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2011-12 Species at Risk Stewardship Program Projects

The Species at Risk Stewardship Program funded four projects in 2011-12. The maximum grant of $5000 was awarded to each successful applicant.

The successful projects were:

Reid & Tibbitt Lakes Science Camp

Project Lead: Yellowknife Catholic Schools
Region: Yellowknife

Species at Risk focus: Common Nighthawk, Horned Grebe, Short-eared Owl, Wolverine and Shortjaw Cisco

Funding from the Species at Risk Stewardship Program supported students to complete a portion of the Grade 11 science curriculum (Biology 20), with a focus on species at risk in the Yellowknife region.

Students from École St. Patrick High School in Yellowknife learned from teachers, elders, and scientists about respect for species’ natural habitats, and how to care for the land and habitats in the future. The Tibbit Lake area provides significant bird, mammal and aquatic species habitat because of extensive lake and wetland features, which are characteristic of the boreal forest. The camp provided the opportunity for students enrolled in Biology 20 to study the natural habitats of species at risk in the area, such as: Common Nighthawk, Horned Grebe, Short Eared Owl, Wolverine, Short Eared Owl and Shortjaw Cisco.

Students were asked to complete a field study report, which was presented to their peers. The report described what s/he learned about the importance of science, research, protecting natural areas, sustainable choices, traditional knowledge and species at risk.


Tłı̨chǫ EKWO Working Group Caribou Educational Materials

Project Le ad: Tłı̨chǫ EKWO Working Group
Region: North Slave
Species at Risk focus: Bathurst Caribou 

Funding from the Species at Risk Stewardship Program was used to develop culturally relevant educational posters to help educate community members about conservation of the Bathurst caribou.

Using primarily traditional knowledge, the Tlicho EKWO Working Group held meetings to discuss development of educational materials to help educate community members about conservation of the Bathurst caribou herd. A series of educational posters were designed, printed and distributed around Tlicho communities.

The conservation of the herd is very important to the Tlicho people’s identity, language and culture. The development of the initial three posters, created through funding from the Species at Risk Stewardship Program, has helped the working group plan to create additional relevant educational materials in the future.

To download the posters in English or Tłı̨chǫ, visit the Tåîchô Government Caribou Information Page.


Fox Holes Whooping Cranes

Project Lead: Ron Schaefer, Salt River First Nation #195
Region: South Slave
Species at Risk focus: Whooping Crane 

Building on the 2010-11 Fox Holes Whooping Crane project to divert ATV trails away from a whooping crane nesting site, Ron Schaefer expanded his public awareness campaign about the ‘Lobstick’ pair of cranes on Salt River First Nation reserve lands. The project funded the creation and posting of signage around the fox holes area to warn residents and visitors that a pair of whooping cranes nests nearby. The fox holes area has many multi-use trails that attract ATV and snow machine riders throughout the year, which can be disruptive to the birds.

Ron Schaefer spent his time at the site educating visitors and residents about the whooping cranes. He has also been interviewed several times about his efforts and impending tourism business plans in the area.

With signage and public education, the Lobstick pair of whooping cranes has an undisturbed nesting site, a monitor and an educated community working to make certain the cranes return.

Read the article Signs to protect whooping cranes (Northern News Service Ltd), August 2, 2011.


Boreal Caribou Habitat and Habitat Use in Wekʼèezhìi

Project Lead: Wekʼèezhìi Renewable Resources Board
Region: North Slave
Species at Risk focus: Boreal Caribou 

As part of a larger project to further understanding of boreal caribou habitat and habitat use in Wekʼèezhìi , the Wekʼèezhìi Renewable Resources Board (WRRB) utilized Species at Risk Stewardship Program funding to conduct interviews with key elders who were identified as having knowledge on boreal caribou. The interviews focused on knowledge of seasonal habitat, movement patterns, forage, calving areas, use of burned areas, interaction with other species, and other subject areas.

The project engaged and educated elders, and increased awareness of key issues facing boreal caribou in the region, which will help strengthen local ability to handle management issues currently and in the future. Some of the funding was used to develop an educational poster of caribou anatomy using the Tłı̨chǫ language.