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

Rosemary Curley

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 (

Start time: 8:00am

Contact: 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
P.E.I. Legislative Assembly Facebook page link

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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

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

                                         Rosemary Curley

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Two species of freshwater mussels believed to be at risk in PEI

“The preliminary results of this first study of its kind bring worrying conclusions, according to the professor in the department of biology and head of research, Michael Van Den Heuvel.

“These species could certainly be considered endangered species. These populations on the island are in danger, even endangered, because we have so few populations of these two species.”

  • from  Michael Van Den Heuvel, Professor in the Department of Biology at UPEI
  • See full article
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Job Opportunity — Coordinator – Nature PEI


Coordinator – Nature PEI

Organization: Nature PEI

Location: Prince Edward Island (primarily homebased but could include participation in person elsewhere in day and evening promotional work

Duration: Fulltime, about 45 weeks until April 30, 2023 (possibility of extension based on funding)

Hours: 37.5/week

Salary: $21-$23/hour, based on experience

Start Date: May 15 2022 or earlier

About Us:

Nature PEI, legally incorporated as The Natural History Society of PEI Ltd., is a non-profit charitable organization focused on sharing information about wild species and promoting the conservation of the flora and fauna of the province.  We believe that conservation action aimed at retaining species at risk is long overdue on PEI. It is our immediate focus.

Job Description & Responsibilities:

This position will help build sustainable capacity for Nature PEI toward a comprehensive approach to educating residents of PEI about which species are at risk of extinction in the province, with a focus on forested and coastal regions where most species at risk live.  

We are looking for a highly motivated individual to coordinate local projects and initiatives while working to conserve at risk species, resulting in more resilient forested and coastal landscapes. This job is based in Prince Edward Island.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Research and write strategic funding applications
  • Plan and coordinate the delivery of several projects from beginning to end, including financial tracking, final reports, etc.
  • Track and report on project activities to Nature PEI and its partners and funders.  Provide project updates at board meetings
  • Supervise other Nature PEI staff (if needed)
  • Support, coordinate and manage educational efforts of Nature PEI regarding species at risk.  Motivate target audiences to understand the extent of species at risk and recognize these species in our coastal and forested landscapes.  Develop educational resources to raise awareness.
  • Plan and coordinate species at risk workshops, webinars, and meetings and related events related to species at risk in PEI’s forested and coastal landscapes.
  • Provide educational opportunities to watershed groups, other conservation groups, and newcomers to PEI.  Promote iNaturalist and e-bird as tools for recording presence of species at risk including bumble bees and birds.
  • Promote best management practices for species at risk conservation across PEI.
  • Work with the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre to present general maps of species at risk on PEI and determine SAR hotspots, if any.
  • Continue to build a web and social media presence for Nature PEI and increase awareness of invasive species
  • other duties as assigned
  • Qualifications and Skills:
  • Graduated from a recognized post-secondary institution with a minimum of a 2-year diploma or degree in a field of study related to natural resources/environmental sciences, or equivalent work experience
  • Knowledge of species at risk in PEI, federal and provincial legislation pertaining to species at risk, and environmental legislation
  • Knowledge of species at risk management in coastal and forested ecosystems
  • Ability to work with the public and a variety of stakeholders concerned with species at risk
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and oral/written communication in English Experience applying for funding and grants is an asset
  • Strong computer skills, especially as related to design of social media posters and brochures, also use of Word, Excel, Power Point and online meeting programs, and familiarity with citizen science platforms
  • Attention to detail and superior organizational skills, experience in meeting planning, coordination, and delivery
  • Creative problem solver, quick learner, ability to consider a variety of viewpoints
  • High energy and passion for Nature PEI’s mission
  • Curious and self-motivated with the ability to work independently or as part of a team
  • Able to work occasional weekends and weekday evenings
  • Valid drivers license and access to a reliable vehicle


  • Flexible work hours and the opportunity to work from home.
  • Ability to work with a recognized non-profit organization and help with the success and direction of conservation of species at risk on PEI
  • Opportunity to collaborate with many like-minded organizations and government agencies that are committed to improving the health of PEI’s wildlife populations.
  • Career development opportunities

To apply for the Position: Send your cover letter and resume to Nature PEI c/o  no later than April 29, 2022, with Coordinator, Nature PEI as the subject line.

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