NCC offers tips for eco-friendly agriculture on north shore of St. Lawrence River
Farmers asked to help save birds in Deschambault-Grondines and Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade
Farmland bordering the marsh along the St. Lawrence River provides shelter and food for many birds. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and Conservation de la nature Québec are raising awareness among local farmers about protecting the birds that visit their fields so that both agriculture and nature can thrive.
The awareness initiative is aimed at protecting the many birds that visit the Grondines and Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade swamp, including at-risk species such as bobolink. NCC wants to continue its work in the region by reaching out to property owners and getting them involved in its conservation initiatives.
Farmers are valuable allies who can make a big difference; the diversity of bird species in the region depends, in large part, on their practices. NCC will continue raising awareness in the Grondines and Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade swamp until 2023, by contacting farmers and inviting them to help protect nature. Those who accept the invitation will receive a visit from NCC biologists to identify their property’s specific characteristics and provide a customized fact sheet about it. Participating farmers will also receive recommendations on nature friendly actions they can take to help protect birds.
While these simple, cost-free actions won’t affect agricultural yields, they can make a difference for nature. For example, when using machinery in their fields, farmers can work from the centre outwards to avoid trapping animals in an ever-shrinking spiral. They can also leave old wooden fence posts in place for birds to perch on. These are just some examples of good agricultural practices that support conservation. Keeping barn doors open so swallows can nest inside is another simple and effective way to lend a helping hand.
The list of potential actions is long. The Guide de recommandations sur les aménagements et pratiques favorisant la protection des oiseaux champêtres (in French), published by the Regroupement Québec Oiseaux, is chock-full of useful information.
This initiative showcases how NCC is accelerating the pace of conservation in Canada. In the past two years alone, NCC has influenced the protection of more than 1 million hectares (almost twice the size of Prince Edward Island), coast to coast to coast. Over the next few years, the organization will double its impact by mobilizing Canadians and delivering permanent, large-scale conservation.
In the face of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change, nature is our ally. There is no solution to either without nature conservation. When nature thrives, we all thrive.
This project was funded by the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation as part of the Prime-Vert program, and by Environment and Climate Change Canada and its Community-Nominated Priority Places for Species at Risk program.
“Agriculture has evolved by leaps and bounds in recent decades. We need to adapt the way we do things so that both nature and agriculture can continue to thrive. Sometimes the simplest actions can make all the difference for the environment.” – Gabrielle Cauchon Déry, project manager, Nature Conservancy of Canada
In 2021, the first year of the project in the Grondines and Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade swamp, NCC met with seven farmland owners. Our biologists did 80 hours of surveying and identified 90 species, including six at risk. They also identified six bird species. By the end of the project, NCC hopes to have met with 20 farmers in the region.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature. NCC seeks solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner, NCC works with people, communities, businesses and governments to protect and care for our country’s most important natural areas. Since 1962, NCC has brought Canadians together to conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares. In Quebec, close to 50,000 hectares have been protected. With nature, we build a thriving world. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.
Environment and Climate Change Canada is the lead federal department for a wide range of environmental issues. The department's programs focus on minimizing threats to Canadians and their environment from pollution, equipping Canadians to make informed decisions on weather, water and climate conditions, and conserving and restoring Canada's natural environment. Community-Nominated Priority Places for Species at Risk Program support initiatives in priority places where there are opportunities to protect and recover species at risk and their habitat through conservation action.
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