The province is encouraging people to take a walk on the wild side during National Wildlife Week April 8 to 14.
“Nova Scotians should think of getting out into nature to appreciate the wonderful wildlife and biodiversity in our province during National Wildlife Week,” said Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker.
National Wildlife Week increases awareness about the importance of wildlife and their habitat, and the variety of interconnected living organisms in Nova Scotia and throughout Canada. It is also a time to recommit to conservation and sustainable use of wildlife and habitat resources.
“The goals of the week go hand in hand with wildlife conservation programs and projects the department provides year-round,” said Mr. Parker.
The United Nations has declared 2011-20 the Decade on Biodiversity. During this time, the Department of Natural Resources will continue working on goals and actions concerning biodiversity in the province’s natural resources strategy The Path We Share.
“The strategy is the province’s commitment to a new approach to natural resource management,” said Mr. Parker. “In collaboration with other departments, non-governmental organizations, and others, the Department of Natural Resources will continue work to protect Nova Scotia’s biodiversity for future generations.”
Biodiversity, the variety of life on earth, provides Nova Scotians with essential ecological goods and services such as clean water, clean air, food and natural resources. Some of Nova Scotia’s coastal bog, sand barren and salt marsh ecosystems are unique and globally important. Some species found in Nova Scotia, such as the Atlantic whitefish and the wildflower, Eastern mountain avens, are found in very few places elsewhere in the world.
There are many planned activities throughout the year to celebrate and help conserve biodiversity in Nova Scotia and around the world. The department has developed a web page with resources and programs for students, teachers, and the public.
A video about forests, Ask Me if I’m a Tree, is available to grades Primary to six students. Project Wild workshops are being offered to teachers and other educators across the province. Provincial Parks will host events throughout the year.
The Canadian Wildlife Federation will also host the Robert Bateman Get to Know contest, where youth can win prizes by submitting photos, art, writing or videos about wild neighbours of the forest.
The Walk for Wildlife campaign runs from April 8 to May 22. During this five-week period, anyone who wants to participant can visit www.nationalwildlifeweek.com and log the kilometres they have walked and have them added to the national tally. The goal is to log enough kilometres for the wildlife ambassador characters on the website to make a virtual tour around the country. Participants learn about wildlife as they partake in the online exercise.
For more information on National Wildlife Week events in Nova Scotia visit www.gov.ns.ca/natr.