PEI Forested Landscape Priority Place for Species at Risk
The Province of PEI and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) have identified the forested landscape on PEI as one of eleven Priority Places for Species at Risk in Canada. The identification of Priority Places for Species at Risk is based on their significant biodiversity values, concentrations of species at risk, and opportunities to advance conservation efforts. Priority Places for Species at Risk are one way that federal and provincial governments are implementing the Pan-Canadian approach to transforming species at risk conservation in Canada.
The PEI Forested Landscape Priority Places for Species at Risk
Why the 'PEI forested landscape'?
The PEI forested landscape was identified as a Priority Place for Species at Risk (SAR) because:
- PEI's Wabanaki-Acadian forest has a rich biodiversity, with many plant and animal species at/or near the northern or southern limits of their natural ranges;
- PEI forests are home to 13 species at risk, of which all have been assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), Additionally, PEI is home to over 300 provincially rare species
- Many strong partners work on forest conservation on PEI; therefore, there were many opportunities to collaborate and complement existing work
- our work to conserve forests will provide many co-benefits for ecosystem services and human health & well-being
Collaborative conservation planning
The PEI Forested Landscape Priority Place for Species at Risk (FLPP) engages forested landscape interest groups, such as conservation groups, Indigenous communities and organizations, governments, forest practitioners, and woodlot owners to identify and act on opportunities to advance conservation of forest habitats and the species at risk that they support.
In 2020, a core team was established to identify key pressures and conservation opportunities, and to develop a conservation implementation plan for the PEI Forested Landscape Priority Place.
Core team members include:
- Abegweit Conservation Society
- Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre
- Ducks Unlimited
- Environment and Climate Change Canada - Canadian Wildlife Service
- Island Nature Trust
- MacPhail Woods Ecological Forestry Project
- Mi'kmaq Confederacy of PEI
- Nature Conservancy of Canada
- Nature PEI
- Parks Canada (PEI NP)
- PEI Forests, Fish and Wildlife division of PEI Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action
- PEI Invasive Species Council
- PEI Woodlot Owners Association
- Sustainable Forest Alliance
- UPEI Climate Lab
- PEI Federation of Agriculture
What pressures and strategies have been identified for PEI forests, biodiversity, and species at risk?
In 2020-2021, the FLPP core team identified four forest habitat targets to focus conservation efforts, which encompass species at risk and other important biodiversity. The four forest habitat targets are upland forest, forested wetlands, coastal forest and krummholz, and riparian forests.
Conservation actions were identified by the FLPP core team and implemented to address the following key pressures that impact forest habitats:
- residential development;
- transportation corridors;
- incompatible wood harvesting;
- agricultural expansion;
- invasive species; and
- climate change.
In 2021-2022, the FLPP core team held a series of pressure-focused workshops, and invited subject-matter experts to participate. The objectives of the workshops were to:
- develop a common understanding of the conservation context;
- identify key knowledge gaps;
- understand why the pressure exists and what is driving it; and
- identify strategies to maintain, restore or improve conservation targets or reduce pressures.
The collaborative conservation planning work that was done by the core team has guided FLPP project implementation.
What are some of the projects implemented by the PEI FLPP?
Since 2019, the FLPP team and its partners have implemented projects aimed at improving conservation outcomes for the PEI forested landscape and species at risk. Projects supported through the FLPP have been identified to address key pressures or strategies identified by FLPP and/or they directly conserve/improve the condition of forests on PEI and conservation outcomes for biodiversity and species at risk.
The following projects highlights just some of the work that has been jointly funded by the province of PEI and Environment and Climate Change Canada through FLPP since 2019. For a full list of all projects funded from 2019-2023, please click FLPP projects (250KB).
PEI Watershed Alliance, River Otter Monitoring Program (2023-2024)
Project description: The PEI Watershed Alliance will work with watershed groups and PEI Forests, Fish & Wildlife division to engage in coordinated monitoring of river otter populations within strategic watersheds across PEI. River otter sightings have recently become more frequent, and assessing the location of otter populations is of great interest to all parties involved in this project. This initiative will allow for coordinated collection and analysis of wildlife data, with the potential to expand beyond current priority sites and species in the future.
