Celebrating birds, biodiversity and nature in the capital, BirdLife-style

Yesterday morning an esteemed crowd gathered at the Canadian Museum of Nature to showcase and celebrate some of Nature Canada’s collaborative work to safeguard important bird and biodiversity areas right here in the nation’s capital.

After a year of groundwork to engage the residents of Ottawa-Gatineau in activities to celebrate, educate (raise awareness), protect and monitor the globally significant Lac Deschênes Important Bird Area (IBA), we were proud to share the highlights of our draft conservation plan, unveil the interpretive panels we’ll be installing in the IBA and reveal a map of the expanded boundary (below) we are proposing for the newly named “Lac Deschênes–Ottawa River IBA”.

We were very honoured to be joined on this occasion by Honorary President of BirdLife International, Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado of Japan, as well as BirdLife’s Honorary Vice-President, Peter Schei, and local VIPs Margaret Beckel, CEO of the Canadian Museum of NatureJean-François Trépanier, CEO of the National Capital Commission; Ottawa City Councillor Katherine Hobbs, and His Excellency Ambassador Okuda of Japan. And last but definitely not least George Finney, Executive Director of our BirdLife co-partner Bird Studies Canada joined us for the event to talk about the IBA Canada partnership. These individuals are pictured above.

And here’s a look at our proposal for an expanded boundary for the national capital region’s unique IBA. The original (current) boundary is shown in orange, with the proposed boundary shown in blue. We’ll be consulting widely on this proposed boundary change and would love to hear what you think – leave a comment here!

We’re very proud to have an opportunity to showcase this exciting, important initiative, and we are very grateful for the support of our local partners, the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club and the Outaouais Birders’ Club, and a  number of funders, including the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Community Foundation of OttawaTELUS Community Grants, the City of Gatineau Green Fund, the Gosling Foundation, the Harold Crabtree Foundation, the McLean Foundation, HRSDC’s Canada Summer Jobs program and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

Stay tuned for more news!