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HFN co-litigant in legal action for Nova Scotia’s species at risk

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“After intense deliberation, the board of the Halifax Field Naturalists has decided to support the lawsuit by becoming co-litigants, as has the Blomidon Naturalists Society.”

Jan 14, 2019 Press Release

Mr. Bob Bancroft and three of Nova Scotia’s naturalists’ societies say it is time to ask the courts to intervene on behalf of Nova Scotia’s most at-risk wildlife and plants.
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Insect Apocalypse & Some Observations on Moths in Nova Scotia

White-spotted Sable moth, spotted on Round Hill , Nova Scotia by Bev Wigney

Writing in Annapolis Royal & Area – Environment & Ecology, a public Facebook group, Connie A. posted a link to a NY Times article, The Insect Apocalypse is Here (subtitle; “What does it mean for the rest of life on Earth?”).

That prompted area resident Bev W. to comment on some of her observations in Ontario and N.S., and share a photo album of Moths of Round Hill, Nova Scotia. Bev has many more files to add to that, she notes.

Writes Bev:

I’ve been setting up moth lamps and photographing moths here at Round Hill since I bought my land in 2010. There have been changes in the moths in that time — I rarely see the large moths — Luna, Cecropia, and all the Sphinx moths anymore. When I first arrived in 2010, they were quite impressive. I used to set up moth lamps at my farm in Ontario beginning in 2003, and by 2008 when I sold the place, the moth population there had taken a real nose dive. There was a lot of spraying on land close to my property — a 500 acre nursery sod across the road that sprayed and sprayed all summer long — probably herbicides, but also most likely something to kill grubs. I also photographed all kinds of insects and spiders at my farm — basically building a species record for the place — and saw the same decline in species — I would say 2005-2006 was some kind of tipping point. I think this is why we need to be doing bioblitzes — trying to determine base lines of species — not just insects — but amphibians, reptiles, birds, and so on — so that we have a handle on what’s going on — what factors may be behind sudden declines. That information will also be useful in devising recovery strategies — if we can figure out what is causing the decline, perhaps we can eliminate those causes.

The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail reveals ‘new branch’ of evolutionary tree of life

Bluff Trail“It all started when [researcher] Eglit scooped a small amount of soil, from the Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail, near Halifax.”
Read more by Ken Doucette in Halifax researchers say newly discovered microbe reveals ‘new branch’ of evolutionary tree of life (The Canadian Press in Global News, Nov 14, 2018)

Will we still have coral reefs 100 years from now?

Since 1980, most coral reefs have experienced at least three episodes of coral bleaching, triggered by global warming. Mass mortality of corals due to bleaching represents a radical shift in the disturbance of tropical reefs, representing a fundamental challenge to the long-term future of these iconic ecosystems. In this talk, Professor Terry Hughes — this year’s A.G. Huntsman Award recipient for Excellence in Marine Sciences — will answer that question during a special, free lecture:
· Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, 7 pm
· Ondaatje Hall, Marion McCain Building, 6135 University Avenue, Halifax
· Wine and cheese reception to follow
· All are welcome

Wed Nov 7, 2018: Documentary & Discussion on Forest Bioenergy

The Halifax Field Naturalists Club is one of the partners in showing the film ““Burned – Are Trees the New Coal?” on
November 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History

There will be a panel discussion following the film.


How long has it been since you went to McNabs Island, a unique provincial park and national historic site in the outer Halifax harbour? This 400ha island is an oasis for wildlife with over 250 species of birds including osprey and blue heron and boasts seven different terrestrial habitats from sandy beaches and marshes to forests and abandoned pasturelands. Cathy McCarthy, President of the Friends of McNabs, will help you renew your acquaintance with McNabs Island and discuss how the Friends have been cleaning up and protecting the island from major development since 1990 while re-introducing it to the public via guided tours and annual events. For those who might be interested, the Friends’ book, “Discover McNabs Island” will be available for a cost of $20 after the talk.
This HFN talk is at 7:30pm at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History (1747 Summer Street, Halifax). All welcome.

