Quebec/ eastern region ( Atlantic )
Quebec • New Brunswick • Nova Scotia • Prince Edward Island • Newfoundland and Labrador
volume 29, number 3, 2008
A grandson's tribute This story was written by nine-year-old Isaac Payne about his grandfather Fred Payne, who was Nova Scotia’s first waterfowl biologist. Fred dedicated his life to waterfowl management and was a true conservationist. He believed in
Aerial of Missaquash marsh - © AirScapes.ca
Ducks Unlimited Canada’s work. Sadly, Fred passed away in April 2007.
Once upon a time in a beautiful land called Nova Scotia, the water was clean and the air was fresh. There were lots of birds, fish and animals. Slowly this began to change; Nova Scotians became nervous, there were fewer fish, birds and animals. “What is happening?” said the Nova Scotians in surprise. The leaders decided to hire Wisemen called Biologists to solve the problem. These men stomped around the woods and waters and flew in helicopters trapping, tagging and banding fish, birds and animals. They did this to count them. Then the Wisemen did studies to find out what was happening and why. Monsters were destroying our wildlife. 1) Pollution monster was poisoning our air and water. 2) Greed monster was killing too many birds, fish and animals. 3) Logging monster was stealing homes from animals such as squirrels, chickadees, woodpeckers, etc. 4) Chemical monster Fred and Barb Payne with grandsons Ethan (left) and was making little animals sick. The next step was what to do about it? After collecting as much information as Isaac on the Missaquash Marsh after the ceremony to dedicate the marsh to Fred. possible, they did studies to find out what was happening and why. Almost 50 years ago, one of those Wisemen became the first waterfowl biologist in Nova Scotia. He understood the monsters and began a mission to save the ducks and geese. He brought an army known as Ducks Unlimited to Atlantic Canada and together they created safe habitat, which is a place for birds to live, eat and raise their young. Over 50,000 acres of controlled wetlands have been the result of his efforts. He created understanding where before there wasn’t any. Nova Scotia dedicated the Missaquash Marsh to him and a stone monument was placed there in his name. Every fall we look up and see the V-shaped patterns in the sky. Frederick Joseph Payne was the Pied Piper of Nova Scotia. He knew what it took to keep the ducks and geese coming back to our province.
Honouring wetland conservation
Two Lieutenant-Governor’s award ceremonies took place in the Atlantic Region in May. The awards for Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia were given out on May 21 and 22 respectively. The Lieutenant-Governor’s Greenwing Conservation Award recognizes those who have demonstrated leadership in a project or activity that has contributed to awareness of wetland conservation, or those demonstrating outstanding volunteer service assisting organizations that benefit wetland conservation. The winner is chosen from a field of nominees by a committee. In Prince Edward Island, the Honourable Barbara A. Hagerman, presented the award to Lily Pond Farm, owned and operated by Joe, Kevin and Blair MacIsaac. The ceremony took place at Government House on a rainy afternoon, a day recipient Kevin MacIsaac called “a good day for ducks.” The MacIsaac family is interested in sustainable agriculture and they work toward that each day by striving to protect and enhance the soil, planting trees, constructing diversion terraces and grassed waterways in areas with high erosion and run-off, and restoring wetlands on their property. Tom Duffy, manager of Atlantic operations for Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), read the citation during the ceremony and talked about why the farm was chosen. “The MacIsaacs understand that practising sustainable agriculture means showing concern for all living organisms in the ecosystem,” Duffy said. “With this in mind they partnered with Ducks Unlimited
Canada in 2004 to restore a pond on their farm property. Today this pond provides a home for a number of duck species like black ducks and green-winged teal that use the site for nesting. The wetland also provides a home to many species of amphibians, mammals and plants.” Upon accepting the award Kevin MacIsaac thanked DUC both for the award and for the work the non-profit company does every day. “The organization has a tremendous scope,” he said. “It’s amazing what they do across this country. They’re a great organization to work with. Years ago we would have thought about draining that pond; today that is not even a consideration.” DUC often works with farmers like the MacIsaacs as well as provincial agencies, federal departments and farm organizations to implement practices that contribute to enhanced biodiversity on farms. These programs provide agricultural benefits such as clean water for livestock, soil conservation and less expensive nutrient management options. The Honourable Mayann E. Francis presented the Nova Scotia LieutenantGovernor’s Greenwing Award to the Clean Annapolis River Project (CARP). The ceremony took place in the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre at Acadia University in Wolfville, NS. From using wetlands to manage agricultural waste and process municipal wastewater to enhancing existing wetlands and riparian habitats, CARP has been active on the ground in the creation and enhancement of wetlands.
