Some threatened Island birds getting more protection
ALUS Canada and the Government of Prince Edward Island have signed a landmark agreement to help conserve threatened grassland bird species on Prince Edward Island.
ALUS Canada and the province’s Alternative Land Use Services (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 activities of the Prince Edward Island ALUS program.
“We are making this investment to support conservation outcomes on the Island, specifically to help make cleaner air, cleaner water and more biodiversity for Prince Edward Island’s communities,” said ALUS Canada CEO Bryan Gilvesy. “We are happy to bring ALUS PEI into ALUS Canada’s national marketplace for ecosystem services.”
The funding of $90,000 over three years will be used by PEI ALUS to support farmers to delay their first cut of hay until July 15, after fledging grassland bird species have left the nest. This is a simple and effective way to reduce mortality in species such as bobolink, classified as threatened in Eastern Canada by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).
“Prince Edward Island farmers have demonstrated their commitment to help protect and enhance the environment,” Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Robert Henderson said. “We are pleased to partner with ALUS Canada in this initiative which builds on the successes of the ALUS program in this province.”
The annual payment of $25 per acre recognizes the value of the ecosystem services farmers provide to society, in this case by delaying their hay cut to increase grassland biodiversity. In this way, PEI ALUS will expand its roster of methods for supporting farmers to do the right thing for the environment.
Co-ordinator, PEI ALUS
ALUS Canada, A Weston Family Initiative, is a national program helping farmers and ranchers to produce cleaner air, cleaner water, more biodiversity and other ecosystem services in their communities.
As a recent Alberta Emerald Award-winner—and guided by a Clean50/Clean 16 award-winning team—ALUS Canada is a recognized leader in sustainability that is revolutionizing the way Canadians support the environment. ALUS Canada has so far disbursed nearly $6.5 M in funding to ALUS communities across Canada, an investment that is multiplied by farmers, ranchers and communities on the ground. As a result, there are currently more than 18,500 acres enrolled in the ALUS program, thanks to 575 participants from 21 communities in five provinces, and the program is rapidly expanding.
Prince Edward Island is the only Canadian province with a publicly-funded ALUS program. For more info, visit ALUS.ca