PORT HAWKESURY: Discussing the ways to help species at risk was at the forefront of the agenda on February 26, during the “Species at Risk Recovery Action Forum” held at the Shannon Studio.

“The recovery action forums are a means of allowing us to take our recovery planning further and work with a broader audience than we usually do, while showcasing some of the projects going on in the province and highlighting some of the challenges and issues that we encounter working with species at risk,” said Dr. Donna Hurlburt, the project lead of the Species at Risk project in Nova Scotia.

Last week’s forum was one of three held across the province this year, but the intention is to make the forums annual events, Hurlburt said.

Four presentations took place.

Randy Milton of the Department of Lands and Forestry talked about recovery actions for American Marten and Canada Lynx in Nova Scotia.

Laura Tranquilla, of Birds Canada spoke about increasing the number of Piping Plovers in the province.

Photos by Grant McDaniel
Piping Plovers was the area of focus for Laura Tranquilla of Birds Canada.

Cape Breton University’s biology department was represented by Dave McCorquodale, who discussed monarch butterflies and bumble bees, which constitute insect species at risk in the province.

Also from the CBU biology department was Kellie White, who spoke of conservation efforts for at-risk freshwater mussels in Nova Scotia.

“It’s an event that helps us take stock of what’s going on across the province and address how we’re going to move forward,” Hurlburt said.

The Species at Risk Program originally had 46 recovery teams to assist species facing uncertain futures, but that model was revamped so that 12 teams cover the species, which in Hurlburt’s view is a more sustainable way to do things.

“We’ve updated some status reports, and for species determined to be at risk, we’ve contacted consultants to develop recovery models. We’ve developed templates for recovery paths, and we’ve developed these recovery action forums to engage experts and practitioners.”

The Shannon Studio was full for the presentations, and a question-and-answer period took place after the speakers.

For more on species at risk, check out: https://porthawkesburyreporter.com/other-side-of-the-coin/.

Randy Milton spoke of American Marten and Canada Lynx during last week’s forum.