MTRI is a non-profit co-operative with a mandate to promote sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity conservation in the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve and beyond through research, education, and the operation of a field station.
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The Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve (SNBR) is home to approximately 80% of the more than 65 Species at Risk (SAR) that live in Nova Scotia. SAR stewardship biologists, ecologists and Resource Management Officers from Acadia, Kejimkujik, and MTRI have partnered with other NGOs, First Nations, schools, community groups, industry and all levels of government to help recover the SAR that live in this special region. Their work is to learn about species at risk in the SNBR, share their knowledge with the public and engage and empower interested families and communities in hands-on recovery actions for these species and the habitats that they depend on.
To increase awareness and understanding within the general public about species at risk in the SNBR and generate sighting reports.
To promote environmental stewardship actions and advocacy and to create ambassadors for species at risk.
To engage and involve Canadians in hands-on recovery actions that help recover key species at risk including Blanding’s turtle (Endangered), Eastern ribbonsnake (Threatened), Monarch butterfly (Special Concern), Piping plover (Endangered) and Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora.
Species at risk stewardship volunteer opportunities in the SNBR include: Blanding’s turtle nesting monitoring, trapping, radio-tracking and visual surveys; Eastern ribbonsnake surveys; Piping plover monitoring and habitat restoration; Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora surveys; water quality sampling; rare lichen surveys and more.
Partnerships continue to be established with individuals and organizations that work with species at risk in Nova Scotia to enhance communication and collaboration and ultimately the recovery of species at risk in the SNBR.
Outreach strategies were developed to link science and stewardship to achieve awareness and appreciation for species at risk.
In 2014, over 200 volunteers contributed over 10,000 hours of their time toward environmental conservation in the SNBR. Since 2000, this is over 140,000 hours.
At the 9th annual Volunteer Banquet in Nov 2014, more than 100 people gathered to celebrate these achievements. Eleven people were inducted into the “Walk of Honour”, one moved from bronze to gold and Duncan Smith received the Key to Keji Volunteer of the Year award.
A Walk of Honour BBQ was held in June to celebrate the volunteers inducted at the 2013 banquet. The Walk of Honour is behind the Kejimkujik Visitor Center and recognizes the volunteers that have cumulatively contributed over 250 (bronze), 1000 (gold) or 2000 (platinum) hours. Rick Brunt, Joan Hamilton, Layton Hamilton, and Wayne Lincoln added their stones to the bronze part of the walk. Bill Latter, ML Mills, Greg Murphy and Ray Sanford moved their stones from bronze to gold, and Shirley McCarthy moved her stone from gold to platinum.
A second edition of the “Healthy Lakes and Wetlands for Tomorrow: A Landowner Stewardship Guide for Species at Risk in Nova Scotia” and the “Species at Risk in Atlantic Canada: Identification and Information Guide for Department of National Defense Land Users” were both printed in March through partnerships with Parks Canada, MTRI and the Department of National Defense. The second edition of the “Species at Risk in Nova Scotia Guide” will be completed this winter.
To learn more and keep informed about upcoming opportunities, visit the “Kejimkujik-Southwest Nova Volunteer Programs” Facebook page. Google “Volunteers in Action” on the Parks Canada YouTube Channel to view a slideshow video.
Photo Credits: Megan Crowley
In 2013, over 240 volunteers contributed almost 11,000 hours of their time toward environmental conservation in the SNBR. Since 2000, this is over 130,000 hours.
At the 8th annual volunteer banquet, over 100 people gathered to celebrate these achievements. Four people were inducted into the “Walk of Honour”, four moved from bronze to gold and one from gold to platinum. Shirley McCarthy received the Key to Keji volunteer of the year award.
A Walk of Honour BBQ was held in June to celebrate the volunteers inducted at the 2012 banquet. The Walk of Honour is behind the Kejimkujik Visitor Center and recognizes the volunteers that have cumulatively contributed over 250 (bronze), 1000 (gold) or 2000 (platinum) hours. The 16 inductees at the 2012 banquet were able to add their stone to the walk and Diane Clapp moved from gold to platinum.
At the BBQ, Kejimkujik was awarded the designation of an Important Amphibian and Reptile Area by the Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network. This is a first in Atlantic Canada and would not have been made possible without the hard work and many hours contributed by dedicated volunteers.
Photo Credit: Eric LeBel
Ongoing since 2006
Friends of Keji Cooporating Association
Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute
Bear River First Nation
Acadia First Nation
Bird Studies Canada
Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Association
Government of Canada through the federal Department of the Environment: Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk