First funding received for threatened bird conservation

Minister Robert Henderson, ALUS Canada CEO Bryan Gilvesy, Minister Richard Brown.

A landmark partnership is underway to protect the environment on Prince Edward Island by conserving threatened grassland bird species.

The initiative between the Government of Prince Edward Island and ALUS Canada, A Weston Family Initiative, encourages farmers to delay their first cut of hay until after July 15 when young grassland birds  -- including the federally protected bobolink – have fledged the nest. ALUS Canada will provide the provincial government (through PEI ALUS) with $90,000 over three years, and the first cheque was delivered at a ceremony in Charlottetown today (September 11).

“We are pleased to partner with ALUS Canada in this initiative which builds on the successes of the ALUS program in this province,” said Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Robert Henderson. “Through the ALUS program, Prince Edward Island farmers have demonstrated their commitment to help protect and enhance the environment.” 

"This effort provides more opportunities to conserve species and enhance biodiversity," Communities, Land and Environment Minister Richard Brown said. “Our farmers have shown why Prince Edward Island is mighty by working together with the ALUS program and government on an initiative that will benefit the natural environment of our entire province. "

“I heard bobolink calls in my fields early in the season, so I was happy to delay my hay cut,” said ALUS participant Mike Lafortune, who hosted a tour of the ALUS projects on his farm Dexter Cattle Company in PEI after today’s press conference.

”It’s good to know this small change is enough to produce a new generation of birds every year.” 

ALUS Canada and the PEI ALUS program have been partners for over a decade in helping Canadian farmers produce ecosystem services, but this is the first time ALUS Canada has helped to fund ALUS activities in PEI. 

“This is a perfect example of the important ecosystem services that farmers can produce for the benefit of the community at large,” said ALUS Canada CEO Bryan Gilvesy. “We are happy to bring PEI ALUS into ALUS Canada’s national marketplace for ecosystem services, and to support conservation outcomes on the Island. ALUS participants not only increase biodiversity, but also produce cleaner air and cleaner water for PEI communities.”

For more information on ALUS Canada visit

Media contacts:
Shawn Hill
PEI ALUS Co-ordinator

Jessica Bruce
Agriculture and Fisheries

Bridget Wayland
ALUS Canada Director of Communications

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