Birdwatching Canada

A voice for the northern birds

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Canada’s Northern Jewel Enlarged

Nahanni National Park Reserve of Canada is located in the southwest corner of the Northwest Territories. Created in 1972 and officially designated a park reserve in 1976, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Until now, Nahanni has covered an area of 4,766 km2, and encompassed only the lower reaches of the South Nahanni and Flat Rivers.

Lotus Tower and the Cirque of the Unclimables - CPAWS

Lotus Tower and the Cirque of the Unclimables - CPAWS

Today, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is celebrating an historic announcement by Environment Minister Jim Prentice and DehCho First Nations Grand Chief Gerald Antoine.

The newly expanded Nahanni will be nearly seven times the size of the original park reserve. It will permanently protect over 30,000 sq. km of Boreal wilderness, an area roughly the size of Vancouver Island, and will be Canada’s third largest park.

The expansion will cover much of the South Nahanni River watershed and 91 per cent of the Greater Nahanni Ecosystem, thus protecting an entire watershed area.

Commercial development is prohibited within its boundaries, although two mines operate on the outskirts of the current park boundaries. Those mines will be allowed to stay, but otherwise the area will be off-limits to development.

The Nahanni is a spectacular example of intact Boreal wilderness that is also of spiritual importance to local First Nations. The watershed contains Virginia Falls, deep canyons, and unique limestone caves and formations. It is home to woodland caribou, wolves grizzly bears, Canada lynx, mountain goats, wolverine and Dall’s sheep. The South Nahanni River, with a waterfall twice the height of Niagara, is a whitewater paddler’s dream destination.

The birds of Nahanni show an interesting diversity, with a mixture of cordilleran, boreal and great plain species. A total of 180 bird species have been documented, with 21% of these species remaining in the north year-round.

Yohin Lake and Rabbitkettle Lake are important habitats for breeding waterfowl. Yohin Lake supports a small nesting population of trumpeter swans.At Rabbitkettle Lake, one may find up to four species of loons, as well as red-necked grebes.

Sharp-shinned hawks, American kestrels and both bald and golden eagles can be seen along the South Nahanni River. Peregrine falcons and gyrfalcons have been occasionally spotted.

Nahanni North Karst - CPAWS

Nahanni North Karst - CPAWS

Today’s announcement caps a 35-year effort by CPAWS to expand Nahanni National Park Reserve. When the CPAWS’ campaign went national six years ago, thousands of Canadians across the country became involved, writing letters and demonstrating their support.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that the Nahanni is an ecological treasure of global significance.  Today’s announcement guarantees its future and promises that generations of Dehcho First Nations, northerners, other Canadians, and visitors from around the world will have the chance to experience this unspoiled wilderness,” says CPAWS National Executive Director Eric Hébert-Daly.

For more information on Nahanni visit the CPAWS website, or Parks Canada.

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How Smart Is a Crow?

I knew members of the Crow or Corvidae family were smart, but this video blew me away! He tries it, thinks about it, then fixes the problem. Too spooky!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “How Smart Is a Crow?“, posted with vodpod

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A 14,500 km Hiking Trail

Trans Canada Trail

Trans Canada Trail

Are you up for a long walk?

There is a massive undertaking in Canada to create an 18,000 km recreational corridor which will wind its way through every province and territory, linking over 800 communities along its route. When completed, this will be the longest trail of its kind in the world, connecting our regions, our three oceans and our people in a new way for generations to come.

Detailed information on The Trail

“Where exactly is the trail?” is by far the most popular question asked of Trail staffers. People want to locate the Trail in their area, plan trips, or find pavilions. Our new Trail Locator allows you to click on a map and find the Trail anywhere in Canada. You will be able to find pavilions, link to directions and even use the postal code lookup, which allows you to enter your postal code and locate the Trail nearest you.

The Trans Canada Trail is over 70% complete and now within half an hour of over 80% of Canadians. That’s 14,500 km of trail! Locate a Trail section here.

Or follow updated information on the Stories From The Trail Blog

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Help Our Boreal Birds

Ruby-crowned kinglet in the boreal forest

Ruby-crowned kinglet in the boreal forest

Save Our Boreal Birds is a joint effort supported by a variety of environmental groups who are concerned about the future of the Boreal Forest and its birds.

They have been collecting signatures on a petition to present to government requesting action to protect the boreal forest and the birds that breed in the forest. The action is supported by a number of well-known conservation groups, including Federation of Alberta Naturalists, Nature Canada and Bird Studies Canada.

So far they have over 60,000 signatures, but are making a last-minute pitch for more signatures before presenting the petition to government agencies on May 12.

If you are concerned about the plight of Canadian boreal birds and have not already signed the petition, you might want to go to their website and follow their links to sign the petition electronically.

The website and petition are available at http://www.saveourborealbirds.org/

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Animals We Need To Survive

Funny how the little things are often the most important. Have a look at this website from the National Wildlife Federation, listing 5 Animals Mankind Needs to Survive.

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