Our Projects


Lichen

Staff Contact: Tom Neily, Brad Toms

Boreal felt lichen (BFL) and other rare lichens that inhabit coastal forests in Nova Scotia are at risk because of air pollution and forestry.  Boreal felt lichen and other rare cyanolichens are difficult to detect and as a result the knowledge of their ranges and distributions is incomplete.  Little is known about which sources of air pollution pose the greatest threats and at what levels.  A Geographic Information System (GIS) habitat algorithm was developed by the Nova Scotia government and has allowed the forest industry to use precaution when harvesting in potentially sensitive areas.  This project has fostered partnership with industry to search for Boreal felt lichen.  Since the algorithm was developed, knowledge of Boreal felt lichen populations has increased greatly.  The continuation of this long term data set will be crucial to conserving Nova Scotian populations of Boreal felt lichen.

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Bats

Staff Contact: Brad Toms

Recently, MTRI researchers conducted a visual survey of a larger maternity colony in southwest Nova Scotia.  Last year when this site was surveyed, only 58 bats were documented.  This year however, 157 bats were counted which is a spark of optimism towards the species populations in Nova Scotia.  Along with the Little brown bat, the Northern myotis and Tri-colored bat are also listed as endangered due to white-nose syndrome. 

On May 15th, out bat conservation website will be open again for you to report any bat sightings you have.  Please visit www.batconservation.ca to report any bats you encounter this year.  We encourage you to report any and all sightings, even if you believe it to be a repeat sighting of a bat you already reported.

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Blanding's Turtle

Staff Contact: Jeffie McNeil

Blanding’s turtles have a high-domed, helmet shaped and sized shell that is dark grey when dry and black with yellowish flecks when wet. They are listed as Endangered in Nova Scotia under both the federal Species at Risk Act and the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act. There are only 4 known populations in the provice, totalling less than 500 known adults. MTRI works closely with the Reptile and Amphibian Recovery Team, partners and volunteers to conduct reseach and undertake recovery actions to help this species at risk. Our ongoing projects employ researchers and volunteers to protect nests from predators, monitor known populations, learn more about newly discovered areas and follow up on public sighting reports to find new locations of Blanding’s turtles. 

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Eastern Ribbonsnake

Staff Contact: Jeffie McNeil

The Eastern Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus) is listed as 'Threatened' under both the federal Species at Risk Act and the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act.  Its range in Nova Scotia appears to be limited to the interior of southwest Nova Scotia, with the majority of sightings occuring in the Mersey and Medway watersheds. Little is known about this small, harmless, cryptic snake.  Researchers are studying the Eastern Ribbonsnake to determine its range in Nova Scotia, its population structure, size and trends, and to better understand threats.

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Monarch Butterfly

Staff Contact: Nicole Hubley, Emma Beaton

The Monarch Butterfly migrates 5000km+ every year from its wintering grounds in Mexico to its summering grounds in the US and Canada. Monarchs are considered an endangered species in Nova Scotia, and their population has been on the decline for decades; there are many contributing factors for this, most notably the widespread use of pesticides in land management, as well as the destruction of their habitat.

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