Monday October 22, 2018: The Natural History of the Halifax Backlands

A public lecture for SCANS (Seniors’ College Association of Nova Scotia) by David Patriquin on The Natural History of the Halifax Backlands 

Date and Time: October 22, 2018 – Monday, 1:30 – 3:30 pm

Place: Captain William Spry Community Centre

The “Backlands” is a Thomsonesque wilderness located only a few kilometers from peninsular Halifax. It includes nine lakes, spectacular views and dozens of informal hiking and biking trails. David will take us on a virtual tour through the area, describing what we see, discussing what makes it all work and explaining what is needed to sustain it.

View more details on SCANS website
View/download  Poster

New documentary on Hemlock Wooly Adelgid in Nova Scotia

An informative, up-to-date documentary on Hemlock Wooly Adelgid in Nova Scotia has just been released by the Blomidon Field Naturalists.

The significance of eastern hemlock in NS and the possible impacts of HWA (aka “hemlock vampires“) are discussed in the YouTube video, followed by  “what you can do to help prevent or slow down this pest in Nova Scotia.”
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EAC kicks off Biodiverse-city Guided Hikes with Sandy Lake walk on Sep 15, 2018

From EAC website:

Join the Ecology Action Centre and the Sandy Lake Conservation Association as we go for a hike at Sandy Lake and in its environs. Learn about the biodiversity of this special place (old growth forest! wetlands!), and how it fits into the new Green Network Plan for HRM. See for yourself why this area has been proposed as a regional park, and hear the story of why supporters of the area have been fighting for its protection.
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Thurs Sep 20, 2018: Event for Proposed Halifax Wilderness Park

Thursday, September 20, 2018
Neptune Theatre, 1593 Argyle Street, Halifax
Doors open at 4:00 p.m | Presentation begins at 4:30 p.m.

Light refreshments will be provided and a cash bar is available.

Please join the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and partners, The Shaw Group, and HRM for the launch of our fundraising campaign for the Halifax Wilderness Park.

The site of the proposed Halifax Wilderness Park is mere minutes from downtown on Purcell’s Cove Road. With lakes for swimming, hiking trails to explore, and stunning panoramic views of the city, the property also contains rare forest and intact wildlife, including more than 40 species of breeding birds.

We’d love to tell you more about this community initative, so please join us at this event to learn more about this proposed wilderness park

View more about it

Friday September 14th, 2018: Sackville Rivers Association dinner & auction

“Dear Friend:

“Last year, community contributions to the Sackville Rivers Association’s (SRA) Annual Dinner and Auction helped us raise over $8,000 for the improvement and conservation of the Sackville River and surrounding watershed.

“The SRA continues our mandate of conservation, including in-stream habitat improvements at various locations throughout the watershed, fish stocking, and river clean-ups by volunteers of all ages. We have continued improvements to our Bedford-Sackville Connector Greenway trail that now stretches from Bedford Basin to Lower Sackville and is used by thousands of walkers, cyclists and runners and are currently constructing phases 2 and 3 of Section B of the Sackville Greenway from Glendale Drive to Sackville Drive along the Little Sackville River.
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Question called, and Motion passes!! The Halifax Green Network Plan has been passed at Council!!!

A festive group greeted Councillors this am including Lisa Blackburn (3rd pic dpwn) & Lindell Smith (4th pic)

So reads a final Tweet from this morning from Our HRM Alliance.

View Council eagerly approves Halifax Green Network Plan by Yvette D’Entremont in the StarMetro Halifax (Aug 14, 218) for more details and comments by Walter Regan of the Sackville Rivers Association.

The sequence of Tweets from @OurHRMAlliance:

56m56 minutes ago
HRM Planner Ben Sivak is here to present the final draft of the Plan and to introduce the background. “There has been 3 rounds of public engagement, the State of the Landscape Report, and this is the first time we’ve been able to look at HRM as an entire landscape.”

54m54 minutes ago
Sivak – “The Halifax Region has incredible assets in wilderness and recreation. The intent of this Plan is to build on these assets and protect what we have here.”

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