Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), February 13-16, 2015.

16 January 2015 – Birdwatchers from more than 100 countries are expected to participate in the 18th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), February 13-16, 2015. Around the globe, tens of thousands of volunteers – of all ages and birding skill levels – will count birds in backyards, local parks, nature reserves, and wherever they happen to be. This free, family-friendly educational activity is loads of fun and supports bird conservation!
The GBBC provides a great opportunity to learn more about birds and connect with nature, and is an ideal way for more experienced birders to introduce friends and family to the wonderful world of birding. Visit the GBBC website to explore the species seen in your community, region, or country. You can make a difference for birds by counting the birds in your neighbourhood. Join in the Great Backyard Bird Count.
For more information, email Canadian GBBC Coordinator Kerrie Wilcox at gbbc@birdscanada.org. The GBBC is a joint project of Audubon and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology with Canadian partner Bird Studies Canada.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015 – Dr. Richard Elliot featured speaker – Nature PEI

Nature PEI Meeting Notice

On Tuesday evening, January 6th, Dr. Richard Elliot will be the featured speaker at the Nature PEI monthly meeting. The title of his presentation is “Bird Mortality in Canada: Assessing the Impacts of Cats and Other Human-related Sources.” Dr. Elliot is the Director of Wildlife Research with Environment Canada.

Rosemary Curley, President of Nature PEI indicated “This is a great opportunity to learn about the causes of the decline in the populations of wild birds that occur in Canada as Dr. Elliot will describe the results of Environment Canada’s assessment of the impact of human-related activities on birds. The presentation will focus specifically on the negative effect that pet and feral cats cause on bird populations. It will also give us better information as to what we can do personally to prevent this wild bird carnage.” 

Dr. Elliot has worked with the Canadian Wildlife Service since obtaining his PhD from the University of Aberdeen. He has studied seabirds and shorebirds throughout Atlantic Canada and the eastern Arctic, and became a research manager with the Canadian Wildlife Service – Environment Canada since 1991, in charge of migratory bird research and monitoring programs in Atlantic Canada. Richard began bird-watching as a youth near Montreal, and maintained his interest in birds during his studies at Queen’s, Acadia and Aberdeen Universities, and throughout his working career. Richard has been instrumental in developing the concept of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) in Canada, particularly with the Sea-Duck Joint Venture, the Canadian Shorebird Conservation Plan, and Wings Over Water – the conservation plan for seabirds and colonial waterbirds.

Rosemary Curley encourages everyone to “Reserve Tuesday, January 6th at 7:30 PM to join the Nature PEI meeting in the Carriage House at Beaconsfield on the corner of West and Kent Streets in Charlottetown. Admission is free and all are welcome.”

For more information contact: Rosemary Curley at (902) 569-1209 rcurleypei@eastlink.ca or Dr. Richard Elliot at (506)364-5014 or richard.elliot@ec.gc.ca

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Christmas Bird Count — 2014

Dec. 27th (Saturday) – The Hillsborough Christmas Bird Count. There will be a pot-luck after the event for participants at 6 PM. Please contact Dan McAskill at 569-4351 or E-mail at jdmcaskill@pei.sympatico.ca for information or to register. The date may change in the advent of severe weather so please contact your coordinator.

Dec. 28th (Sunday) – The Montague Christmas Bird Count. Please contact Scott Sinclair via E-mail at scsinclair@pei.sympatico.ca for information or to register. The date may change in the advent of severe weather so please contact your coordinator.

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December Meeting Topic – “Whales in the Waters of Prince Edward Island.”

November 23, 2014. Nature PEI Meeting Notice

On Tuesday evening, December 2nd, Chuck Gallison will be the featured speaker as the Nature PEI monthly meeting. The title of his presentation is “Whales in the Waters of Prince Edward Island.” Chuck Gallison is a Wildlife Officer with the provincial Forests, Fish and Wildlife Division.

