Latest News...

Jun
30
Voices from the Field

view details »

Hello! We are Nature Saskatchewan’s Habitat Stewardship Assistants for the summer 2022 season, Brynne McMaster and Cory Tufts. The ball got rolling quickly this year, and we’ve already been on what feels like a lot of trips and adventures that we’d love to share about!

After our first few days out in the field being guided by one of our wonderful Coordinators, Rachel, it’s safe to say we learned and saw a lot! We began our trip near Val Marie, SK where we learned how to do range health assessments (RHAs) as well as worked on our grass and plant identification skills. We definitely have a huge appreciation for those who are grass experts after the trip because jeepers, grasses are hard to identify!

We were lucky to be joined by some joyously calling Sprague’s Pipits during our RHA training in the pasture, so our ears are now well trained to pick up on that tell-tale descending call! We also saw some pretty Crocuses, Buffalo Beans, Three Flowered Avens, and some very colourful Moss Phlox.

While we were down at Val Marie we also spent some time working on our bird identification. It was all review for Cory, who is an avid birder, but Brynne was able to learn a lot! We were super lucky to see and hear a few Long-billed Curlews, Loggerhead Shrikes, a Chestnut-collared Longspur, and were even lucky enough to stumble across a Burrowing Owl chasing a Coyote away from its burrow! It was definitely a very successful trip to kick off the summer!

Later in the week we tagged along with the Rare Plant Rescue (RPR) crew to search for Slender Mouse-ear-cress (SMEC) near Abbey, SK. It was a chilly two days and we didn’t find any SMEC, but we did find some other interesting tidbits, like part of a deer skull and antlers. Additionally, we had a few lessons that quickly taught us it’s important to quadruple check for Pincushion Cactus, and then check again, before kneeling in the prairie! Although we didn’t have any luck in our search for SMEC, it was great to spend time with the larger Nature Saskatchewan team and to get an idea of what the RPR crew will be up to this summer!

I’m (Cory) not usually one for beaches. On a previous outing to a beach in Mexico, I was ridiculed for my choice of beachwear, which could be described as business casual (jeans and loafers), so for me to enthusiastically arrive at a beach there must be a truly unique and exciting experience. This past week on the shores of Lake Diefenbaker was exactly that. When we were invited to help the Water Security Agency (WSA) on their annual Piping Plover Census. It was mentioned that this was an area that was very important for these endangered shorebirds, however, I didn’t truly understand how critical this habitat was for them until I heard it being described as “the Toronto of Piping Plovers”. With around 5% of the continental population of this species arriving at this huge expanse of beaches in mid-May to mate and begin raising their young. It really drove the point home just how incredibly important this shoreline is for them and how great of a responsibility we have to give these birds their best chance at raising as many young as possible and to give this species a fighting chance at survival.

 

 

Photo credits: Brynne McMaster and Cory Tufts. Top left: Plover in action, top right: sneaky Plover, bottom: view of the lake

 

On the first day we were told that we were most likely going to hear these amazingly camouflaged birds before we would be able to spot them, so on the truck ride over we were sure to listen to a couple of samples of their calls and I tried my best to burn the sound into my brain. Luckily the first Plover we spotted was very obliging and decided to fly a couple of laps in the air in front of us. The rest of the birds for the week were not so extroverted and studying their “peeps” began to pay off in spades. The ID’ing got slightly easier, but never less exciting.

I didn’t know much about Piping Plovers before but having spent a week watching and learning from the incredibly welcoming and hardworking Piping Plover Crew at the WSA and I am amazed at just how adaptable these birds are and how strong of personalities the individual birds have. It also became apparent how important it is for us as humans to realise what kind of an impact we are having on this species, with one of the primary areas of concern for the decline in their population being nest destruction due to activities such as driving off road vehicles on the beach and allowing off leash dogs to run the beach, and what can be done to help lessen our impact on a species that is already struggling to survive.