PEI Woodlot Owners Association, Helping Woodlot Owners to Make Informed Decisions on Managing Biodiversity in their Woodlots (2023-2024)
Project description: The PEI Woodlot Owners Association will assist woodlot owners in making woodlot management decisions, weighing options and to, ultimately, maximize the biodiversity value of their woodlot that will assist all species (including species at risk). This can be achieved by arranging woodlot tours and information sessions, creating a collection of related internet material, and creating public recognition through an expanded "Woodlot Owner of the Year" award that will help inform woodlot owners and promote managing woodlots to support biodiversity.
PEI Invasive Species Council/Canadian Council on Invasive Species, Protecting Species at Risk Habitat by Managing Invasive Species on PEI - Coordination and Implementation of Invasive Species Management Strategies (2021-2022, 2022-2023, 2023-2024)
Project description: The PEI Invasive Species Council has focused on implementing strategies aimed at reducing the pressure invasive species have on the forested landscape. Project activities have included identifying high risk areas for the introduction of invasive species and establishing an island-wide monitoring program targeting high risk/high priority areas; assisting with management of priority invasive plant species across PEI; developing partnerships in the agricultural community to raise awareness of invasive species; and implementing a Maritimes-wide "Don't Move Firewood" campaign (this includes the development of educational resources).
PEI Forests, Fish & Wildlife, Biodiversity Training for Forestry Practitioners (2022-2023)
Project description: PEI Forests, Fish & Wildlife hosted a 2-day training event for private and provincial contractors and consultants. Training topics included stand-level and landscape-level features that promote biodiversity; species at risk identification and habitat requirements; and a review of relevant policy and legislation. For information on how you can steward your forest for biodiversity and species at risk, click Resources for Forest Practitioners.
Federation of PEI Municipalities and PEI Watershed Alliance, Increasing Capacity of Municipalities to Conserve Forests (2021-2022)
Project description: The Federation of PEI Municipalities (FPEIM) developed a reference document entitled "Protecting Habitat: A Guide for Municipalities on Prince Edward Island", which is available online. The purpose of the guide was to share information on opportunities for municipalities to engage in forest conservation and restoration.
MacPhail Woods Ecological Forestry Project, Exploring the Importance of Krummholz Forests (2020-2021, 2021-2022, 2023-2024)
Project description: Through this project, exploratory work is underway to better understand and restore PEI's coastal forces and krummholz. MacPhail Woods has established study sites across the island, where they conducted plant and animal surveys, compiled forestry data (for example, canopy composition, amount of coarse woody debris, and tree quality), examined historical context, and identified threats. In 2023-2024, MacPhail Woods is working with partners, including Parks Canada, to restore degraded coastal forest and krummholz sites.
Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre (ACCDC), Monitoring Lichen species at Risk (2020-2021)
Project description: The ACCDC conducted 15 days of fieldwork and documented: one new occurrence of Wrinkled Shingle Lichen; and15 occurrences of species of risk such as White-rimmed Shingle Lichen, Blue-felt Lichen, and Frosted Glass Whiskers. 16 additional new bryophyte, lichen and vascular plant taxa for PEI have been identified, and 482 records of 85 rare species have been recorded (including 29 critically imperiled species.
Island Nature Trust, Freeland Land Acquisition (2019-2020)
Project description: With support from the FLPP, Island Nature Trust acquired 36.4 hectares (90 acres) of mixed forest in Freeland, Prince County PEI.
PEI Watershed Alliance, Developing Training Materials for Watershed Groups (2019-2020)
Project description: The PEI Watershed Alliance developed a training program for island watershed groups on riparian planting and management. As part of this project, MacPhail Woods Ecological Forestry Project created "Native Plants and Watersheds: a Natural Combination".
For more information contact:
Forests, Fish & Wildlife
183 Upton Rd
Charlottetown PE C1A 7N8
Telephone: (902) 368-4683 or 902-368-6450