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In case you missed it: the last six months in review

As we launch the fall/winter edition of Canadian Wilderness, we wanted to highlight some of the milestones since the release of the last issue.

Campaign news

Hydro-Quebec abandons dam project on the iconic Magpie River
CPAWS Quebec celebrated an unexpected victory when Hydro-Quebec announced the abandonment of their dam project on the majestic Magpie River. CPAWS Quebec has been working for over 15 years to protect this iconic landscape.

Largest marine protected area announced in northern Canada
CPAWS congratulated the Qikitani Inuit Association, Government of Nunavut, and Environment and Climate Change Canada on the new and larger boundary for the proposed Tallurutiup Imanga/Lancaster Sound National Marine Conservation Area. Now that there is an agreement on the boundary, we look forward to seeing strong protection measures put in place when this MPA is finally designated.

Hundreds of puffins were saved, thanks to CPAWS Newfoundland and Labrador
The Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of CPAWS launched their annual Puffin and Petrel Patrol program on August 6, and this year was busier than ever. Over the past few years, an increased number of stranded seabirds turn up along the roadways and backyards in the southern shore region. Typically, these seabirds can use the stars and the moon as a navigation system, but with increased business and residential development, some of these birds become confused and move towards the artificial lighting, leaving them stranded. This year saw an average of 30 volunteers a night, consisting of both locals and tourists, with some nights consisting of upwards of 70 volunteers. Individuals participate in boat tours traveling the southern shore to save stranded puffins and house them overnight until the can be released in the morning. The 2017 season saw over 653 birds banded and released.

Canada lags the world in land protection, but renewed commitment brings new hope for action
In our annual report on the state of protected areas in Canada, CPAWS called Canada out for ranking last among G7 countries in the percentage of land and freshwater protected for nature. CPAWS’ 2017 report “From Laggard to Leader? Canada's renewed focus on protecting nature could deliver results,” encourages federal, provincial, and territorial governments to step up their protection efforts to conserve Canada’s natural heritage, and deliver on our international commitment.

Together, we fought for enhanced protection of Laurentian Channel
This summer, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) announced the proposed regulations for the Laurentian Channel Marine Protected Area, reducing its size by over one-third after closed door meetings with industry, putting ecologically important areas at risk. The proposed regulations would also allow oil and gas activities to continue within the marine protected area, threatening the species which call this region home. CPAWS called on our supporters and thousands of you wrote letters to Canada’s government expressing your concern.

Rouge National Urban Park received Royal Assent
CPAWS and Nature Canada celebrated a major achievement for Rouge National Urban Park: Bill C-18 received Royal Assent from the Governor General. The law means ecological integrity will be the first priority in management of Rouge National Urban Park. It meets a key request from leading conservation groups in Canada that the federal government prioritize nature conservation in law for the park.

Lake Winnipegosis islands are Canada’s newest provincial parks
In mid-June, the Manitoba government announced the creation of two new provincial parks. Goose and Grand Islands provincial parks are made up of eight islands on Lake Winnipegosis, which were nominated for protection in 2001 by local First Nations based on cultural and wildlife values. CPAWS worked with indigenous communities, the Manitoba government, the Wilderness Committee, and Manitoba citizens to achieve enhanced protection of these spectacular islands.

St. Anns Bank Marine Protected Area received protection
Six years after being selected as an area of interest for a marine protected area, St. Anns Bank off Cape Breton Island was declared an MPA  to conserve and protect the habitats and species in the area, including the endangered leatherback turtle. St. Anns Bank MPA is 4,364 square kilometres in size and contains an important migratory corridor for wildlife travelling to and from the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

In the media

CPAWS named one of 11 best climate change charities
CPAWS had the honour of being named one of the 11 best climate change charities in US, Canada, UK, and Australia. Read the full list of charities online.

Nature needs half
Harvey Locke was featured on CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition to discuss why no less than half the world should be set aside for nature.

Canada’s wildlife populations in decline since 1970s, but there’s hope
WWF-Canada released one of the most shocking reports of the year, examining the state of Canada’s wildlife populations and confirming the sobering loss of biodiversity in Canada. The report concludes half of vertebrate wildlife species in Canada have suffered population declines since 1970, with an average loss of 83 per cent among declining populations.

Protection focusing on conserving habitat is critical if we want our iconic species to thrive in future generations. This is why CPAWS launched its Keep Canada Wild campaign, focusing on helping Canada’s governments achieve 17 per cent of landscape protection by 2020.