While this week was about the birds, it was also about spending a week with some great people at an amazingly beautiful location, and it is absolutely a time that I will look back on fondly for many years to come. I am very grateful for having been able to be a part of this experience and I am incredibly excited for the weeks to come. There was also time for the main attraction, which was talked about almost as much as the plovers, leading up to the trip and that was Josie, the resident donkey at Coyote Springs Campground. I am sure she doesn’t understand why some of her attention was incorrectly being diverted towards some birds :) 

Until next time!

Brynne and Cory

 

 

Photo credits: Brynne McMaster and Cory Tufts. Top: Josie (the main attraction), bottom left: Mossphlox, bottom right: Deer skull.

 

Jun
30
Upcoming FREE events exploring the Great Sandhills

view details »

We are excited to be partnering with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Birds Canada and the Prairie Conservation Action Plan to host three events this summer.

 

  • Conservation Awareness Day (July 13th, Community Hall, Consul, SK 6pm). Join Nature Saskatchewan and the Prairie Conservation Action Plan for an evening of conservation and bringing local like-minded people together! This in-person event will feature a locally-catered supper and educational presentations on conservation efforts in the area. Regsiter HERE.

     
  • NatureTalks: The Great Sandhills Webinar (August 4th, online event, 7pm). During this webinar, you will learn about what the Great Sandhills are, why they are important both culturally and environmentally, as well as current conservation efforts that are ongoing in the area. This event will also feature guests from Nekaneet First Nation. Regsiter HERE.

     
  • From Sand to Sky: The Great Sandhills Tour (August 13th, Great Sandhills Museum, Sceptre, SK, 2pm). Nature Saskatchewan is joining forces with Nature Conservancy and Birds Canada to give you a tour of one of the most unique areas in Saskatchewan, the Great Sandhills!

    This in-person event will feature presentations about the conservation work in
    the area, a BBQ-style supper at the Great Sandhills Museum in Sceptre, SK, and guided tours in the Great Sandhills that will feature plant and bird walks and a tour led by a member of Nekaneet First Nation. Transportation between Sceptre and the Great Sandhills will not be provided. A moderate fitness level will be required for the evening sandhill tour. Register HERE.

     
Please regsiter online at the links above or call 1-800-667-4668 or email obo@naturesask.ca
Jun
29
Happy Canada Day - to you AND the endangered Piping Plover!

view details »

 

Regina, SK – June 29, 2022 – With summer holidays starting full force ahead, many are heading out to our beautiful Saskatchewan beaches for some summer fun! While enjoying some beach time be sure to watch out for other families sharing the beaches, including the endangered shorebirds, Piping Plovers!

These cute, and surprisingly well camouflaged, shorebirds nest on sandy or gravelly beaches above the high water line, and adults may also be seen closer to the water’s edge looking for invertebrates to eat. The nests are incredibly well-camouflaged and consist of a shallow depression lined with small pebbles that contains about 4 speckled eggs. “Piping Plover eggs are very difficult to see and easy to accidentally trample or run over, so we are asking the public to watch carefully as they enjoy the sunshine along our shorelines”, says Rachel Ward, Plovers on Shore coordinator.

Peak hatching occurs in mid-June, but late nesters may still have eggs on the beaches. At this time of year, Piping Plover hatchlings are also exploring our beaches! These tiny chicks are quite hard to see and will crouch motionless when they detect predators (or humans). Since they are not able to fly for the first couple weeks, until their wings mature, they are very vulnerable. Adult Piping Plovers will do their best to protect them, by attempting to lure predators away from the nests or chicks by faking a broken wing and calling loudly. If you see a Piping Plover that appears to be acting injured make sure to carefully watch your step as you leave the area to avoid stepping on eggs or chicks!

You are most likely to see or hear an adult Piping Plover before seeing a nest or chicks. They are small with a sandy-coloured back, white belly and several distinctive markings - a single black neck band, a black band on the forehead, and a short black-tipped orange bill. While Piping Plovers appear similar to Killdeer, Killdeer are larger, darker brown and have two black neck bands. Piping Plover chicks appear to resemble cotton balls on stilts, however their backs are a speckled sandy brown.

