Hen House Installations on Private Lands in Southern New Brunswick, 2014-15
Goals and Objectives
The purpose of this project is to improve the quality and quantity of productive nesting sites for mallard hens on private lands in our region. Over the past several years, we have been seeing many of the traditional mallard nesting areas become less and less productive. This has been mainly due to the increased predation from coyotes, foxes, raccoons and skunks. Late spring, heavy/flash flooding has also aided to the destruction of many nesting sites, of which some ducks will nest again but quite often it may be too late in the season. With the addition of these elevated and predator deterred hen houses, we hope to provide some assistance to the nesting hens and in turn improve their populations on private lands.
Relevance to Habitat Planning, Decision Making and/or Management
The direct influence of this project will be on the restoration and conservation of wetland habitat. With this project being highly publicized through our woodlot owner organization and on-site signage, it is anticipated that many more private woodlot owners will be interested in joining the movement and thus, conserving even more wetlands in the area. Those benefiting directly from this project will include private woodlot owners and waterfowl enthusiasts. Restoration of the habitat on their lands will provide them with a much more productive and diverse area on their woodlot, for them and their neighbors to benefit from. Waterfowl enthusiasts, whether they are waterfowlers/hunters or bird-watchers, will enjoy seeing the populations once again be plentiful in the area. Also, all will enjoy checking the houses in the spring of each year, to be able to easily see if the houses are being used and by what species of bird is using them Spring maintenance will become an annual ritual, watching the nest being used and birds as they grow in them, which are all activities each landowner will find great joy and reward in on their properties. In-direct benefits will be received by both WHC and the SNB Wood-Co-operative Ltd from being involved with such a worthy cause and through promotional events and woodlot signage. Exposure from this project will benefit both organizations for future business endeavors as well.
The locations of the nesting area improvements will take place in Kings and Queens counties of southern New Brunswick. The locations will be entirely on private woodlots located in the Hampton, Springfield, Chipman, Midland and 3 other sites to be determined after consultation with the SNB membership. These areas are prime wetland areas, surrounded by grassy marshes, many channels/potholes and in close proximity to open water. Hunting of migratory game birds is currently permissible and will be available at all of the locations.
For more information on this project, please contact Jamie Floyd, Forester, SNB Wood Co-operative Ltd, Sussex, NB.