2019-20 Stewardship project summary

Six projects were awarded a total of $30,000 of Species at Risk Stewardship Program funding in 2019-20:

You Can Make a Difference - Caribou for the Future: Grade 7-12 Poster & Prose Contest

Project lead: Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board (BQCMB)

Species at risk focus: Barren-ground caribou

Purpose: This project is a Grade 7-12 Poster & Prose Contest for Northwest Territories' students from communities on the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq range. It is part of a larger initiative with the goal of increasing public awareness of and support for the conservation of barren-ground caribou in communities across the caribou range. In Phase I of this project, the BQCMB (with funding generously provided by WWF-Canada) developed a comprehensive communications project based on three main themes: the importance of respectful harvest of caribou, the importance of harvest information, and cumulative effects on caribou and caribou habitat. Phase II – the Grade 7-12 Poster & Prose Contest - is helping youth learn about these themes and their importance in caribou conservation. Successful contests have been held in schools in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, Northern Manitoba, and the NWT.

On The Land Programming

Project lead: Beaufort Delta Education Council – East Three Schools

Species at risk focus: Various

Purpose: The On the Land Program at East Three Schools creates opportunities for students participate in culturally rich and genuine on the land activities including a fall moose hunts, winter trapping, and a spring geese hunt. The main goal of this project is to enrich the On the Land Program to educate students on the various species at risk in the Northwest Territories. Students will improve the well-being of species at risk through education and learning sustainable harvesting methods. In addition, the lessons taught often leave students with a sense of stewardship and responsibility for the species within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and Gwich'in Settlement Area.

NWT Amphibians at Risk Awareness Campaign - Yellowknife

Project lead: NWT Amphibians at Risk Awareness Campaign - Yellowknife

Species at risk focus: Amphibians

Purpose: Ecology North will create a teacher's guide, classroom learning materials a temporary tattoo of the Northern Leopard Frog and Western Toad as part of our Species at Risk collection. The activities and materials produced from this project will bring awareness to the beneficial role that amphibians play in our environment and how humans can best support their health and survival, how we can protect their habitat, and to encourage citizen science (examples: submitting sightings to the GNWT database, keeping monitoring logs for sightings).

The Ecology North Yellowknife office's portion will focus on the graphic design aspects of this project (design work for teacher's guide, classroom materials, etc), social media and public outreach, and editing and printing.

NWT Amphibians at Risk Awareness Campaign - South Slave

Project lead: Ecology North

Species at risk focus: Amphibians

Purpose: Ecology North will create a teacher's guide, classroom learning materials a temporary tattoo of the Northern Leopard Frog and Western Toad as part of our Species at Risk collection. The activities and materials produced from this project will bring awareness to the beneficial role that amphibians play in our environment and how humans can best support their health and survival, how we can protect their habitat, and to encourage citizen science (examples: submitting sightings to the GNWT database, keeping monitoring logs for sightings).

The Ecology North South Slave office will focus on the creation of education content, curriculum connections and activity development. 

Community-led Species At Risk detection: eDNA sampling in traditionally important water bodies of the North Slave Region

Project lead: North Slave Metis Alliance (NSMA)

Species at risk focus: Various

Purpose: Environmental DNA (eDNA) is a new and emerging tool for the conservation of biodiversity. Compared to traditional capture methods, eDNA collection is simple, non-invasive, inexpensive, and does not require a permit. The presence or absence of a species in an area is determined from the genetic material in an easy-to-obtain environmental sample (water, sediment, soil, etc.). Thus, eDNA is especially useful for detecting rare and/or cryptic Species at Risk (SAR), which may be missed by visual or capture-based surveys.

From summer 2018 through to winter 2019, initial NWT SAR and Aboriginal Funding for Species at Risk (AFSAR) funding helped fund the training of NSMA members and staff on how to collect eDNA samples so that they can conduct their own monitoring studies on SAR, such as the Northern Leopard Frog.  Training materials included instructions for eDNA sample collection, filtration, and storage; equipment and laboratory lists; a slide presentation to provide an introduction to eDNA methodology; and on-site training, equipment and consumables.  The training manuals will be shared with interested groups. We also bought to peristaltic pumps using the two SAR fundings for future sampling programs. North Slave Metis Alliance staff and members will be happy to transfer this knowledge to NWT communities and loan the specialized peristaltic pumps free of charge.

This follow-up project will conduct a field sampling program for the 2019 sampling period. Funding from the SAR Stewardship program will go towards expenses for the fieldwork. Study results will be shared with any interested groups.