Field Notes from Eeyou Istchee
About the program
For nearly a decade, Nature Canada has worked to support the Cree Nation Government, the Cree Trappers Association (CTA), the Eeyou Marine Region Wildlife Board (EMR), and the coastal Cree communities’ interests and efforts to identify and protect important bird and wildlife habitat along the James Bay coast of the Eeyou Istchee.
In 2019, the Cree Nation Government was awarded a multi year grant from the Canada Nature Fund of the Government of Canada to identify new protected areas within the territory of the Cree Nation.
Why we’re doing this work
With mounting threats from climate change, resources exploration and development, pollution, and economic uncertainty, the importance of protecting the areas on which the Cree culture depends is crucial. In protecting these areas, other biodiversity also benefits from the protection. Our work, in support of and in partnership with the Cree, has been focused on identifying important bird habitat, documenting the presences of threatened wildlife, and collaborating with the local communities to meet their needs and goals.
Important bird habitat for this work can be described as places that accommodate large numbers of birds including species of cultural importance like geese and ducks, species that are declining or in trouble like shorebirds, and of course, species at risk such as the endangered Red Knot, the threatened Hudsonian Godwit and Common Nighthawk, or the special concern Yellow Rail.