Our province provides important nesting habitat for these adorable endangered shorebirds. “Saskatchewan is home to the highest number of breeding Piping Plovers in Canada, so we feel responsible to keep these birds safe as they raise their young and prepare for the long trip back south” says Rachel.

If you come across a nest site or think you may have seen a Piping Plover, please call our toll free Hoot Line at: 1-800-667-HOOT (4668).

 

- 30 -

 

For further information please contact Nature Saskatchewan:     

 

Rachel Ward, Habitat Stewardship Coordinator
(306) 780-9832
outreach@naturesask.ca

 

Rebecca Magnus,  Species at Risk Manager
(306) 780-9270
rmagnus@naturesask.ca

          

Photo credits: R. Ward

 

 

Jun
22
The Search for Dwarf Woolly-heads

view details »

Psilocarphus brevissimus var. brevissimus, or the Dwarf Woolly-heads, to me resembles a fuzzy little head of cabbage or cauliflower. About the size of a penny or less. All I can say is that after days of searching, finally seeing this miniscule fella was a different kind of exhilaration.

The road to that moment was paved with obstacles. From evasive driving caused by gophers that seem to be magnetically drawn towards your tires, to more skillful driving caused by slipping and slopping down the rain-soaked grids, resulting in all the windows being showered in mud and water. Luckily, we were able to avoid the gophers and make through the mud, at which point the real journey would begin. Hours and hours of slow pacing with head bent, looking for Dwarf Woolly-heads.

You really have to be patient when looking for plants, and as a typical young adult struggling with being patient it has been excellent practice. It’s led me to appreciate the small details of each day and the landscape around me that make being a part of the rare plant search crew so rewarding. The unoccupied houses of old alongside highway 13, slowly being reabsorbed into the prairie, serving as reminders of the lives that have been and are being lived in southern Saskatchewan. A nest of baby horned larks packed tight, huddled together like a tennis ball of fluff and beaks. A lonely cow we had met that spent the recent winter alone, which we were able to witness being reunited with its herd. 

Eventually, the weather turned harsh and the wind and rain chilled my partner and I to the bone. Soggy and disappointed from the lack of Dwarf Woolly-heads sightings, we decided to finish the area we were searching and then call it a day. Of course, this would be the place and time where we actually found the plant we had been searching for! Although that meant we had to spend a lot longer stewing in wet boots and having the rain beat against our cheeks, we now had the warm blood of the season’s first major find pumping through us. And, as it turns out, the following day we found many more! 

The wind subsided, allowing me to finally stop standing at a 45 degree angle again, and the clouds parted. I celebrated the trip's success by taking in the gorgeous sunset and playing my accordion on the railroad tracks. Thanks to Consul, Saskatchewan for letting us visit!

 

Top:Thomas and Jesse celebratory selfie after finding their first DWH, bottom left: the first DWH of the season, very small and very soggy but they found one!, bottom right: Jesse playing his accordion. All photo credits: T. Dubbin-McCrea

 

Jun
7
Rare Plant Rescue- First field trip of the season!

view details »

My first 10 days of fieldwork for the Rare Plant Rescue program have been humbling in ways I would have never anticipated.

I expected the wide open vistas, the living skies, and the rolling hills. What caught me by surprise was the sheer determination of our wildlife in the face of hardship. I underestimated the biodiversity that continues to thrive in the often unseen coulees, native pastures, and seemingly sparse fields that stretch across our province.

Despite the hawks soaring overhead, and the many rattlesnakes among the grass, I saw a juvenile Horned Lark successfully hide herself behind a little bit of sage and sedge. Despite the abundant coyotes and elusive cougars, my partner and I were visited by two young white-tailed deer. They were so inquisitive that they visited us 3 more times over the course of an afternoon, getting braver and closer each time.

