Archives for 2022

Jan
19
Whooping Cranes Shot and Left in Oklahoma

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January 19, 2022


Conservationists throughout North America are dismayed and angry to learn that four endangered Whopping Cranes were recently shot and left to waste in Oklahoma. Discovered in December the birds were on their way to wintering grounds at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas Gulf Coast.

The number of North America's best known endangered species dwindled to 21 birds in 1941. Six of these birds were non migratory that lived year round in the wetlands of Louisiana. They were all lost to hurricanes in the 1940s. The remaining 15 birds migrated 4000km to nesting grounds in Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada's Northwest Territories. Through decades of conservation efforts, wild Whooping Cranes now number around 500 in the Aransas Wood Buffalo population. In addition, there are about 150 birds that have been reintroduced in Wisconsin and Louisiana, and another 150 or so in captivity bringing the total to about 800 whoopers left in the world.

These birds would have passed through Saskatchewan a few weeks prior to arriving in Oklahoma. Early efforts to monitor and protect Whooping Cranes were led by conservationists at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina. In recent years’ flocks of up to 100 Whooping Cranes have been observed in the Marcelin area north of Saskatoon. Fortunately, the general public and responsible hunters along the migratory route treasure and protect North America's tallest birds. It appears that the birds found in Oklahoma were shot with a shotgun which means the shooters were very close and should have known the birds were Whooping Cranes.
 

- 30 – 

 

For further information, contact:

Lorne Scott
Conservation Director, Nature Saskatchewan
Trustee, Whooping Crane Conservation Association
Phone: 306-695-2047
Email: lorne.scott@sasktel.net

Or

Brian Johns                  
Retired Whooping Crane Biologist
Trustee, Whooping Crane Conservation Association
Phone: 306-373-1228
Email: bdjohns@sasktel.net

 

Both Brian and Lorne are Directors of the Whooping Crane Conservation Association.

Photo credit: Kim Mann

 

Jan
28
Come work with us!

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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.



 

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

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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:

 

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

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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.



 

May
3
Saskatchewan Must Halt the Sale of Crown Lands

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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.


 

 

May
4
Chaplin Nature Centre is Hiring

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Employer name: Chaplin Tourism Committee Inc.

Wage/salary: $15-18/hr (commensurate with experience)

Location: Chaplin, SK
Positions available: 2
Application deadline: May 12, 2022

Employment terms: Seasonal full time and/or part  time
Employment length: Mid-May to late August Monday-Friday 9-5
Experience: Some experience would be an asset
Education: Returning to post secondary is preferred

 

Job Description: Applicant will welcome visitors to the Nature Centre, conducting tours of the interpretive centre and telling the story of the local area. Operational aspects of the retail gift shop, handling cash, debit/credit transactions, daily cash receipts reconciliation, tracking inventories. Daily updates as required on social media platforms. Light duty cleaning and maintenance necessary inside and outside building. Knowledge of and interest in shorebird and grassland species and prairie grassland baitat an asset - training is also available.

Essential Skills:

- Excellent oral communication, friendly and outgoing nature
- critical thinking
- ability to work well with other employees
- job task planning and organizational skills
- knowledge of computer, internet and social media platforms

 

How to apply:

Email resume to chapnatcentre@gmail.com
Contact info: Lisa Fisher 306-796-7978