Habitat Conservation Fund 2020 Approved Projects


2020 NSHCF Approved Projects
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Priority Activities | Conditions for Awarding Grants | Proposal Submission Form | Funded Projects

Blue Mountain Wilderness Connector
Nova Scotia Nature Trust
Awarded: $38,591.00
The purchase of the Blue Mountain Wilderness Connector will protect 560 acre parcel of privately -owned near- urban wilderness bridging two disjunct sections of the Blue Mountain Birch Lakes Wilderness Area. The protection of this property will promote ecological integrity of this important wildlife habitat as well as its recreational values such as hiking, canoeing, fishing, hunting and snowshoeing.


Conservation of eiders using nesting structures on the Eastern Shore – Year 2
Acadia University
Awarded: $8,000.00
We have worked on declining eiders (colonial sea duck) populations in eastern Nova Scotia since 2012. In 2020, following up on 2019 HCF- supported investigations, we will visit nesting islands where a new type of protective, artificial nesting structure was deployed at several sites. We will determine if the eiders use these structures, and 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.


Effects of coyote harvest on reproductive output, and identifying risks from their parasites
Acadia University
Awarded: $15,000.00
Beginning in 2010 Nova Scotia offered hunters incentive to harvest coyotes. Some hypothesized that this would fail because coyotes at reduced population densities would have larger litters. To test this, NSDLF collected data over time that included litter size based on placental scars. We are testing this idea as well as documenting parasites that may spill over to dogs and humans.


Examining distribution and bioaccumulation methyl mercury in a bog habitat impacted by herring gull guano and water table restoration on the Brier Island, Nova Scotia
Acadia University
Awarded: $20,000.00
Mercury (Hg) is a contaminant that accumulates in ecosystems affecting the health of wildlife and degrading habitat quality in Nova Scotia. Our previous research indicates that the concentration of methyl mercury (MeHg) in the northern outflow has increased six-fold post restoration and the literature suggests increase may continue over a three to nine-year time span. This research provides fundamental information critical to the recovery and maintenance of a recently restored bog ecosystem that is impacted by thousands of resident herring gulls feeding at mink farms in south-central Nova Scotia.


Impacts of clearcut logging on gastropod-lichen interactions in Nova Scotia
Saint Mary’s University
Awarded: $17,000.00
Nova Scotia’s forested wetlands host many rare and at-risk epiphytic lichens which may be threatened by clearcut logging and grazing by exotic gastropods. This project will provide information on how clearcut logging affects native and exotic gastropods and their grazing impact on at-risk lichens. Such information will aid forest managers and conservationists in defining buffer zones to reduce the impact of clearcut logging on biodiversity.


Restoring, enhancing and protecting wildlife habitat in the Annapolis River Watershed
Clean Annapolis River Project
Awarded: $12,000.00
This project will provide direct support for the implementation of best practices to support biodiversity through targeted outreach and support farmers with habitat restoration, and enhancement activities on agricultural lands. The project will engage the broader public through the delivery of training and outreach events that supports increased local participation in citizen science programs that benefit biodiversity.


Snapping Turtle Monitoring and Nest Protection in Southwest Nova Scotia
Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation
Awarded: $15,000.00
This project will help to protect and understand snapping turtle population in Southwest Nova Scotia. It will assess whether increased hatchling survival leads to increased predation by invasive fish species, which are quickly spreading through Nova Scotia. This project will contribute to the limited research on snapping turtle populations in this area and future turtle conservation efforts in invasive-impacted watersheds.


Space to Roost: Reducing disturbances at vital shorebird habitats in the Minas Basin
Acadia University
Awarded: $13,295.00
Minas Basin coastal beaches are vital roosting (resting) spaces for 100,000s migrant shorebirds during high tide periods in late summer. Lack of safe roost spaces can impact shorebirds’ ability to survive the epic 4,000km over-ocean migration to South America. This project will provide safe roost space by assessing and reducing human- caused disturbance at four important roost sites and forge partnerships to sustain local shorebird conservation in the future.


The NOAAH Registry
Women That Hunt
Awarded: $15,000.00
The Network of Anglers and Hunters Registry (NOAAH) is designed to match experienced hunters, anglers, trappers and guides with interested learners through an online data base. This is an opportunity to pass on skills, share knowledge and experience. This will assist with the growth and development of future conservationist.


Trapper Mentorship Program
Trappers Association of Nova Scotia
Awarded: $15,000.00
Teach new trappers (preference given to young trappers) about humane, trapping methods and dog proof equipment/sets. Increase trapper participation through a highly functional mentoring program that focuses on natural renewal products from Nova Scotia’s fur bearing animals. Educate new trappers about the importance of present and future habitat conservation and wildlife management.


Treasured Wetlands of Nova Scotia: The Importance of Coastal Wetlands
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Awarded: $14,687.28
The TWNS initiative benefits wildlife habitat conservation, focusing on coastal wetlands, creating awareness of wetlands, their important services and functions these habitats provide to society and environment. We will partner with landowners, municipalities and conservation organizations to deliver a stewardship event at TWNS sites. With infrastructure and promotional content that encourages visitation of these sites and their future conservation.


Water N’ Woods Program
Women that Hunt
Awarded: $17,069.00
The Water N’ Wood Program is a 4-day, 3-night program where women and youth are taught the Canadian Firearms Safety course (CFSC), Hunter’s Education course (HE), Bow course and Trapper’s course. This is achieved through interactive programming and hands on learning that provides a dynamic environment. Participants leave the program as certified hunters and trappers with developed skills and knowledge of wildlife management and habitat conservation.


Youth Leading Environmental Change
Clean Annapolis River Project
Awarded: $4,960.00
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 share their knowledge and experiences by leading public outreach events.


Youth-led Bat Monitoring and Stewardship in private and public lands in Nova Scotia
Young Naturalists Club
Awarded: $5,620.00
Nova Scotia is known to support six species of bat, three of which are listed as Endangered under the Species At Risk Act. Minimal formal survey work has been completed outside of Nova Scotia’s largest National Parks and private lands. Few Nova Scotians can identify our different bat species. In 2020, citizen scientist youth from the Young Naturalists Club and their families will set out to monitor and steward four locations across the province for migrating and roosting bats.