Silky Rosegill a first record for Prince Edward Island!!

Melina DesRoches(left) and Daphne Davey pose with the Silky Rosegill — photo credit Rosemary Curley

Melina DesRoches(left) and Daphne Davey pose with the Silky Rosegill, an amazing find for those taking part in the guided mushroom walk at the Trout River Natural Area in Carleton on August 27th, led by Rosemary Curley of Nature PEI, with assistance from Trout Unlimited. Also known as the Tree Volvariella, this is the first record for Prince Edward Island. It has not been included in a 2010 published list for the Maritimes, and reports to iNaturalist show only one other confirmed record for the Maritimes in Albert County, New Brunswick. The walk was aimed at stimulating participation in a “Mushrooms of PEI” project funded by the PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund, Forests, Fish and Wildlife Division and UPSE Have a Heart. The Silky Rosegill is said to be a good edible, but it was left in place.

Silky Rosegill – photo credit Rosemary Curley
Melina DesRoches(left) and Daphne Davey pose with the Silky Rosegill – photo credit Rosemary Curley
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Mushroom of PEI Project

Nature PEI: The Natural History Society of Prince Edward Island

PO Box 2346, Charlottetown, PE   C1A 8C1  NaturePEI.ca

Media Release, July 18, 2022

Mushrooms of PEI

Nature PEI is launching a mushroom project to improve the scanty knowledge of what species are present here; right now, published lists show only 75 species for PEI, but other Atlantic Provinces have over 1000 species. The goal is to document as many mushroom species as possible within a grid of 10 kmsquares. Volunteers enter their records in iNaturalist and project biologists and other citizen scientists will identify most of them. The records will be compiled at  https://inaturalist.ca/projects/mushrooms-of-pei and a project map site allows anyone to check the mushroom list for any area of the province. https://www.mushroomsofpei.ca

So far, 2022 is turning out to be a poor year for mushrooms despite good rainfall, but at last, a few mushrooms are popping up. Normally mushrooms of all descriptions occur from April to November and some fresh ones have even been found in mid-December in recent years.  However, August, September and October are the best months to search, and Nature PEI is hosting two mushroom walks in August with hopes to recruit participants. Events are also planned for October.

August 6, 2022, 1:30-4:30 pm. Nature PEI hosts a Mushroom Walk with Rosemary Curley Location: Dundas Fire Hall and Boughton River Trail. This walk is focused on increasing knowledge of mushroom species present on PEI, and their identification. To register, please contact Rosemary at rcurleypei@eastlink.ca

August 27, 2022, 1:30-4:30 pm. Nature PEI hosts a Mushroom Walk with Ken Sanderson Location: Trout River Natural Area, 36927 Rte2, Carleton, PEI. This walk is focused on increasing knowledge of mushroom species present on PEI, and their identification. To register, please contact Ken atken@mushroomsofpei.ca

For more information: Ken Sanderson ken@mushroomsofpei.ca  902-621-1958  

Rosemary Curley rcurleypei@eastlink.ca  902-569-1209

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Recording of Spencer Monckton’s Presentation on the Surprising Diversity of North American Sawflies

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Harriet Laver to Lead Project on Species at Risk of Extinction

Nature PEI

Media Release June 16, 2022

Harriet Laver to Lead Project on Species at Risk of Extinction

Conserving the flora and fauna of a province is not something that can be achieved by one person, one group or one government. Nature PEI is commencing a program to help Islanders better understand species at risk in Prince Edward Island, by letting them know just how many are out there, and their status. The species range from bumble bees to bats and include several lichens species, and of course, birds. Project Coordinator Harriet Laver is committed to engaging residents to promote more discussion about species at risk on the Island, and to provide accepted information about things people can do if they want to assist a species in peril. “In fact, 28 species on PEI are listed under the federal Species at Risk Act”, says Harriet, “but most people might struggle to name five”. Her project deals with awareness and advocacy on behalf of the 28 and she will also provide some information on the habitats that support additional rare species that may be at risk. Forest is the primary habitat of most wild species on PEI. Some species have recently been affected by habitat loss or disease, but many of them have declined over the decades, and unfortunately there are many species in this category.

Harriet Laver recently graduated from UPEI with a BSc (Honours) and has spent her university summers acting on watershed and fish issues, and meeting with landowners.

For more information:

Harriet Laver  harriet@naturepei.ca

Rosemary Curley  rcurleypei@eastlink.ca

Harriet Laver – Project Coordinator
Harriet Laver – Project Coordinator
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Nature Hike — Pigot’s Trail – Saturday, June 18, 2022

Join us for a leisurely nature walk around Pigot’s Trail where we will observe birds in a wide variety of habitat types including forests, marshes, and open fields. Bring a pair of binoculars and your favourite field guide, if you have them. The walk will be led by Nicole Murtagh, Nature PEI Field Trip Director.

