March 3, 2020 meeting – Decline of  Eelgrass in Estuaries

At Nature PEI’s upcoming meeting, Dr. Michael van den Heuvel will discuss the decline of  eelgrass in Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence estuaries. Seagrasses are salt water adapted flowering plants that are threatened by human activities around the globe. In the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, eelgrass, the native seagrass is also impacted by human activities, particularly due to increases in nutrients from land-based activities. Dr. van den Heuvel will share the findings of a study conducted in local estuaries to determine the means to monitor changes to eelgrass health. Potential factors affecting eelgrass were examined, and it was determined that nitrogen loading was the dominant factor relating to eelgrass decline.

 Dr. van den Heuvel grew up in Northern Ontario and completed his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Waterloo, and a PhD at the University of Waterloo where he started his research career studying chlorinated dioxins and furans and their effect on fishes exposed to pulp and paper mill effluent. After a post-doc studying aquatic reclamation in the oil sands, Dr. van den Heuvel immigrated to New Zealand and was employed by the New Zealand Forestry Research Institute where he worked on a variety of issues including pulp and paper effluent, nutrient enrichment and eutrophication and endocrine disruption.  Dr. van den Heuvel returned to Canada in 2005 for a Canada Research Chair in Watershed Ecological Integrity and for the past 14 years, Dr. van den Heuvel has worked on oil sands, pulp and paper, eutrophication, sediment effects, pesticides, fisheries, and environmental flows in Canada and PEI.

All are welcome to the Carriage House, Beaconsfield, Tuesday March 3 at 7:30 p.m. to meet Dr. van den Heuvel and learn more about eelgrass and the decline of this ecologically significant species in our local estuaries.

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Nature PEI – Members night – Feb 4, 2020

Nature PEI Members night is nigh! All are welcome to share in this fun and informative evening featuring nature photography and stories from members. Expect a spectacular array of photos – from bugs to birds and everything in between – with members on hand to tell the story behind their pictures. Gerald MacDougall will host the evening, warming us with his own unique brand of environmental humour. We encourage everyone to join us at Beaconsfield’s Carriage House, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 4, for a photographic journey of our Island’s natural wonders through the eyes of Nature PEI members.

membersnightHummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) (Large)

Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) : photo courtesy of Don McLelland

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Summerside Launch of Mammals Book

The Summerside launch of Mammals of Prince Edward Island and Adjacent Marine Waters will take place Sunday, February 2, 2020 at the Eptek Centre.  Kim Riehl will present the marine mammals and Rosemary Curley the terrestrial mammals. Books will be on sale at the launch. All are welcome.

Mammals Invite Postcard SummersideSummerside Book Launch Poster blue background

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Birding Down Under – topic for Jan. 7, 2019

Nature PEI will be ushering in the New Year with their Annual General Meeting (AGM) and a  special  presentation on  “Birding Down Under”  with local naturalists Diane Griffin and Rosemary Curley.  Diane and Rosemary  will highlight their experience with an amazing variety of habitats and birds in Australia, profiling a small slice of the 850 Australian bird species from north Queensland to Tasmania and noting in passing some memorable moments with non-birds. Most bird species seen were endemic to Australia , but some familiar species were also encountered. A guided tour to 4 endangered species rounded out the expedition.

Diane and Rosemary are both graduates of Acadia University,and are long-time members of Nature PEI who have participated in the Maritime Breeding Bird Atlas projects, Christmas Bird Counts and backyard birding.  Diane is currently serving in the Senate of Canada and Rosemary is co-author of a recent book on PEI mammals.

All are welcome to join us at the Carriage House, Beaconsfield, Tuesday, January 7th at 7:30 p.m. to meet Diane and Rosemary and learn more about Australia’s unique birdlife.

Beaconsfield is located at the corner of West and Kent St. in Charlottetown.

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Christmas List

If anyone hasn’t acquired the latest addition to their collection of Prince Edward Island books – The Mammals of PEI and Adjacent Marine Waters, published by Island Studies Press is available in better bookstores and is an excellent documentation of the mammals who have called PEI and surrounding waters home in the past and currently. Richly illustrated with maps photographs and artwork, no home library is complete without a copy.