In addition, CARP helps increase public awareness of wetlands by giving wetland presentations and conducting school field trips, creating programs for citizen scientists to monitor wetlands and providing public programs aimed at the threats to wetlands by invasive and alien species. Accepting the award for CARP was Ron Jones, chairman of the board of directors. “We sometimes ask ourselves why we do this and we always answer ‘Because we think it’s important.’ We are very thankful to Ducks Unlimited Canada for this award because that tells us you think what we do is important too. Thank you very, very much for this honour.”
Project chair Ron Jones accepts the certificate for the Clean Annapolis River Project from the Honourable Mayann E. Francis, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia.
Doug MacDonald, Atlantic DUC director, the Honourable Barbara A. Hagerman, Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, Joe MacIsaac and Kevin MacIsaac, award recipients, and Tom Duffy, DUC manager of Atlantic operations pose the Greenwing Conservation Award statue.
e a s t e r n r e g i o n ( q u e b e c / at l a n t i c )
The Kahnawake wetlands
A wetland portfolio for bird conservation
A major portion of southwestern Quebec is occupied by urban landscapes or by intensive agriculture, with the result that very few wetlands remain. However, on the south bank of the St. Lawrence River, about 10 km south of Montreal, is the Mohawk territory of Kahnawake, and on this land stand some of the last vestiges of wetlands still intact in this part of the province. During the last year, Ducks Unlimited Canada has worked with the Kahnawake Environment Protection Office on a wetland inventory, funded by Environment Canada through the Aboriginal Fund – Species at Risk program. By combining this inventory with surveys of species at risk, the partners were able to gain a better understanding of wetlands and the species that inhabit them, including the least bittern, the western chorus frog and the American water-willow. Armed with this data, the Environment Protection Office will be better equipped to plan future conservation measures for the habitats that are most threatened, and that shelter species at risk. Simply mapping these wetlands represents a major step forward: 20 per cent of the territory is wetlands, yet these areas have been difficult to identify until now because there are so many of them (1,025 in total) and they are, for the most part, very small (less than 1 ha). Nonetheless, they often form an integral part of greater wetland complexes, which play a crucial role, not only as wildlife habitats, but also as a means of downstream water regulation (quality and quantity). These wetlands also provide opportunities for recreational and educational activities for the community. The map clearly shows the wealth of wetlands on the Mohawk territory of Kahnawake, compared to the neighbouring communities which have lost their wetlands to urban and agricultural development.
The conservation of birds requires the conservation of those key habitats upon which they depend to complete their life cycle. Since migrating birds do not recognize international boundaries, it is essential that the various countries involved adopt a coordinated approach to ensure the overall success of a migrating species conservation effort. It is in this light that the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) was signed in 1986. The NAWMP is an international conservation plan uniting Canada, the United States and Mexico in support of a common cause, that of bringing waterfowl populations on the North American continent back to the levels of the 1970s, when waterfowl was abundant. The plan builds on a public-private sector partnership that operates through various “joint ventures”. Thanks to the $31 million invested over the first 15 years of NAWMP’s implementation, the partners in the Eastern Habitat Joint Venture (EHJV) have managed to preserve and increase wildlife productivity levels in many habitats in Quebec. To maintain this momentum, the partners felt it was important to arm themselves with a tool to improve collaboration with respect to the EHJV’s priority habitat objectives. The Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) (Quebec Region), recognizing Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC)’s involvement and expertise in wetlands and their adjacent upland areas, provided us with a financial contribution and scientific and technical support to create what will become a “reference tool” for the selection of sites. The result was a portfolio comprising 125 wetland areas, all included in the Quebec portion of Bird Conservation Regions 13 – St. Lawrence Plain and 14 – Atlantic Northern Forest. These two regions had previously been the subject of international conservation plans set up through the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture in the U.S. and the Eastern Habitat Joint Venture in Canada. To achieve its objective, DUC, with the help of its geomatic tool, assigned a priority rating to each of the wetlands in the two Bird Conservation Regions concerned. The team then selected the priority sites that would constitute the portfolio and consulted Quebec experts in the field of bird conservation to confirm their selection. They prepared a brief fact sheet on each area with a bit of information to direct future conservation measures. The final product was distributed to the partners in a Google Earth file format to facilitate viewing and access to the information. This project is one more step in the right direction for the conservation of waterfowl populations, aquatic birds and wetlands in Quebec.
