Battling ‘Aliens’ to Protect Nature’s Diversity

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is looking for volunteers to help battle aliens – the invasive alien species that threaten our natural habitats and biodiversity.

NCC is launching its annual Conservation Volunteers program in time for May 22, International Day of Biological Diversity. This year the United Nations sanctioned day will target invasive species that can overwhelm entire landscapes and choke out native plants and animals. The Conservation Volunteers program for 2009 offers scores of ways for Canadians to fight the alien invaders.

Conservation Volunteers is the only program of its kind that operates from coast to coast across Canada. Open to anyone who loves nature, the program brings together volunteers and NCC experts to work together in the field caring for some of this country’s most precious natural areas.

This year Conservation Volunteers will host nearly 100 events from spring to late fall. In addition to monitoring and removing invasive plants, volunteers will count butterflies and birds, plant trees and learn how to protect and care for the diversity of nature that we all value.

Conservation Volunteers make a real difference. In 2008 more than a thousand volunteers got their hands dirty with NCC. They planted 4,800 trees, banded 1,900 birds, and collected two tonnes of garbage and filled nearly 300 large garbage bags with non-native invasive plants. They contributed more than 9,300 hours of conservation work vital to NCC’s mission to protect our natural treasures. And they had fun.

Outings offer great experiences for budding ecologists, skilled naturalists, families, photographers and all outdoor enthusiasts. Explore, restore and learn more with Conservation Volunteers.

Quotes

“We are so lucky to be living in a country that has been blessed with such natural beauty,” said John Lounds, President and CEO of NCC. “Unfourtunately, many of us don’t take the time to enjoy it. Conservation Volunteers allows Canadians to do just that while helping protect significant wildlife habitats.”

“This program provides a tremendous boost to our capacity to deliver conservation results on a suite of properties right across Canada. Volunteers work with us and contribute directly to our conservation and stewardship goals in the field”, explains Kevin Kavanagh, Manager of Conversation Volunteers and Internship Programs at NCC.

Facts

  • Conservation Volunteers began as a small regional initiative in Ontario and Alberta. This is the second year for a full-scale national program
  • In 2008 NCC hosted 63 volunteer events
  • In 2008 volunteers contributed work valued at close to a quarter of a million dollars
  • Volunteers surveyed 1,186 acres of NCC lands for rare plants resulting in the discovery of 10 notable species and one rare plant community

Learn More

For information about events taking place in your region visit www.conservationvolunteers.ca

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is Canada’s leading land conservation organization. Since 1962, NCC has helped to protect more than 800,000 hectares (2 million acres) of ecologically significant land nationwide. Visitwww.NatureConservancy.ca

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Great media opportunities available.

Contact:

Reena Kudhail

Media Relations Coordinator

Nature Conservancy of Canada

416-932-0050 ext. 252

reena.kudhail@natureconservancy.ca

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