Canada’s Grasslands Conservation Survey

Are you involved in sustainable land-use and/or conservation initiatives in Canada’s grasslands region? If so here’s an invitation for you or your organization to contribute information to a survey on grassland conservation initiatives in Canada.
Nature Canada is conducting this survey to collect information on targeted conservation actions and beneficial practices (see definitions below) that foster grassland biodiversity conservation while providing economic benefits to local communities on the Canadian Prairies. In particular, we are interested in documenting initiatives taking place in Grassland Priority Conservation Areas, shown here.
Your contribution to our survey will help to inform grasslands stakeholders throughout North America of the successful tools and approaches available to support biodiversity conservation and socioeconomic benefits in grassland regions. The information compiled through the survey will be made available to grasslands land owners/managers, including First Nations, and other stakeholders as part of a broader two-year initiative being led by the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). This initiative is called “North American Grasslands: Management Initiatives and Partnerships to Enhance Ecosystem and Community Resilience” and spans grasslands in Canada, the USA and Mexico.
Grasslands are recognized as perhaps the only truly continental biome in North America and are arguably the landscape most at risk due to impacts from a host of human activities.  Fortunately, sustainable management practices that enhance biodiversity conservation and support economically beneficial production in grassland ecosystems are emerging. The CEC’s initiative aims to identify and share these good practices, and develop partnerships that benefit economic activities as well as the viability of this critical ecosystem.
The grasslands survey is focused on past and current initiatives that can be categorized as targeted conservation actions and/or beneficial practices, defined as follows:
Targeted conservation actions: Includes any coordinated measures intended to reduce, mitigate, prevent or reverse negative impacts on grasslands biodiversity (individual species, habitats or whole ecosystems). Such actions could range from education/awareness-building efforts to on-the-ground activities focused on conserving a species and/or its habitat.
Beneficial practices: Includes any coordinated agricultural or other land-use practice intended to reduce, mitigate, prevent or reverse negative impacts on grasslands biodiversity (individual species, habitats or whole ecosystems). Such practices could include alternative grazing or mowing regimes that benefit forage production and grassland biodiversity.
The information collected through the survey will be compiled into a database, which will then be analyzed to determine if and where there are gaps in efforts to support biodiversity conservation in Canada’s grasslands. The information will also be used to generate maps (where appropriate) showing where conservation initiatives are taking place relative to CEC’s Grassland Priority Conservation Areas, Important Bird Areas and designated conservation lands (e.g., protected areas, private conservation lands).
The survey should only take 10-15 minutes to complete and can be accessed until April 5, 2012. If you would prefer to provide information by other means or have any questions about this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience using the information below.
Thanks for your interest! You can contact me, Alex, if you have questions at: amacdonald@naturecanada.ca