Abegweit Conservation Society
Habitat Rehabilitation Multi-watersheds & Information Gathering Multi-species
The main goal of the “Habitat Rehabilitation in Multi-watersheds & Information Gathering for Multi-species” project was to directly and indirectly improve habitat for wildlife in two watersheds in Eastern PEI.
As it turned out, in 2018 the Abegweit Conservation Society ended up working to improve wildlife habitat in three watersheds instead of two. They are the Midgell, Savage Harbour and Head of Hillsborough watersheds.
BENEFITS TO WILDLIFE
Direct benefits to wildlife and their habitats are gauged by measurable outcomes consisting of:
• Increased connectivity, • Increased biodiversity, • Establishment of wildlife corridors in agricultural landscapes, • Improved riparian zone function, and • Reduced sediment impacts on stream channel form and function.
Although most of the work targeted stream habitat work on several sections of stream located in all three watersheds, other activities were undertaken to benefit riparian zones (Midgell & Head of Hillsborough), and upland wildlife habitat improvement in the form of native tree & shrub plantings to establish hedgerows in the agricultural landscape of Savage Harbour, resulting in wildlife corridors that also increase biodiversity for wildlife in the area. Shoreline cleanups of both Savage Harbour and St Peters Bay shorelines were also carried out again in 2018 in cooperation with the PEI Aquaculture Alliance. Activities that provided direct benefits to wildlife:
• Planting trees in treeless floodplains
• Removal of barriers to migration
• Brushmats to contain excess sediment
• Shoreline cleanup
Indirect benefits to wildlife are a result of the various monitoring activities implemented in all three watersheds. These activities include:
• Water temperature monitoring • CABIN (macroinvertebrate) surveys • Water sample collection & analysis • Stream habitat assessments • Electrofishing for population estimates • Fish trap • Passive Transponder Tagging • Redd surveys
The data collected from these activities can and will be analyzed to provide information to be used as a baseline information to measure successes of future conservation activities and to be applied to future conservation wildlife management planning.
• Trees planted in treeless floodplains Midgell & Head of Hillsborough rivers (total 500)
• Trees & shrubs planted in hedgerows Savage Harbour & Mount Stewart (350)
• Trees & shrubs planted in hedgerows Scotchfort & Rocky Point Reserves (165)
• Removal of barriers to migration (14)
• Brushmats to contain excess sediment (total 3 brushmats installed)
• Water temperature monitoring (total 22 Hobo Pendant + 3 Hobo Pro v2 deployed)
• CABIN (macroinvertebrate) surveys (total 6 CABIN surveys – 2 Midgell, 2 Savage Harbour, 2 Head of Hillsborough)
• Water sample collection & analysis (total 6 water samples collected and sent to labs)
• Stream habitat assessments (total 5 habitat assessments completed)
• Electrofishing for population estimates (total 1 site fished Fanning Brook ACS crew, 2 sites Midgell Daryl Guignion crew & 1 ACS staff, ? sites Head of Hillsborough Daryl Guignion crew)
• Fish trap (1 fish trap monitored in Pius MacDonald’s Pond fish ladder 80 days)
• Passive Transponder Tagging (2 antennas assembled & deployed in Midgell River, 1 adult salmon tagged)
• Redd surveys (not able to complete due to weather conditions)