• Number of Completed Projects (2014-2015)
  • 6
  • Acres Conserved
  • 3,841
  • Land Value
  • $2,062,000
  • Stewardship Volunteers
  • 184

Partnership with the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas provides critical information

In 2014, NCC worked with the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas to survey bird species on 16 NCC properties.

The results are in, and the numbers are impressive:

  • 152 bird species confirmed on NCC’s 16 properties.
  • All properties supported rare species, species at risk, or both.
  • The presence of breeding pairs was confirmed at seven locations.
  • 16 singing golden-winged warbler males on a single property.

The Weston Family Tall Grass Prairie Interpretive Centre celebrated a successful first year, welcoming 336 visitors and hosting researchers on a variety of topics, from snails to butterflies.

Heather Arnold

Seeding of monarch butterfly habitat completed

In 2011, NCC initiated a restoration project on 100 acres (40 hectares) within Manitoba’s Tall Grass Prairie Preserve in southeast Manitoba.

The intention of the project was to restore important habitat for the monarch butterfly, which in recent years has been listed as a species of special concern due to the loss of overwintering sites in Mexico, climate fluctuations and the decline in milkweed – an important plant that is the sole food of monarch caterpillars.

This year, NCC finished seeding the site with a variety of local, native prairie seeds harvested by hand from around the preserve. As the plants germinate and grow over the next couple of years, this site will provide milkweed, goldenrod, aster, blazing star, prairie-clover and sunflower plants on which monarchs can feast, spawn and rest before making their long journey back to Mexico.


Working to conserve Manitoba’s pollinators

In the summer of 2014, NCC partnered with several researchers to better understand the role of pollinators in Manitoba’s natural landscape.

The conservation of habitat that supports native species such as bees, butterflies, birds and flies is critical as they help to fertilize approximately 75 percent of all flowering plants and are integral to the seed production of about one-third of agricultural crops.

This year Diana Robson, curator of botany at the Manitoba Museum, spent time in the fescue prairies of NCC’s Elk Glen Preserve near Riding Mountain National Park studying pollinator-plant relations. In July and August during a 24-hour observation period over eight days, Robson witnessed approximately 64 different species of insects visiting more than 1,200 flowers on the property. Robson’s study identified key species of pollinators and the plants that sustain them.

This research will help to inform the development of NCC’s restoration and stewardship plans and to assist NCC land managers to select prairie seed mixtures that best contribute to overall ecosystem health and the success of our agricultural neighbours.


One man’s legacy

As he approached the end of his life, Bill Nevistiuk set in motion a partnership with NCC that would see most of his properties set aside for conservation.

Nevistiuk had a true passion for nature. He loved animals of all kinds and could often be found planting new trees and caring for them on his properties.

“My brother Bill always dreamed of conserving his lands. Even way back when, he loved nature and wildlife,” said Andrew Nevistiuk. “He always enjoyed the migration. The migratory flight went right over his property and he really enjoyed listening to them gather in the fall and waited for them to return in the spring.”

This past year, NCC acquired Bill’s Blue Wing property. Located near Riding Mountain National Park, Blue Wing is particularly notable for its wetlands. These wetlands are heavily used by waterfowl, including American wigeon, bufflehead, mallard, gadwall, blue-winged teal, ring-necked duck and Canada goose as well as marsh wren. In the spring, the smaller wetlands are important for duck breeding.