towards sustaining local shorebird conservation in the future.

Strengthening Habitat Stewardship and Monitoring of Aerial Insectivores
Bird Studies Canada
Amount Approved: $14,000.00
The guild of 'aerial insectivores' – birds that feed on flying insects while in flight – includes swifts, swallows, nightjars and flycatchers. This group is declining more rapidly than any other bird group in Canada. Because swifts and swallows share their habitats with humans, conservation of these birds requires cooperation with public and private landowners. This project will continue to (1) address threats to these birds through targeted monitoring, public education, and outreach; and (2) promote habitat restoration and improvement for swallows and swifts.
Final Report

The Youth Expo
Nova Scotia 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.

Trapper Mentorship Program
Trappers Association of Nova Scotia
Amount Approved: $18,000.00
To promote young and female trapper participation. To educate all students about trapping humanely, using the correct methods and equipment, to be respectful of landowners, wildlife populations and species at risk, enhancing habitat and sustaining healthy furbearer populations.
Final Report

Using Birds to Assess Change and Engage Communities at Coastal Wetland Restoration Sites
Bird Studies Canada
Amount Approved: $11,382.00
Coastal wetlands provide key ecosystem functions on which countless species, including humans, depend. Yet despite their importance, Nova Scotia coastlines are degraded and threatened by further development. We partner with two organizations working on coastal wetland restoration, to build value that uses wetland birds as ecosystem bioindicators, and to use birds to engage local communities and build capacity for improved wetland stewardship.
Final Report

Water'n Woods Weekend
Nova Scotia Women That Hunt Association
Amount Approved: $15,009.00
The Water'n Woods weekend is a 4-day, 3-night program where the Non-Restricted Canadian Firearms Safety Course, Hunter's Education Course and Trapper's Course are taught through a hands-on, interactive program that provides a more suitable learning environment for youth. Youth will walk away as certified hunters and trappers with a developed knowledge and skill base, better understanding wildlife, wildlife management, their habitat, and the role hunter's play in conservation.

Wet Loss, Net Loss: The impact of policy and climate change on wetlands
Cape Breton University
Amount Approved: $9,966.60
The Wetlands Symposium and Policy Workshop will: i) inform and educate about wetlands habitats; ii) develop an appreciation and understanding of wetland habitat conservation, stewardship and policy among the public and within industry; iii) critique policies impacting wetland habitats in NS; and iv) highlight emerging issues of policy implementation in NS within the context of climate change, using Cape Breton Island/Unama'ki as a case study.

Youth Leading Environmental Change
Clean Annapolis River Project
Amount Approved: $4,913.35
The Youth Leading Environmental Change program engages youth throughout the Annapolis 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.
Final Report


Project Approvals: 18
Total amount funded: $238,337.65