Bird Studies Canada’s Maritimes marsh monitoring program has conducted fieldwork for the first time on Prince Edward Island with support from the Prince Edward Island Wildlife Conservation Fund.
Wetlands provide vital ecosystem services such as filtering and purifying water, protecting shorelines, reducing erosion, storing carbon, and providing rich habitat for a diverse range of plants and animals.
Unfortunately, wetlands have been rapidly declining in number, size and quality throughout North America.
Those remaining are often threatened by pollution, filling, draining and other human impacts and are in need of protection and monitoring.
Through the efforts of government and conservation organizations, close to 940,000 hectares of wetland habitat have been secured, enhanced, and stewarded in the three Maritime provinces.
However, conserving these wetlands does not mean they all have high biodiversity.
To fill this gap, Bird Studies Canada, with support from partners, launched the Maritimes marsh monitoring program in 2012.
This program focuses on obtaining baseline information for secretive, solitary-breeding wetland species often not captured on other surveys, while providing a window into wetland health.
Support from the Prince Edward Island Wildlife Conservation Fund enabled the program to expand its work to Prince Edward Island this year.
Bird Studies Canada technicians surveyed five marshes across the Island, from Mill River to Souris, and detected more than 60 wetland-associated bird species, including red-winged blackbirds, common yellowthroats and soras.
The conservation fund has also provided additional funding to host a volunteer training workshop in early 2016.
The Maritimes Marsh Monitoring Program is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada, the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, and Ducks Unlimited Canada.