Tuesday 11 December 2012

EcoSask News, December 11, 2012

Piping Plover Census, Dec. 12
The results of the 2011 International Piping Plover Census will be presented on Wednesday in Swift Current and broadcast online. Contact SK PCAP for more details.

Invasive Plant Species Webinar, Dec. 19
The Ministry of Agriculture is hosting an Invasive Plant Species Webinar on December 19 from 12-1 pm. Register online.

Christmas Bird Counts
Birders from over 90 Saskatchewan communities will be participating in the Christmas bird counts. In addition to the local bird counts, there are counts at Gardiner Dam (Dec. 17), Harris (Dec. 19), and Biggar (Dec. 27). Contact Guy Wapple (249-3280) to confirm dates and volunteer.

Susan Lamb Endowment Fund
The public is invited to contribute to the Susan Lamb Endowment Fund, established by the Meewasin Valley Authority, which will be dedicated to supporting education and conservation work in the northeast swale in perpetuity.

Adopt a Piece of Nature
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is looking for individuals or volunteers who will “adopt” one of their Saskatchewan properties and visit it as often as they wish to record wildlife, general condition of the land and perform some hands-on activities. Contact Kirsten at kirsten.jensen@natureconservancy.ca, 306.347.0447, if you are interested.

Prairie Grasslands
Three cheers! The federal government has rejected Cenovus’ gas project within CFB Suffield National Wildlife Area (NWA). Suffield NWA is an important remnant of Canadian native prairie. It is home to at least 15 species that are at risk of extinction or endangered.

The Protect the Prairie campaign is recruiting famous Canadians to join the campaign to prevent the sale of community pastures. Margaret Atwood, K.D. Lang, The Sheepdogs, and Chris Getzlaf have given their support to date.

Endangered Species
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada has released a report card on species at risk, adding a dozen species to the endangered list.

A report released in October by Ecojustice rates the provincial and federal governments’ efforts to protect at risk plants and animals. The federal government received a C- and some provinces failed.

The 2012 Federal Budget Implementation Bill (Bill C-38) incorporated changes to the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) that include allowing issuance of long-term permits for potentially harmful activities and removing the requirement for regular review or renewal of these permits. The Minister of the Environment has signalled that the Act is under review and changes to the Act could be made as early as this fall. (via CPAWS)

Mobile Phone Replaces Butterfly Net
In the second half of the 19th century, natural history excursions attracted hundreds of participants and played an important role in documenting local plants and animals. Nowadays, membership in nature societies is dwindling and aging.

But technology provides new options. Mobile phone cameras make it easy to record sightings and publish them online to social networking sites, such as iSpot, and software apps assist with identification.

EcoSask News is a weekly round-up of local news and events. Email us if you have items you would like us to include. Additional upcoming events can be found on our Calendar.

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