“This 3km trail passes through a diversity of habitats from agriculture land and wetlands to wooded areas with an abundance of plants and animals.” – Island Trails Website

Date: Saturday, June 18, 2022

Location: Pigot’s Trail, Mount Stewart

Parking: Parking lot at the end of Allisary Creek Lane, Mount Stewart (https://goo.gl/maps/EztasJrHhaPU1HVMA)

Start time: 8:00am

Contact: nicole_murtagh@hotmail.com or 902-218-2935

Allisary Creek Ln · Prince Edward Island C0A 1T0, Canada Prince Edward Island C0A 1T0, Canada
Yellow Warbler by Dwaine Oakley
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Thursday June 16, 2022 — online

Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability meeting, 10AM, online. 

Topic: Species at risk, with officials from the Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action (Director of Forests, Fish and Wildlife, Kate MacQuarrie, and Manager of Fish and Wildlife, Brad Potter)


Watch live:
P.E.I. Legislative Assembly website
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/
P.E.I. Legislative Assembly Facebook page link
https://www.facebook.com/peileg

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June Meeting – Brenda Whiteway

The upcoming monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 7th will be held at 7:30 pm at Beaconsfield in the Carriage House.  This month we’ll have the pleasure of Brenda Whiteway’s presentation using art to convey her message.

Shifting Sands/Sea Change

The passage of time, transitions in nature, and shifting patterns of life have been recurrent themes in Whiteway’s creative work. The Shifting Sands/ Sea Change Project is a further exploration of these themes through paintings, drawings, photographs, and mixed media of a small coastal area in South Eastern, PEI, which has personal significance but resonates on a universal scale. The site originally belonged to her maternal grandparents who had a subsistence farm and fished off the Northumberland Strait close to Pictou Island. Whiteway has been observing, recording, and researching the area’s weather patterns, light, tidal shifts, flora and fauna, history, and cultural ecology. For her, this is a metaphoric petri dish through which cultural and climactic shifts may be viewed on an intimate scale and expressed creatively.

Self-portrait at White Sands, PEI, by Brenda Whiteway

Brenda Whiteway is a visual artist, specializing in painting, who lives and works on Epekwitk ( Prince Edward Island). She received a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and has exhibited in numerous group and solo shows. Whiteway’s work is in many private and public collections including Transport Canada, the Art Bank of the Canada Council, Prince Edward Island Art Bank, the permanent collection of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery and Museum and the City of Charlottetown.

All are welcome to this free public meeting.

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Bain Bird Count — 2022

Saturday May 28, 2022– Nature PEI’s Bain Bird Count will be held across the Island. Birders and anyone interested in increasing their skills are encouraged to form teams and submit lists for our spring count. For info, please contact Dan McAskill at jdmcaskill@pei.sympatico.ca

The Bain Bird Count is named after Island naturalist and writer, Francis Bain.

“At the peak of his career Bain wrote two books. The Natural History of Prince Edward Island, published in Charlottetown in 1890, detailed the geology, botany, and zoology of the province, and was authorized as a textbook for the Island’s primary schools. A year later his Birds of Prince Edward Island was published. A record of about 152 species, it was the first substantial contribution to Island ornithology. Although in recent years more comprehensive works have been published, Bain’s book remains for some species the most thorough description available.”

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Tuesday May 3, 2022 – Nature PEI

River Herring and Freshwater Mussels at Nature PEI Meeting, May 3, 2022

Kyle Knysh of University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) Biology Department will be the speaker at the  Nature PEI Meeting on May 3 , 2022, 7:30 PM at the Carriage House, corner of West and Kent Street, Charlottetown. He will describe a unique project completed in 2022 involving species detections through the use of environmental DNA.

In 2022, UPEI and Nature PEI collaborated in a first assessment of river herring and freshwater mussel distribution on PEI. River herring consist of Alewives , also called gaspereau, and the lesser known Blueback Herring. The Alewife Floater is a freshwater mussel species dependent on river herring for its longterm survival and dispersal.  Also assessed was the distribution of the Eastern Pearlshell, a freshwater mussel that is dependent on Atlantic Salmon in order to complete its life cycle. The mussels, in turn, filter high volumes of water and contribute to healthy streams that support fish. Limited known distributions of the Alewife Floater (two locations) and the Eastern Pearlshell on PEI suggest that they may be at risk of local extinction.

Kyle Knysh is an ecologist with research interests in aquatic ecosystems and invertebrate biology. His research focuses on community ecology and investigating multiple stressor effects on biodiversity. Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, he completed a Bachelor of Science in Ecology at the University of Alberta, a Master’s thesis at in freshwater entomology at UPEI, and is presently a Ph.D. Candidate at UPEI investigating pollution-related impacts on estuary crustaceans, with a focus on amphipods. Additionally, he has collaborated on citizen science projects on invasive species and fish-invertebrate interactions, including Nature PEI’s Freshwater Mussel and Herring Project (using environmental DNA). 

For more information: Kyle Knysh  knyshk@gmail.com

                                         Rosemary Curley rcurleypei@eastlink.ca

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