Notice of permit

Regional or Local Number: KOU-2017-23936

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 74 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. KOU-2017-23936 is issued.

Purpose:
Scientific research for the conservation of the species

Description:
To better understand factors affecting population dynamics in Piping Plovers, update survival estimates of adults and young, and determine if different breeding populations are concentrating in different wintering areas, a 5-7 year research and marking program has been started with Canadian, U.S. and Caribbean partners. Adults and juveniles will be marked with uniquely coded flags in various areas of the Atlantic breeding grounds, especially Eastern Canada (NS, NB, PE, NL, PQ) and resighted both on the breeding grounds and throughout the wintering areas (the Caribbean, especially the Bahamas, and the Atlantic coast of the United States, as well as the Gulf coast of Florida. This will provide an indication of where specific breeding populations are wintering, as well as an estimate of ‘true survival’ of adults and young for birds wintering or breeding in different locations. This will result in a better understanding of where mortality occurs in the annual cycle of Eastern Piping Plovers, how these key vital rates may be improved to enable population recovery, and which sites are priorities for each population. This work is considered the highest priority for research necessary to improve conservation actions for Eastern Canada Piping Plovers, and has been approved by the Eastern Canada Piping Plover recovery team. This project was initiated at Kouchibouguac and Prince Edward Island in 2013. It is being expanded this year to include Kejimkujik.

Start Date: 2017-05-31   End Date: 2020-09-01

Issuing Authority: Parks Canada Agency

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act
  • Canada National Parks Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Nova Scotia

Affected Species:

Pre-Conditions:
a) All reasonable alternatives to the activity that would reduce impact on the species have been considered and the best solution has been adopted. The alternative of not doing this research would prevent acquiring knowledge that is necessary for the conservation of the species. This work is considered the highest priority research necessary to improve conservation action for Piping plover in Eastern Canada and has been approved by the Eastern Canada Piping Plover recovery team. There are no alternative methods that would provide this information on survival and wintering sites and Piping plovers, because they breed, migrate, and winter in locations that are relatively easily searched, are very well-suited to banding studies to study survival at different times of the year and inter-seasonal movements; b) All feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species. A strict protocol is in place which minimizes disturbance to the birds and their habitat. Birds will only be handled by well-trained, experienced personnel holding active bird banding permits. Adults will be captured at the nest using only safe and tested techniques. They will be removed immediately from the trapping device and handled for no more than 15-30 minutes. To prevent nest desertion, capture efforts will be initiated only after the clutch of eggs is complete. To prevent damage to eggs during trapping, eggs will be temporarily replaced with artificial eggs. Care will be taken to reduce any detrimental effect on productivity (e.g., sweeping human tracks away from nesting sites). Chicks will only be captured after 10 days of age using butterfly nets. To minimize the effects of marking techniques, bands will only be placed on upper legs. Because a small number of birds (4/228) showed signs of leg injury from the thicker flags used in 2013-4, those flags were removed and a much thinner coded flag has been used since 2015 (no problems observed since then). If any impact of banding is noted, marking will stop immediately and problems will be reported to the Research Coordinator; c) The activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species. The approach used is a proven technique with minimal impacts to individuals. Capture techniques have been used safely on hundreds of Piping Plovers in previous studies. This species is very tolerant of capture and banding activities and desertion of nests or injury is very rare. The few leg injuries that occurred in association with thicker leg flags will be avoided through the use of thinner flags that have been tested and not resulted in any injuries. Given this, there will be no population level impacts to this species associated with this work and this work will not prevent attainment of the population and distribution objectives nationally, or at the site-level as outlined in the Kejimkujik Multi-species Action Plan.

Contact Person(s)
Darien Ure
Species Conservation Specialist
Parks Canada
1869 Upper Water St., Suite AH 201
Halifax, NS
B3J 1S9
Tel: 902-426-2747
darien.ure@pc.gc.ca