This is a great opportunity to learn about whales that occur in the local marine environment. Chuck has a long standing interest in marine mammals which include whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals. He is the Island’s representative on the the Marine Animal Response Society. The Society is a Maritime Provinces charitable organization dedicated to marine mammal conservation through rescue, education and research. With others Mr. Gallison works to free whales, porpoises and dolphins that have become stranded in shallow water or on beaches. A recent project was the work to rescue nine pilot whales which were stranded off Muddy Creek this summer.

Mr. Gallison also describes himself as “the government’s mortician for marine mammals.” He liaises with staff from the Atlantic Veterinary College to investigate dead marine mammals to find out what caused their deaths. “I became interested in whales when I was in grade six” said Mr. Gallison. “I watched a television special program on whales that was done by Jacques Cousteau, and I was hooked.” Chuck started working on marine mammals in 1991 as part of his employment with the provincial Department of Environment.

Reserve Tuesday, December 2nd at 7:30 PM to join the Nature PEI meeting in the Carriage House at Beaconsfield on the corner of West and Kent Streets in Charlottetown. Admission is free and all are welcome. 

For more information contact: Rosemary Curley at (902)569-1209 rcurleypei@eastlink.ca or Chuck Gallison at (902)368-5275 cegallison@gov.pe.ca

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Native Plant Group – on Facebook

The Native Plant Group within Nature PEI now has a presence on Facebook so make sure you check it out, spread the word and consider “Liking” it – so you can keep posted on activities. https://www.facebook.com/naturepeinativeplantgroup

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Best Conservation Officer Stories Ever – Tuesday, November 4th at 7:30 p.m.

The speaker at the next meeting of Nature PEI will be Gerald MacDougall on “Best Conservation Officer Stories Ever.” The group meets on Tuesday, November 4th at 7:30 p.m.

Gerald will talk about his experiences as a conservation officer. He had been a game warden in Nova Scotia for two years before moving to PEI in 1980. He became a conservation officer in west Prince County and stayed there until 1990 become moving to Charlottetown to be in charge of issuing permits and doing enforcement in the provincial Department of Environment and in 1998, he became head of the Investigation and Enforcement Section for the department. In 2005 Gerald worked as the provincial Climate Change Coordinator and in 2006 he was appointed the manager for Fish and Wildlife Section until he retired last February.

Mr. MacDougall said “My time in West Prince was when my family was young (so was I) and is special to me. I got to know the people, the wildlife and all the back roads. When I first moved to Charlottetown and people would ask me where I was from, I would say up-west.  It really felt like home to me and to this day when I drive there it still feels like I am coming home.”

Gerald will tell about his time there as a conservation officer. “Bringing wildlife enforcement into an area that had little to none was not an easy job. Years after I left, a former poacher approached me and told me how much they hated me when I was there but… how much they wished I was back there now! I took this as a compliment.”

Reserve Tuesday, November 4th at 7:30 PM to attend the Nature PEI meeting in the Carriage House at Beaconsfield on the corner of West and Kent Streets in Charlottetown.  Admission is free and all are welcome.

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Tick Talk: the Threat of Lyme Disease in Prince Edward Island – Thurs. Sept. 25th, 2014 – 7 pm

Tick Talk: the Threat of Lyme Disease in Prince Edward Island at Lecture Theatre A, Atlantic Veterinary College, UPEI, sponsored by Nature PEI and Atlantic Veterinary College. Thursday evening, September 25th  7 pm – All are welcome to this free public meeting.

7:00 Welcome and Introductions –  Rosemary Curley

7:05 Lyme Disease current status and research  – Dr. Vett Lloyd, Mt.Alllison University

7:35 Companion Animals and Lyme Disease- the PEI Perspective – Dr. Barb Horney, Atlantic Veterinary College

8:00 Current Situation with Lyme Disease on PEI  – Speaker from Health and Wellness    8:10  Questions for the Panel

8:30  Conclusion

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