 

Top: Western Kingbird, bottom left: juvenile Horned Lark, bottom right: Horned Lark nest. Photo credits: T. Dubbin-McCrea

 

The rare plants we seek represent an integral part of this system, as well as a glimpse of the future for all of the wildlife we encounter. Habitat loss impacts fragile ecosystems disproportionately, and our grasslands are some of the most fragile. Some of these plants and their seeds can remain dormant for years waiting for the right conditions, and in many cases this makes them difficult to study and protect. So we rely on the perseverance of our amazing landowners to protect these often overlooked areas. The collaborative approach that I see championed by Nature Saskatchewan wouldn't be possible without the farmers and ranchers who take an interest in preserving these magnificent habitats. Their efforts are needed and appreciated now more than ever.

Discovering Saskatchewan for me means exploring valleys filled with wild chokecherry blooms, their fragrance hanging in the warm spring air. Or turning your attention to the songs of all the migratory birds that fly so far for the legacy of new life. It demands a keen eye for the hundreds of wildflowers, grasses, trees and shrubs that dot the land. I find myself constantly in awe at the variety and biodiversity that one can find upon learning to slow down and look a little closer.

In short, I find myself constantly in awe of Saskatchewan.

 

Top left: Penstemon nitidus, top right: Astragalus bisulactus (silver-leafed milkvetch), bottom left: Large reflexed rock cress, bottom right: Large nest in wild chokecherry. 

 

 

 

Jun
2
There’s No Place Like Home: Burrowing Owls Return to Saskatchewan

view details »

Regina, SK – June 1, 2022 – Burrowing Owls have completed their long journey back to the Saskatchewan prairies after overwintering in Texas and Mexico. Spring is underway and so is the Burrowing Owl’s breeding season! The Burrowing Owls have paired up and right now the female owls are incubating the eggs (average 6-12), while the males are busy providing food for the female and can be seen standing next to the burrow or on nearby fence posts.

Despite being called Burrowing Owls, they actually do not dig their own burrows! These owls have to rely on burrows created by badgers, ground squirrels (gophers) and other burrowing mammals. While it’s important to minimize disturbances near a Burrowing Owl nest, Burrowing Owls actually coexist very well with cattle and other grazers because the shorter grass on a grazed pasture allows them to sight predators more efficiently. They also use the manure to line their burrows to absorb moisture, regulate temperature, attract insects for food and hide their scent from predators. Burrowing Owls will often nest in ditches and cultivated lands as well.

If you find Burrowing Owls in your pasture, congratulations! Not only are you providing important habitat for an iconic prairie species, these owls also provide many advantages including free pest control. According to Nature Saskatchewan’s Habitat Stewardship Coordinator, Kaytlyn Burrows, “Burrowing Owls eat huge numbers of insects, mice, voles and grasshoppers. Over the course of a summer, one owl family can consume up to 1800 rodents and 7000 insects!”

These one-of-a-kind owls can be identified by their small size, they are only about 9 inches tall, and light and dark brown mottled plumage with white spots. They have round heads with large yellow eyes and white ‘eyebrows’. Their long featherless legs give them the appearance of walking on stilts. Burrowing owls are one of the smallest owls in Canada and the only species of owl that lives underground!

Nature Saskatchewan’s voluntary stewardship program, Operation Burrowing Owl, works with almost 350 land stewards to conserve Burrowing Owl habitat and monitor population numbers in Saskatchewan. Operation Burrowing Owl records sightings to help determine the population trend and distribution of the Burrowing Owl throughout the province. This information can then be used towards efforts to conserve and restore the habitat and population of these charismatic birds.

“Without the voluntary efforts of land stewards and the general public, recovery of this unique prairie owl would not be possible” says Burrows. She encourages the public to “get out there this summer and explore, you never know what you will find.” If you are lucky enough to spot a Burrowing Owl, please give a “hoot” by calling Nature Saskatchewan’s toll-free HOOT Line, 1-800-667-HOOT (4668) or email obo@naturesask.ca. “When you report a sighting you are playing a very important role in Burrowing Owl recovery. Every sighting is critical!” says Burrows. Private information is never shared without permission.

