2020 Virtual Fall Meeting

The Nova Scotia Invasive Species Council (NSISC) is hosting its 2020 Virtual Fall Meeting on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.

We will have videos made public through our website throughout the morning and a group discussion held via Zoom during the afternoon (12 noon until 3 pm). The afternoon discussion session will be open to all NSISC members.

Computer with Zoom screen
It would be great to see you online!

NSISC Membership:

If you are not already an NSISC member and would like to be, please contact info@nsinvasives.ca. Memberships are open to any person or organization that has a professional or educational interest in invasive species. 

The NSISC 2020 Virtual Fall Meeting Video Gallery

Pop some popcorn, put your feet up and take some time to see the videos our friends and members have put together for the Fall meeting. We start with a welcome message and then get into the latest information on invasive species and projects in our area and an update from Ontario.

We would like to begin by acknowledging that we are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship” which Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) Peoples first signed with the British Crown in 1725. The treaties did not deal with surrender of lands and resources but in fact recognized Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) title and established the rules for what was to be an ongoing relationship between nations. 

Katherine is an Associate Professor of Biology at Cape Breton University and is a member of the Steering Committee for the Nova Scotia Invasive Species Council. This video is a general introductory video to welcome you all to the 2020 NSISC Virtual Fall Meeting, and to say a few words about the background, vision, and objectives of the NSISC.

Sarah is a recent graduate from Saint Mary’s University, where she studied the invasive Chinese mystery snail under the supervision of Dr. Linda Campbell in the Dynamic Environments & Ecosystem Health Research Group (DEEHR). Sarah’s project included public education and outreach to teach the public about aquatic invasive species, especially Chinese mystery snails, a species distribution model to predict suitable habitat in Nova Scotia for the Chinese mystery snail, and ecological tolerance testing to determine a few important parameters for Chinese mystery snail successful establishment. This project was done in collaboration with Meghan Fraser (who’s honour’s BSc work was a main contributor to the ecological tolerance testing), Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture, Department of FIsheries and Oceans Canada, and the Maritime Aboriginal Aquatic Resource Secretariat (MAARS). Funding for this project was provided by Saint Mary’s University CLARI Case Fund and Graduate Scholarship, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the New Brunswick Museum M. Christie Zoology Grant, and Veterans Affair Canada Education & Training Benefit. Social Media Handles: @SarahKingsbur12 @LM_Campbell @MeghanFraser11 @NSFisheries @DFO_MAR @theNBmuseum”

Jillian Arany is a Fisheries Biologist at The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq, under the Department of Fisheries Management and Aquatic Resources, which houses the Mi’kmaw Conservation Group (MCG). The MCG’s mission is to “Restore the concept and practice of Netukulimk in Nova Scotia’s watersheds”. This concept is based on showing respect to the lands and waters by taking only what is needed and wasting nothing. The majority of work The MCG conducts has a “Two-Eyed Seeing Approach”, known as Etuaptmumk. This approach brings together both western knowledge and Indigenous knowledge. The MCG works under the direction of CMM’s Board of Directors and the MCG Advisory Board for the environmental management and conservation concerns. In 2017-2018, several communities brought forward the concern of invasive species, particularly Chain Pickerel, and their impacts of Species at Risk such as Atlantic Salmon (Plamu). As such, the Chain Pickerel Project was started. Over the years the project has conducted several activities including determining the presence/absense of Chain Pickerel in lakes within the Shubenacadie Watershed, eDNA sampling, angling surveys, education and outreach, etc. Currently, the project has four main activities: (1) Chain Pickerel Stomach Content surveys in the Stewiacke River during the Atlantic Salmon smolt run (funded through the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk); (2) Environmental DNA sampling at sites deemed barriers to fish migration to determine the presense/absense of Chain Pickerel upstream and downstream, prior to remediation (funded through the Habitat Stewardship Program); (3) Angler outreach and education on the impacts of invasive species on Species at Risk (funded through a partnership project with the Clean Annapolis River Project); and lastly (4) Environmental DNA sampling to determine hte presense of Chain Pickerel within specific areas of the Stewiacke Watershed as part of a habitat study (funded through Canada’s Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk). This video provides an overview and updates on the four main activities.

Chain Pickerel are an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in Mi’kma’ki. Since their illegal introduction in Digby County in 1945, they have continued to spread. Chain Pickerel are a threat because they can easily outcompete naturally occurring species and they pose a threat to Species at Risk, including Plamu (Atlantic Salmon). The work at The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq’s MCG is guided by the concept of Netukulimk which honours the land, waters, plants, animals, and fish. As Chain Pickerel have spread throughout Nova Scotia and can often be found in high abundances, the MCG wanted to find a way to use these fish in a respectful and resourceful way. Thus, the Chain Pickerel Cookbook idea came to life. The Chain Pickerel Cookbook features 10 delicious recipes, information about Chain Pickerel, and what you can to do help with on-going Chain Pickerel research. The video is narrated by Jillian Arany, a Fisheries Biologist at The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq, under the Department of Fisheries Management and Aquatic Resources, which houses the Mi’kmaw Conservation Group (MCG).

Eastern hemlocks are one of our oldest living trees in the Acadian forest region. Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is now threating the integrity of these tress and the habitats they create. Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute (MTRI) is promoting research, management, and outreach in an effort to conserve Nova Scotia’s hemlock resources in the face of this invasive insect. Our goal is to provide information to concerned landowners, government agencies, and the general public, to encourage the preservation of this ecologically valuable foundation species. More information and videos like this one can be found at www.nshemlock.ca

Molly is the Species at Risk and Biodiversity Team Lead at Coastal Action, an environmental NGO on the south shore of Nova Scotia. Coastal Action has been conducting aquatic invasive species research and removal for over 10 years. Our video today highlights some of the methods we use for invasive species removal in the habitat of the critically endangered Atlantic Whitefish, within the Petite Rivere watershed.

Rachel works as the Fish Habitat Project Leader with Clean Annapolis River Project. Sam currently works with Fisheries and Oceans Canada in the Salmon and Diadromous Fish Section. Prior to taking a position with DFO, Sam coordinated and led CARP’s Aquatic Species at Risk and Invasive Species Project. Rachel and Sam are currently working together to coordinate and co-lead the project. The project focuses on addressing the threat of aquatic alien invasive species to our native fish, including species at risk such as the endangered Atlantic whitefish and Atlantic salmon (2 populations). This project has a heavy outreach component and is reflected in some of the project activities including sign installation, a volunteer fish monitoring program (learn more here: https://www.annapolisriver.ca/citizen…), angler surveys and education, aquatic invasive species surveys, eat your invasive and other outreach events, and much more. To learn more about the project, click here: https://www.annapolisriver.ca/ais.

The Invasive Species Centre works to protect Canada’s land and water from invasive species by sharing knowledge and catalyzing action on prevention and management and understanding the economics of invasives and proposing new models and mechanisms for invasive species investments. In this video, Sarah Rang shares information about our work, suggests ways we might work together, and shares an example of a recent how-to video on hemlock woolly adelgid ball sampling.

Ron is a Survey Biologist with the CFIA. Ron covers the four Atlantic Provinces, working with inspection staff and partners on early detection of invasive speices that are plant pests and that are regulated by the CFIA. Ron provides an overview of the Emerald Ash Borer in Nova Scotia and what signs and symptoms of attack to look for.

Ken Donnelly is a Behaviour Change expert and a member of the board of the Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust. He works with clients across North America to change human behaviour to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species. Ken describes how he prepares for a hike so he has the equipment he needs to Play Clean and Go. He also encourages people to get involved with NSISC and the outreach committee.