5 Threatened Species in Quebec…and Solutions to Protect Them!
The St. Lawrence Estuary beluga is an endangered species in Quebec.
5threatened species in Quebec… and solutions to protect them!
On this May 11, to mark World Endangered Species Day, we shines the spotlight on five threatened or vulnerable wildlife species inhabiting Quebec.
“There is a lot of talk about the decline of biodiversity, but fortunately, there is also good news! “, underlines in an interview with Métro Pascal Côté, scientist at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (CNC), an organization dedicated to the preservation of fauna and flora.
< p>“We are no longer in the 1970s: today we have a good knowledge of the species, and many measures have been put in place. This does not mean that all species will be better now, but there is an awareness, a change of mentality, ”adds the conservation expert, who paints a portrait of five species.
Chest Cricket Tree Frog. Photo: Nature Conservancy of Canada
Western Chorus Frog < /h3>
It is the destruction of its habitat, the wetlands, which threatens above all this frog which has made headlines in recent years. Agricultural activities and new residential developments, in particular, have particularly damaged wetlands, says Pascal.
A new provincial law, the Regional Plans for Wetlands and Waters, requires regional county municipalities (RCMs) across the province to submit plans by June to protect these environments, he said. “It is a good step forward. There are many RCMs that had never done that, conservation plans for natural environments. »
There are also programs to encourage farmers to take protective measures when tree frogs are inhabiting their land, and many respond favorably, says the expert.
Beluga from the St. Lawrence Estuary. Photo : Gerald Corsi
Threats are not new. The beluga from the St. Lawrence estuary was hunted until the 1970s and persecuted, because it was considered harmful at the time, mistakenly believing that it emptied fish stocks, explains Pascal “Planes dropped bombs in beluga whale herds to kill them. Hunting was eventually banned.
In addition, pollution in the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes later contaminated the beluga's food chain. “It was a dump, there was no wastewater treatment, especially industrial,” says Pascal. If cancers are no longer the main cause of beluga mortality today, the noise of maritime transport is part of it by interfering with the communication of individuals under water.
Out of approximately 7,000 to 10,000 individuals originally, there are now 900 individuals, says Pascal, who is moved to see this mammal in the river when it lives mainly in the Arctic.
A provincially and federally managed marine park prohibiting certain industrial activities, including mining, oil and gas, has was introduced in the 1990s, says Pascal. The two levels of government have also announced this year that they will expand it, he points out.
Bald eagle. Photo: Leta Pezderic
Bald Eagle  ;
Like most raptors, this fish-eating species' reproductive success declined in the 1950s and 1960s when a widely-spread pesticide, DDT, contaminated its food chain. The birds would then lay eggs with shells that were too thin to be viable, says Pascal. The DDT ban then changed the game.
The bald eagle was moreover shot at a certain time, persecuted like many birds of prey, hunting which was prohibited. Since the 1980s, he has experienced a meteoric recovery, says Pascal. “There are breeding pairs in several regions of southern Quebec, which was unthinkable 20 years ago. »
Regulations in the forest industry take into account the nesting of the species and require that a buffer zone be delimited around a nest. Foresters are also required to follow up, Pascal points out. -québec-et-des-solutions-pour-lesnbspprotect-0ddb843.jpg” alt=”5 endangered species in Quebec… and solutions to protect them!” />
Bobolink. Photo: Yves Fortin
The bobolink nests not in height, but on the ground, especially in field hay crops, which have been widely replaced by corn and soybeans in southern Quebec over the past 30 years, thus causing its decline, explains Pascal.
In addition, whereas mowing used to be done later in the summer, giving bobolinks time to nest and chicks to leave the nest, they are now done repeatedly and earlier in the season, which destroys nests, exposes the expert.
Farmers who adopt measures to preserve birds on their land can use subsidy programs. And it works, assures Pascal. In addition, rural land preserved by NCC is home to forage crops, where mowing is carried out late enough for country birds such as bobolinks to nest peacefully.
Little brown bat. Photo: Leta Pezderic
Little Brown Myotis
Over the past fifteen years, resident bat species, i.e. those that do not migrate in winter to warm territory, have undergone a massive decline. The cause? White-nose syndrome, a disease transmitted by a fungus originating in Europe that spread very quickly from New York State in the early 2000s, explains Pascal. In nearly a decade, the resident population has drastically decreased.
The fungus thrives mainly in cold, humid environments such as caves, caverns and mines, precisely where groups hibernate. bats.
As the fungus is also spread through human clothing and tools, speleologists are adopting rigorous sanitary measures to prevent its spread, says Pascal.
If a bat is found in or near your home, the Bats at Shelters site is a valuable resource for what to do and thus, possibly, to avoid death to him. It is even possible to build dormitories, points out the expert.
To know all the threatened or vulnerable wildlife species in Quebec