 

For further information please contact Nature Saskatchewan:

 

Kaytlyn Burrows (306) 780-9833, email obo@naturesask.ca
Habitat Stewardship Coordinator

Rebecca Magnus, (306) 780-9270, email rmagnus@naturesask.ca        
Species at Risk Manager

 

Photo credit: Boyd Coburn

 

May
3
Saskatchewan Must Halt the Sale of Crown Lands

view details »

In which direction is Saskatchewan going when it comes to protected places and what is the Government doing to increase or at the very least retain protected places in Saskatchewan?

Canada’s native grasslands are among the most endangered biomes on the planet. Sadly, it is estimated that less than 14% of native grasslands in Saskatchewan including aspen woodlands remain in Southern Saskatchewan. The health of these lands are of critical importance. They support many plants and animals, including at least 30 species at risk, they store carbon and protect our land from the effects of climate change and they contribute directly to the economy and livelihoods of local people.

In 1992, Saskatchewan signed on to the “Statement of Commitment to Complete Canada’s Network of Protected areas” and at that time 12% was set as the target for formally protecting a percentage of each province’s total area. This target has not been updated since it was created!  When other Governments (International, Federal and Provincial/Territorial) recently updated their own biodiversity goals and targets to 25% and 30% of the land base, Saskatchewan did not. Saskatchewan continues to fall behind other provinces and territories when it comes to officially protected places. The province has designated protection for less than 10% of its land base.

Starting in 2010, the Government of Saskatchewan took steps to remove protection and conservation management from tens of thousands of acres of Crown lands in the south where we can ill afford to lose an acre.

It began with an announcement that some of the land protected under the province’s Wildlife Habitat Protection Act (WHPA) would be reclassified and then removed from the act and put up for sale. Thousands of acres of WHPA public land, once protected from sale, have been removed from the Act and sold, many without conditions of protection. Land with a recognized ecological value is sold with a Crown Conservation Easement (CCE). However, fines are insignificant, monitoring and enforcement are not consistent and conditions of the CCE are often ignored.

The loss of native grasslands in Saskatchewan continues. The Government of Saskatchewan has and continues to sell-off Crown lands, many acres of which hold great ecological value. It is estimated that since 2007 more than 1.5 million acres of public lands have been sold. Over time the selling of Crown grasslands leads to grassland loss. History has shown us that if the land is in any way useful to cultivation and growing of crops, it will over time be broken and seeded to crops. Most private lands that have not been broken are either still owned by families who value native grassland and have resisted the financial incentives to sell or convert the land to annual crop production OR the land is not at all suitable to growing crops. With rising land prices, it has become affordable and even profitable for farmers and producers to convert native land cover and seed it to crops. And conversely larger farmers have begun to see any non-cropped land cover as a liability. These factors are driving an accelerated loss of habitat in farm country—in native grassland in the south and southwest and in aspen parkland bluffs and wetlands in central and east-central Saskatchewan.

Liquidating Crown land is permanent and irrevocable. We need to ensure that the remaining public lands in Southern Saskatchewan remain in the public domain. While the province has added protected areas in the north of the province in the past few years, there have not been any additions to the protected areas program in the prairie regions. When we remove protection and conservation programming from Crown lands—particularly in our grasslands ecoregions, which are already under so much pressure for development—we are in a sense robbing the future of its biodiversity.


 

 

Mar
3
Conserving the Legacy: Wildlife Conservation in Saskatchewan, 1905-2005

view details »

by Wayne Pepper 2022

 

Nature Saskatchewan is delighted to announce our newest publication, Conserving the Legacy: Wildlife Conservation in Saskatchewan, 1905-2005. Having fallen in love with Saskatchewan's wildlife from his first experience watching male sharp-tailed grouse on their dancing ground, Wayne Pepper devoted a lifetime to wildlife conservation. In Conserving the Legacy, he relates personal experiences, augmented by extensive research andarchival photos, tracing changes in wildlife populations and demonstrating how approaches to wildlife conservation have evolved in the face of settlement, development and ecological change. A fitting tribute to the people, governments, and non-governmental organizations involved, this 392-page publication fills an important gap in our natural history record. All lovers of wildlife, professionals and amateurs alike, will find this an engaging and useful publication.

