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 or Chuck Gallison at (902)368-5275

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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.

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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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UPEI Lupine Research Project

Do you have older pictures of lupines flowering? Researchers at UPEI are studying the colours of blossoms over time and need your help. 

“Although not a native plant – it is becoming a good model for studying the biology of flower colours both from a biochemical perspective (currently worked on by Dr. Jason McCallum at AAFC) and from an evolutionary perspective. The website is geared at photo collection, but we are also exploring the genetic basis of colour variation and the potential for hybridization with cultivated lupins. My interests lie more in the latter questions, but the website is meant to help engage the public with some roadside photography and history.”

UPEI Lupine Research Project

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Pretty Pictures of Birds – Tuesday, June 3rd at 7:30 PM Nature PEI

Sharon Clark, co-administrator of the popular “Birding on PEI” facebook usually spends weekend time observing and photographing birds.  “It is always exciting to see birds but now when I document with a photo, I can easily share these with the over 700 followers of our facebook page – followers from PEI and from around the world” she commented.   Sharon will share some of her favourite photos and PEI birding destinations as she presents “Pretty Pictures of Birds” to the June Nature PEI Meeting.

Shots of a group of seven Sandhill Cranes near Cabot Park last fall, birds not usually seen east of Ontario, were some of her most satisfying photos of 2013. Though not of the best quality, the photos she got of the large skittish birds were especially pleasing, knowing how easily she would share them on the facebook page with many people who had never seen them or knew they were making stops in PEI.  Sharon also likes to photograph other wildlife and will include a few “non-bird” surprises in her presentation!

 Reserve Tuesday, June 3rd at 7:30 PM to join the Nature PEI meeting at Beaconsfield, the Carriage House, Corner of West and Kent Streets, Charlottetown.  Admission is free and all are welcome.

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Hillsborough River Eagle Festival on Sunday, June 15th

For the last few decades, Bald Eagles have gathered near the Community of Mount Stewart to feed on the June run of gaspereaux in the Hillsborough Heritage River. To celebrate this natural phenomenon and the cultures that have occupied the Hillsborough watershed, the Hillsborough River Area Development Corporation and the Hillsborough River Association are hosting the 7th Hillsborough River Eagle Festival on Sunday, June 15th.

This year’s Eagle Festival will feature eagle viewing, Lady’s Slipper walks, a display of owls and their calls, Acadian, Scottish and Irish displays, children’s programs, horse and wagon rides, and crafts. The festival activities are scheduled between 11 am and 5 pm. There will an exciting new talk on eagles by biologist Gerald MacDougall and a taxidermy demonstration by Danny Clark. Bald Eagle, Bobolink, and other bird viewing opportunities will take place from 12 to 3 pm along the Pigot’s Trail which passes between the Allisary Creek Ducks Unlimited Impoundment and an Acadian dike along the Hillsborough River. A horse and wagon will provide visitors a ride from the Eco-centre to and from the dyke and an opportunity to experience travel as it once was. Scopes will be set up on the trail by knowledgeable guides who will help participants find good views of these spectacular birds soaring in search of fish or feeding along the water’s edge. The guides will also explain the way water was controlled to make these Acadian dyke lands so productive for forage and other crops.

This year’s Eagle Festival will kick off with early morning birding along the Pigots’ Trail at 6 to 8 am with people meeting beforehand at the Eco-Centre. Knowledgeable guides will be on hand and birders are asked to bring their own binoculars.

The Eagle Festival is centered at the Hillsborough River Eco-Centre which features a wonderful interpretive panorama of both the cultural and natural history of the historic Hillsborough presented in English, French and Mi’kmaq. The Hillsborough is the Island’s first designated Canadian Heritage River. The Eco-centre is located at the junction of the Confederation Trail and Main Street in Mount Stewart. This festival is in part funded by the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program of the Government of Canada’s Department of Canadian Heritage. To defray expenses, admission for the Eagle Festival is $5 with children under 12 being admitted free.

Everyone is invited to participate in this fun, family event in celebration of the majesty of the Bald Eagle in Mount Stewart, the eagle capital of PEI. For more information please call 676-2242 or 569-4351, visit us on Facebook at Hillsborough River Eagle Festival or watch for our posters.

Media contacts:

Ryan McAdam-Young – 676-2242 or email

Dan McAskill – 569-4351 or email

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