Southern Ontario Nest Success

[rokdownload menuitem=”25″ downloaditem=”312″ direct_download=”true”]Final Project Report: Southern Ontario Nest Success, 2012-2013[/rokdownload]

Goals and Objectives

What a duck wants: a program that protects and restores wetland habitats in areas of highest breeding pair densities to provide
optimal conditions for breeding pair success.

DUC (Ontario) has developed a Conservation Planning Tool (CPT), which is aimed at maximizing the effectiveness of habitat
conservation programs for breeding waterfowl in southern Ontario. This geo-spatial targeting tool has identified the eight most
cost effective and valuable watersheds for breeding waterfowl in the province.

Restoration and securement strategies have been developed for each of these priority habitat areas and the majority of our habitat
conservation efforts and funding will continue to be targeted at these priority areas with select wetland initiatives continuing to be
implemented strategically throughout the remainder of the province as directed by management plans. Our restoration strategy is
twofold: DUC staff delivers complex projects that involve significant engineering directly, and empower community partners to deliver
less complex projects through our contribution of funding and technical assistance to “partner delivered projects.”

The goals of this project are:

1) Restore waterfowl pairing habitat

2) Restore waterfowl brood rearing habitat

3) Protect high quality upland and cavity nesting habitat

4) Maintaining water control infrastructure that is critical to the waterfowl productivity of existing wetland restoration projects


Activities

April 1, 2012-March 31, 2013: Provide technical assistance to excavated wetlands or small impoundment restoration projects. Negotiate
and undertake large impoundment restoration projects that include a conservation agreement of no less than 20 years. Negotiate conservation
agreements with landowners & deliver nest boxes through conservation agreements of no less than 10 years. Repair aging water control
infrastructure on existing wetland projects considered at highest risk for productivity loss. And include renewal of conservation agreements
that are have, or are about to expire. 


Benefits to Waterfowl, Wetlands-Associated Species, and/or Other Wildlife

The activities outlined in this proposal will not only protect and restore wetland and associated upland habitat for waterfowl, but will also positively
impact a broad range of NABCI-associated bird species that are also dependent on these habitats. More than 39 rare and endangered wetland-
dependent wildlife species have been identified that will benefit from long term protection of Ontario’s coastal wetland habitats alone. Biodiversity
will be further influenced by the restoration of water regimes and enhancement of degraded riparian and coastal wetlands, in part by re-establishing
diverse and extensive wetland vegetation communities, which will also contribute to the health and sustainability of the Great Lakes basin as a
whole.


Relevance to Habitat Planning, Decision Making and/or Management

DUC chooses to invest in wetland restoration projects that function within a landscape context: pair habitat projects are chosen to work with adjacent
brood water, brood water projects are not built unless pair habitat exists or can be created within the same complex. As such, and in contrast to an
isolated pair pond for example, DUC wetland projects are extremely biologically diverse and provide the highest level of benefit normally associated
with wetlands including flood attenuation, carbon sequestration, water quality improvements. All DUC wetland projects are implemented according to
an agreed upon plan (EHJV) under the auspices of an international plan (NAWMP).


Project Location

Priority areas in this project include Haldimand, Niagara, Brant/Wellington, Simcoe, Grey, Bruce, Kawartha Lakes, Tweed, Prince Edward County,
Hastings, Frontenac and Leeds. All pair or broodwater project sites are chosen for habitat features that provide optimal value to waterfowl. Staging
habitat projects are chosen for their value to migrating waterfowl and according to the level of threat to the habitat. 


Project Contact

For more information on this project, please contact Amy Lorenzin, Head of Finance Ontario, Ducks Unlimited Canada (Ontario).