Conserving the Legacy: Wildlife Conservation in Saskatchewan, 1905-2005 is now available from Nature Saskatchewan’s online store and is now available at the retailers listed below for $34.95 + GST.

  • Turning the Tide (Saskatoon, SK)
  • McNally Robinson (Saskatoon, SK)
  • Penny University Bookstore (Regina, SK)
  • Rumour Handcrafted Gallery (Regina, SK)
     

 

 


 

Conserving the Legacy: Wildlife Conservation in Saskatchewan, 1905-2005 is currently available through the Nature Saskatchewan online store and will soon be available at select retailers throughout Saskatchewan. Retailers will be listed below as they become available.



 

Feb
28
Interested in Northern Leopard Frogs, wetlands, or Saskatchewan conservation efforts?

view details »

 

Interested in Northern Leopard Frogs, wetlands, or Saskatchewan conservation efforts? Join us for webinars on March 10th at 7PM CST featuring presentations on Northern Leopard Frog and wetlands, and March 15th at 7PM CST featuring presentations about current conservation efforts in Saskatchewan. This is a free event but registration is required. Click the link to register today!

 

Wild About Wetlands:

 

Jan
28
Come work with us!

view details »

 

Nature Saskatchewan has the following job opportunities. All positions are based in Regina, involve extensive travel in southern Saskatchewan, and start in early May, 2022. General qualifications include a strong interest in conservation and environmental education, and studies in the fields of biology, ecology, geography, agriculture, or other related studies. Applicants should have strong communication, computer, and organizational skills; be self-motivated with the ability to work independently as well as part of a team; hold a valid driver’s license (vehicle will be provided); and be willing to travel and work flexible hours, including outdoors. Applicants should also be able to hike to field sites carrying field equipment. First Aid and CPR certification is an asset.

Applications for all postings must be sent via email and will be accepted until 11:59 pm on February 28th, 2022. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Due to COVID-19, the following positions will follow all Saskatchewan Public Health Authority guidelines, thus, proof of vaccination may be required and schedules and protocols will be subject to change on short notice throughout the position terms.

 


 

Habitat Stewardship Summer Assistant

 

Positions: Two full-time summer positions for 16 weeks @ $18/hour. Summer assistants will assist in the delivery of our Operation Burrowing Owl, Shrubs for Shrikes, Plovers on Shore and Stewards of Saskatchewan banner programs.  These programs promote conservation of habitat for prairie species at risk.

Tasks and responsibilities: Assist program coordinators with program delivery; prepare communications and educational materials for distribution; assist in searches, monitoring and other conservation activities; contact and communicate with rural landowners regarding target species; educate targeted public audiences about species at risk on the prairies; and help deliver workshops and presentations to agricultural producers and the public (virtual and/or in-person).

Specific requirements and qualifications: Willingness to travel extensively, to camp, work evenings and weekends, and to adapt to schedule and protocol changes on short notice. Should also possess basic wildlife and plant identification skills, computer skills, communication skills, and familiarity with GPS, maps and rural Saskatchewan are assets.

 

Please email a cover letter and resume in one PDF file to Rachel Ward at outreach@naturesask.ca by  11:59 pm, February 28th, 2022. Include in the subject line “Summer Assistant Application” followed by your name.

 


 

Rare Plant Rescue Habitat Stewardship Summer Assistant

 

Position: One full-time summer position for 16 weeks @ $18/hour. The summer assistant will assist in the delivery of our Rare Plant Rescue program.  This program promotes conservation of prairie plant species at risk.

Tasks and responsibilities: Assist program coordinators with program delivery; prepare communications and educational materials for distribution; assist in searches, monitoring and other conservation activities; contact and communicate with rural landowners regarding target species; educate targeted public audiences about species at risk on the prairies; and help deliver workshops and presentations to agricultural producers and the public (virtual and/or in-person).

Specific requirements and qualifications: Basic plant identification skills (training in rare plant identification will be provided); willing to work flexible hours outdoors including in inclement conditions; willing to adapt to changing schedules due to unexpected circumstances or adjustments based on field conditions; willing to travel extensively; to camp; work evenings and weekends; ability to hike to field sites carrying equipment; strong organizational skills; familiarity with GPS and maps is an asset.

