Birdlife of northern Canada

This video from Canada says about itself:

A large flock of snow geese landed at a nearby school field. Field maintainer attempts to keep them at one area before all the kids come out at the end of the school day.

Snow geese are migratory birds that are commonly seen in the Fraser River estuary in November.

From BirdLife:

Nature Canada (BirdLife in Canada) has congratulated the Canadian government on the temporarily withdrawal of more than 10 million hectares of Canada’s Northwest Territories from future industrial development.

The breakthrough decision places 1% of Canada’s total land mass under interim protection, a move described as “one of the largest designations of its kind in this hemisphere” by BirdLife’s Americas Division.

“This land is more than twice the size of Switzerland”, said Julie Gelfand, Nature Canada President, who attended the announcement ceremony in Ottawa yesterday.

“Though these culturally and environmentally rich areas are only receiving temporary protection today, Canadians expect to see these regions permanently protected as new national wildlife areas and new national parks soon.” …

Important Bird Areas (IBAs) –designated by BirdLife International- are priority areas for the conservation of globally threatened, range-restricted and congregatory birds. Canada’s new protected areas will engulf three IBAs, with more potentially to follow.

Among the IBAs to have received interim protection are North Arm IBA (NT086) and South Shore IBA (NT087) on the shores of the Great Slave Lake. These IBAs represent a series of freshwater lakes, rivers, marshland and sand flats and are crucial stop-over sites for northward-migrating waterfowl like Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus, Surf Scoter Melanitta perspicillata and Northern Pintail Anus acuta.

To the northwest, the third IBA to benefit from the interim protection will be the alpine woods and mudflats of Lower Mackenzie River Islands IBA (NT080). Surveys suggest that most of the Western Central Flyway population of Lesser Snow Goose Anser caerulescens caerulescens migrate through the area during spring migration towards Alaska.

“Canada is setting the pace for other countries, as far as declaring large tracts of wild nature for the protection of bird, bears, caribou and their forests for the benefit of people – but there is work to do”, Gelfand added. “How the government will fund Canada’s system of 49 national wildlife areas operating on a current budget of less than $2 million dollars remains to be seen.”

Birds in Switzerland: here.

3 thoughts on “Birdlife of northern Canada

    Forestry giant challenges bird-protection act


    The Canadian Press

    March 26, 2008

    BURTON, N.B. — New Brunswick forestry giant J.D. Irving Ltd. is challenging Canada’s law protecting migratory birds at a time when experts warn that some bird populations are in free fall.

    Arguments began yesterday in New Brunswick Provincial Court on an application by Irving to have the Migratory Birds Convention Act declared unconstitutional.

    The company filed the application after it was charged under the federal act as a result of the destruction of several great blue heron nests during a logging operation in Cambridge Narrows in 2006.

    Irving has pleaded not guilty to the charge, but in advance of the trial, it introduced a motion challenging the constitutionality of the act, which has been on the books since 1917. Irving is claiming that the act violates the Charter of Rights.

    The Globe and Mail

    Prosecution witness Steve Wendt, a former director with the Canadian Wildlife Service, told court that protection of migratory birds is just as important now as it was 90 years ago, when the convention was enacted.

    Mr. Wendt says a number of migratory birds, including such insect-eating species as the common nighthawk and the swallow, are vanishing from the Canadian landscape, making the protection of remaining habitat critical.

    “All naturalists know the history of what happened to migratory birds at the turn of the century, when there was unlimited hunting and taking of birds, and the federal law effectively helped bring back some species,” said Roland Chiasson of Nature New Brunswick.

    “If this act is struck down, what is going to happen the day after? That really concerns us. This law has worked.”


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