New tools for young waterfowlers in Quebec
Hunters, who are traditional leaders and contributers to conservation and wildlife management, are becoming increasingly rare today, particularly waterfowl hunters, whose numbers have dropped by 50 per cent over the past 30 years. Nonetheless, nearly 30,000 waterfowlers still hunt every year, and their number appears to be stable. Through their dedication, waterfowlers play a major role in the preservation of healthy waterfowl populations and in wetland conservation. In order to recruit new waterfowl hunters and ensure that knowledge is passed on, DUC and the Fédération québécoise des chasseurs et pêcheurs (FQCP) are pleased to collaborate in the Young Waterfowl Hunters project. They have developed an educational kit to facilitate the initiation of young people to waterfowl hunting, in complete respect for the environment and the traditions of the sport. The kit includes DUC’s Guide pour les jeunes sauvaginiers (Guide for Young Waterfowl Hunters); a waterfowl identification guide and poster; a guide to marshland flora and fauna; copies of Info-Canetons magazine, DUC’s youth publication, and Conservationniste magazine’s special waterfowl hunting issue; a waterfowl decoy and a cap with the DUC logo; and a membership in DUC’s Aile verte (Greenwing) program. The kits will be distributed by the FQCP over the next five years (2008 to 2012) to young people who register for the Young Waterfowl Hunter Days organized by FQCP member associations in Quebec. These associations organize an activity program each year, concentrating on young waterfowlers, especially those in the 12-to-17 age group. These programs include a theory course on hunting and waterfowl, birdwatching and trap shooting sessions, and an initiation to waterfowl hunting. It is estimated that in five years more than 1,000 young people will have benefited from the kit and from the training provided during the young waterfowl hunters’ days in Quebec.
EcoAction funds landscape changes
Over the past five years, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) has identified wetland conservation priority areas for Nova Scotia. These areas are located in rural communities where farming is dominant activity. Rural landowners in these communities recognize the linkages between healthy wetlands and healthy ecosystems, but need help restoring wetlands and protecting wildlife habitat on their properties. In 2007, DUC received $20,000 in EcoAction funding for Nova Scotia. With that money 10 wetland restoration projects were completed on the agricultural landscape. Through this project, DUC worked with landowners to restore 11 hectares of wetland habitat and protected 12 hectares of associated upland wildlife habitat on 10 private properties across Nova Scotia. The average cost of the projects was $4,000 to $6,000 depending on the size and location. Each landowner shared the project costs with DUC. In addition, DUC installed five nest boxes for cavity-nesting waterfowl such as wood ducks and common goldeneyes.
Clifton, Nova Scotia, before and after EcoAction funding
quebec/ eastern Region ( atlantic )
The Flyway newsletter is published by Ducks Unlimited Canada Oak Hammock Marsh Conservation Centre P.O. Box 1160, Stonewall, Manitoba R0C 2Z0 tel (204)467-3000 fax (204)467-9028 toll-free 1(800)665-DUCK Please direct your inquiries to the following: Eastern Region Atlantic: Kelly MacDonald Quebec: Bernard Filion Ontario: Lynette Mader Western Region Prairie-Western Boreal: Marci Dube British Columbia Wendy Fister Flyway production staff Director of Communications and Marketing: Madeleine Arbez Editor: Duncan Morrison Assistant: Deb Menard Art Director: Tye Gregg Graphic Designers: Lindsay Pikta-Marie, Aquila Samson, Jeope Wolfe © Ducks Unlimited Canada, 2008 Printed in Canada on 100% recycled paper including 100% post-consumer fibres
Area Contacts Manager of Provincial Operations, Atlantic Tom Duffy (866) 903-8257 ext.234 Manager of Provincial Operations, Québec Bernard Filion (800) 565-1650 ext.15 Fundraising Manager, Québec Jocelyn Landry (877) 551-5757 Fundraising Manager, New Brunswick Barry Burke (888) 920-3330 Fundraising Manager, Nova Scotia James Young (888) 557-5554 Newfoundland and Labrador Kelly Sandoval (877) 243-8257 Fundraising Québec (West) Pascal Desmedt
Greenwing Liaisons Kim Votour
(888) 920-3330 ext. 3
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A Ducks Unlimited Canada newsletter featuring conservation stories from across Atlantic region