 

Please email a cover letter and resume in one PDF file to Emily Putz at rpr@naturesask.ca by 11:59 pm February 28th, 2022. Include in the subject line “Application: RPR Summer Assistant” followed by your name.

 

 


 

Rare Plant Rescue Search and Monitoring Staff

 

Position(s): Two full-time summer staff for 16 weeks @ $20/hr.  Search and monitoring staff will assist in the delivery of our Rare Plant Rescue program, which promotes the conservation of prairie plant species at risk. The search and monitoring staff will work as a semi-independent team, with daily check-ins during field shifts up to 10 days, under the supervision and mentorship of the project leader. 

Tasks and responsibilities: Plan and conduct occupancy surveys and monitoring of prairie plant species at risk; contact and communicate with landowners regarding target species.

Specific requirements and  qualifications: Basic plant identification skills (training in rare plant identification will be provided); willing to work flexible hours outdoors including in inclement conditions; willing to adapt to changing schedules due to unexpected circumstances or adjustments based on field conditions; willing to travel extensively; to camp; work evenings and weekends; ability to hike to field sites carrying equipment; strong organizational skills; familiarity with GPS and maps is an asset.

 

Please email a resume and cover letter in one PDF file to Emily Putz at rpr@naturesask.ca by 11:59 pm February 28th, 2022. Include in the subject line “Application: Rare Plant Search and Monitoring Staff” followed by your name.

 

 

 


 

Last Mountain Bird Observatory - Banding Intern

 

Last Mountain Bird Observatory (LMBO) located at the Last Mountain Regional Park is the only monitoring station in the province and, in 1992, joined the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network. LMBO began in the fall of 1989 with a modest banding program, and since 1990 has undertaken intensive landbird migration monitoring. Information gathered provides us with insights into population trends, longevity and movements of birds. On average, 3400 birds of 76 species are banded annually, and since 1990 LMBO has banded 70,000 birds of 115 species. The total number of birds moving through the area is much higher since banding occurs in only a small section. The five most abundant species banded are: Yellow-rumped Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Clay-colored Sparrow, Alder Flycatcher, and Least Flycatcher. The majority of the migrating songbirds are neotropical migrants (birds breeding in northern latitudes of the Americas and wintering in the tropics).

 

Position(s): 2 internship positions (May or August-September) – $165.00 per day (this includes any applicable GST charges that are not reimbursable to Nature Saskatchewan), camping space is provided and food costs will be reimbursed.

Tasks and responsibilities: The individual will assist with migration monitoring and banding activities at our Last Mountain Bird Observatory (LMBO). Activities include daily bird censuses, checking and removing birds from mist nests, recording banding data, and providing interpretation to visitors. The Bander-in-charge (BIC) will provide on the job training; such training may include (but not be limited to) extracting birds from mist nets, bird handling, banding, in hand species identification and ageing/sexing. Other duties expected from intern include scribing data for the BIC, opening and closing mist nets, collecting bird observations and interacting with members of the public who visit the observatory.

Qualifications:  Must have an existing federal sub-permit or be able to acquire one. Moderate to good bird recognition skills. Applicants should hold a valid driver’s license and be willing to work flexible hours at times. First Aid/CPR certification is an asset.

 

We prefer to receive applications by email. Email a cover letter and resume, with preference of May, August-September, or both in one pdf. to Lacey Weekes at lweekes@naturesask.ca Include in the subject line “LMBO intern position” and your name.

 


 

For all positions, preference will be given to Canadian students or recent graduates whose studies include the fields of biology, ecology, geography, agriculture, or other related studies. All else being equal, preference will be given to those who self-identify in their cover letter as being part of an underrepresented group or as having additional barriers in the labour market, such as visible minorities, LGBTQ2 individuals, Indigenous individuals, women in STEM, or persons with disabilities.

 

Nature Saskatchewan is a non-government charitable organization that engages and inspires people to appreciate, learn about, and protect Saskatchewan’s natural environment.