PEI flora: Regional Themes and New Discoveries – Tue. Dec 5, 2017

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 7:30 pmcanada-stamp-424-prince-edward-island-lady-s-slipper-5-1965-730[1]

“PEI flora: Regional Themes and New Discoveries”‘ by Sean Blaney of the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre will utilize photos and descriptions to highlight recent plant discoveries on the Island.

Please join us at Nature PEI’s monthly meeting where a true plant expert, Sean Blaney, will provide us with an overview of the flora of PEI, featuring photos and descriptions of recent findings from his PEI investigations. “I’ll be discussing some significant recent discoveries, a few favorite showy flowers and a general overview of the flora of Prince Edward Island. Its relationships to plants of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will be explored” notes Sean.  Since 1999, Sean and his AC CDC colleagues have documented about 1000 of the 1150 species of vascular plants that have even been known to occur on the island, including 50 or more new species for PEI. Overall, he has compiled about 14,000 species occurrence records on PEI including about 2,700 occurrence records of provincially rare species. As Sean was once heard to say “More of the PEI flora is truly rare than is the case in the rest of the Maritimes”.

Sean is the Executive Director & Senior Scientist at the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre in Sackville New Brunswick. His intense early interest in birding led to eight summers of employment at Algonquin Provincial Park where he developed a strong interest in field botany. He obtained a Master’s Degree in plant ecology from University of Toronto, then came to the Maritimes as the AC CDC’s botanist in 1999.  Since then he has traveled throughout New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island studying plants in the field, and working daily to further document the status and distribution of the region’s vascular plants, mosses and lichens. Sean serves on the COSEWIC Vascular Plants Species Specialist Committee, the National General Status of Wildlife Working Group, and the Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora Recovery Team in Nova Scotia.

Reserve December 5 at 7:30 pm at Beaconsfield, the Carriage House in Charlottetown to meet Sean and learn more about the amazing flora of PEI. All are welcome!

Also, please note that our January meeting has been moved to the second Tuesday in the month (January 9th, 2018) when we will have the great pleasure to be joined by The Hon Diane Griffin, Kathy Martin and Jackie Waddell for ;  “Sable Island: Horses and Nature”.

Also, February 6, 2018 is Member’s Night.  All are welcome to share photography, poetry and maybe even a few tall tales.

  • All are welcome to attend at Beaconsfield, the Carriage House in Charlottetown (corner of Kent & West). Refreshments are served and admission is free.


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Dr. David Cairns, biologist – Nov 7, 2017 Meeting

At our upcoming November meeting we will  explore the little-known seabird islands of Atlantic Canada with biologist David Cairns. There is a biological and physical boundary that runs across the Gulf of St. Lawrence, through Cabot Strait, and out to the edge of the continental shelf. “North of this line are rugged coasts, myriad islands, and enormous colonies of puffins, razorbills, and murres,” notes David. Like penguins of the southern hemisphere, these birds are strictly confined to the colder parts of the world ocean.  David will take us on a fascinating virtual tour through some of these seabird islands where we will see the crumbling tombstone of the extinct great auk, the paradise of Yankee eggers, the murre-carpeted slab named for an odour so powerful that it was an official navigation marker in foggy weather, and the largest puffinry in the West Atlantic. The presentation closes with an account of seven unique ways for a seabird biologist to almost, but not quite, get killed.


All are welcome to attend Tuesday November 7, 7:30 pm at Beaconsfield, the Carriage House in Charlottetown. Admission is free to the public and refreshments are served.


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“The Secret Life of Bats”

At our next monthly meeting, Nature PEI will welcome Jordi Segers of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative for a glimpse into the world of bats, and what we can do to help them fight the threats they are facing. These superheroes of the night are creatures that live in the dark, seldom seen and rarely heard.  “They are elusive animals that are terribly misunderstood by many and persecuted for all the wrong reasons” notes Jordi. He will introduce us to the important roles that bats play around the world,  and discuss global bat diversity, what species we have in Canada, and what we are learning about them right here on PEI, including insights into how they are studied. The confirmed and regular presence of the Hoary Bat summering on the Island is a relatively new and thrilling revelation.

