News from December 2010

Wetland Forum Planned for Alberta NAWMP Partners

December 14, 2010 | Posted by AB NAWMP

Wetland Forum: Connecting and Leveraging Our Diverse Actions

A facilitated workshop for collaborative action by Alberta NAWMP partners

Considered one of the most successful conservation initiatives in the world, Alberta NAWMP has a 24-year history of successful collaboration between governments and conservation organizations working towards wetland conservation and restoration in Alberta. We have made a difference over time and we want to celebrate and share those successes.

Join us on February 1 – 3, 2011 at one of two Alberta NAWMP Wetland Forums (one each in Calgary and Leduc – locations TBD) where we will bring together field staff from Alberta NAWMP partner agencies and highlight their work to conserve and protect Alberta’s wetlands.

Through engaging presentations, interactive sessions and networking activities we will examine the values of and perceptions around wetlands and wetland conservation, learn more about our diverse actions and how we might refresh agency roles and activities, rediscover the value of partnerships and learn to better leverage our efforts by identifying collaborative needs and opportunities.

By bringing everyone together, we will aim to increase overall awareness of collective wetland conservation efforts, with the hopes that this lead will lead to improved inter-agency collaborations, enhanced actions and renewed use of NAWMP resources.

Remember, you are a part of Alberta NAWMP and your work matters. We look forward to seeing you at one of our forums. For more information please email Michael Barr, Alberta NAWMP Coordinator at

The North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) is an international action plan to conserve migratory birds throughout the continent. It is a partnership of federal, provincial/state and municipal governments, non-governmental organizations, private companies and many individuals; all working toward better wetland habitat. The Plan brings international scope, adds profile to wetland issues, builds partnerships, leads to collaborative actions, and enables access to significant resources (e.g. knowledge, data, tools, networks, funding) to plan, implement and evaluate wetland conservation efforts.

Environment Canada's Habitat Monitoring Program Supports Waterfowl Conservation

December 14, 2010 | Posted by AB NAWMP

Each year, Mike Watmough, a Wildlife Biologist with the Environment Canada’s (EC) Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) in the Prairie and Northern Region, conducts field work monitoring waterfowl habitats on the Canadian Prairies.

Working closely with wildlife biologists from the provinces and non-governmental organizations, Mike monitors waterfowl habitats for the Prairie Habitat Joint Venture, a partnership between public and private agencies who deliver the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP). The Plan’s goal is to conserve migratory birds throughout the continent and return waterfowl populations to their 1970s levels by conserving wetland and upland habitat.

“We map habitats and look at certain elements like native grassland conversion or wetland drainage. The objective is to keep track of what types of land use are changing and what pressures are on the habitats so correct conservation efforts can be applied,” says Mike.

Monitoring projects look at both natural and human-made habitat changes, the latter having the biggest impacts on waterfowl populations. In the last few years, the equipment used in the field to monitor waterfowl habitats has gone high-tech.

“I’m using a high-precision Global Positioning System, satellite imagery and digital aerial photography,” explains Mike.

As part of his position, Mike is required to meet with numerous landowners throughout the year to seek permission to access their property during field work.

Mike also assists with the annual waterfowl breeding population survey – a long-standing joint program between the CWS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that tracks population trends of many waterfowl species.

Mike enjoys working closely with other organizations and admits that a team environment gives him good exposure to the different types of conservation efforts being applied across the region.

“My work is very rewarding. The data I collect is helping to implement conservation that is making a difference,” says Mike.

To learn more about how EC’s habitat monitoring program is helping to conserve waterfowl populations visit the Prairie Habitat Joint Venture website (available in English only).

Article reproduced with permission © Martin Schmoll

(Mike Watmough, a Wildlife Biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service in the Prairie and Northern Region, conducts field work monitoring waterfowl habitats on the Canadian Prairies.)