Mammals of PEI

This community-supported book would not have been possible without the sponsorship of: Nature PEI, the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation, the PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund, PEI Forests, Fish, and Wildlife, and Purity Dairy.  We wish to acknowledge with great gratitude all the organizations and individuals that made this book a reality including:

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The impact of outdoor cats on native wildlife species.

Recent research on the impact of outdoor cats on native wildlife species has been revealing and Nature PEI was pleased to share this research with the public in October 2019 when Dr. Dave McRuer, a wildlife health specialist employed by Parks Canada and based at the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) in Charlottetown, PEI, was our guest speaker.

With both media and public interest in this topic remaining high we have decided to make available the slides from the presentation through our website.

Here is the presentation in .pdf format.

Nature PEI Cat Talk McRuer 2019

As well media articles are also available:


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Let’s Talk Waterfowl – Open House

We recently received this invitation:

We are going to have an open house to talk about waterfowl management in PEI.  You can distribute the following invitation to your members, and other potentially interested groups and individuals.

Let’s Talk Waterfowl – Open House

Thursday November 28, 2019     7pm – 9pm

PEI Farm Centre, 420 University Avenue, Charlottetown

Staff from the Canadian Wildlife Service will provide information on the following topics and will be available to answer questions regarding waterfowl on Prince Edward Island.

Migratory Bird Regulations – Modernization

Migratory Gamebird Hunting Regulations – Proposed Changes 2020-2022

Migratory Gamebird Hunting Permits

Black Duck Management

Resident Canada Goose Banding Program

North Atlantic Population Canada Goose Tracking Study

Other Topics and Questions

Question and Answer Period after each presentation

For more information, to register, or to submit questions, please contact Al Hanson 506 364 5061 or

Registration is not required but will help in planning for seating and refreshments.

Alan Hanson
Head – Aquatic Assessment, Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment and Climate Change Canada / Government of Canada / Tel: 506-364-5061

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The Mammals of PEI and Adjacent Marine Waters

Notice to any mammals book pre-purchaser:

Your book, The Mammals of PEI and Adjacent Marine Waters, may be picked up

at the Carriage House (Beaconsfield) 2 Kent Street, Charlottetown

on Tuesday, December 3rd  from 2:00 – 5:30 pm and from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

We are contacting all who have pre-ordered, realizing that some of you have made arrangements for others to pick up your book. You may wish to remind them to pick it up.

Mammals of PEI

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An Evening Of Adventure With Adam Shoalts

Tuesday November 19 | 7:00PM – 9:00PM
Bookmark and the PEI Adventure Initiative are pleased to present an evening with one of Canada’s greatest living explorers, Adam Shoalts, discussing his new book, Beyond the Trees: A Journey Alone Across Canada’s Arctic. Come out and enjoy a wonder filled evening of reading and conversation with Adam.

The event will take place on Tuesday, November 19th at 7 PM at the Carriage House at Beaconsfield, 2 Kent Street, Charlottetown. This is a free event and everyone is invited.

For additional information.


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Forty Years of Protecting PEI’s Natural Areas

Nature PEI’s November meeting will feature a presentation by Megan Harris, Executive Director of the Island Nature Trust (INT), the Island’s first and oldest private land trust. Megan will take us through four decades of challenges, achievements and opportunities in protecting the Island’s natural heritage, from the issues that led to the inception of the INT in 1979, to a discussion of where the organization is going over the next five years and how Islanders can help.  Along the way, Megan will speak to where the organization is now – not only the acreage and ecosystems protected, but the stewardship and planning philosophies that guide their work. With the international emphasis on conservation, biodiversity and protected places that we see right now – Megan will also share her thoughts on the value and complexities of acting locally while thinking globally.

Megan is a graduate of the University of Victoria (BSc marine biology) and the University of Guelph (MSc amphibian toxicology). She has over twenty years of work experience in wildlife-related research, ecosystem reclamation / restoration and technical writing. Her work has taken her from BC to Ontario, New Zealand, Alberta and now Prince Edward Island.

All are welcome at Beaconsfield’s Carriage House, Tuesday, November 5 at 7:30 pm, to meet Megan and learn more about the Island Nature Trust and what you can do to help.

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