Jordi with northern long-eared bat - photo by Lynne Burns-1

Jordi is the national coordinator in our response to bat White-Nose Syndrome, an invasive fungal disease that is killing millions of bats across North America.

All are welcome to attend Tuesday October 3, 7:30 pm at Beaconsfield, the Carriage House in Charlottetown to meet Jordi and learn more about these iconic creatures of the night.

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BioBlitz June 16-17, 2017

You are invited to participate in a 24 hour bioblitz that brings together citizens, expert naturalists, and taxonomic scientists to inventory as many species as possible. The event will run from noon Friday, June 16 to noon Saturday, June 17 at the Trout River Natural Area. See the attached poster for the details and schedule of activities.

Bioblitz Flyer

Bioblitz Flyer

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All Around the Hillsborough events

 All Around the Hillsborough events coming up include:
  • Around the Hillsborough Recreational Cycling Road Ride on June 3rd (see attached poster); and
  • The Hillsbrough Canoeing, Kayaking, and Paddle Boarding event at Pigot’s Trail Boat Landing in Mount Stewart on June 10th (see attached poster); .
These events are free and there will be light refreshments and a few snacks to boot.

Sunday, June 11th is Canadian Rivers Day. The Hillsborough River Association encourages all Islanders with an interest in river conservation to spend some time on this day enjoying the beauty and tranquility that our rivers provide to us. It’s a great day to implement a wildlife conservation project such as planting a wildlife food or cover tree or shrub.

Plans are also underway for a fifth history presentation on August 14th at Tracadie Community Centre, the launch of A History of Mount Stewart Second Edition in early autumn, and a bus tour that’s in the planning.

For further information on, to discuss or contribute to the Hillsborough River Association ‘s Canadian Heritage Rivers’ Canada 150 “ALL AROUND THE HILLSBOROUGH ‘ celebrations or related activities please contact the Association at or see us on our Facebook site search-HRA-Watershed-Management. For the canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding, it would be helpful if you register with us beforehand so that we have sufficient provisions on site but last minute participants will be accepted .

For more information contact:

Dan McAskill Email Phone cell 902 393 4385

Angela Douglas Email Phone cell 902 218 2594


The Hillsbrough Canoeing, Kayaking, and Paddle Boarding event at Pigot’s Trail Boat Landing in Mount Stewart on June 10th (see attached poster below)Pigot's Trail 2010 HRAPoster Canoing Kayaking Paddle Boarding All Around the HIllsborough Jun 10 2017 p. 2

Cycling Around the Hillsborough - Cycling Road Ride May 9 2017

Cycling Around the Hillsborough – Cycling Road Ride May 9 2017

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Arizona Dreamin’ – Birding Where It’s Much Warmer

At our next meeting of Nature PEI, join local birders Rosemary Curley and Dan McAskill as they take us on a photo journey of their birding adventure with other naturalist friends in southeastern Arizona in 2016. “It was a very different birding experience” emphasizes Rosemary ” seeing mainly new birds, including some very exciting rarities”. “The variation in landscape was phenomenal” notes Dan “from desert, lakes and wetlands, to grasslands and canyon walls”. We were sucking air at 6600 feet as we sought the spotted owl”. The group sighted about 120 species of birds, a “pretty impressive list including the state bird” notes Rosemary. The evening promises to be full of photos of the spectacular landscape, exotic finds, maybe a few tall tales, and no mountains to climb.

Rosemary Curley is a longtime member of Nature PEI who enjoys birding and botanizing.

Dan McAskill is a birder and naturalist who naturally keeps track of birds wherever he is.

All are welcome to join us Tuesday June 6, 7:30 pm at Beaconsfield, the Carriage House in Charlottetown where Dan and Rosemary will share highlights of their trip.

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Bain Bird Count – 2017

Update – Date Changed – Nature PEI’s Bain Bird Count – now on Sunday May 28, 2017. Due to weather forecasts (wind and rain) the Saturday activities have been moved to Sunday. Results from Saturday can still be submitted and adjusted for a 24 hour period but contact Dan for more details.

For more information, please contact Dan McAskill at 902-569-4351 or by email at

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