In order to ensure the survival of the Golden Eagle, human activity would
need to be limited, as the species is extremely “shy” and
has been known to desert nests during incubation periods because of human
disturbance. It is also an easy target for hunters, so enforcement of
the hunting ban on the property needs to be established. The pasture would
need to be maintained in order for hunting to take place. Power lines
and other utility equipment would need to be excluded, since the species
has a history of high electrocution rates and will use them as perches.
Generally, habitat protection would need to be ensured for the survival
of the Golden Eagle population.
If the site was to be maintained for the Rufous-sided Towhee, some form
of secondary succession would need to be maintained and small predators
(cats, raccoons) would need to be excluded. The species benefits from
regular burning, but this is not currently being considered at the site.
Again, since the property is not within the natural range, it simply may
not be possible to support a population of the Rufous-sided Towhee.
The timing and method of mowing, haying, or grazing determine whether
or not Sedge Wrens will continue to be benefited by a pasture (Delisle
and Savidge, 1997). Mowing and haying operations should not be allowed
during the breeding season or directly before (i.e. time is needed to
allow for structural complexity). Winter grazing may substantially reduce
availability of cover and nesting substrate for spring arrivals (Delisle
and Savidge, 1997) and should therefore be limited. Grazing in the lower
pasture must be reduced if it is to be used by this species. Chemical
spraying for weeds, such as the Purple Loosestrife, should only be allowed
on a spot-by-spot basis during non-nesting seasons (Delisle and Savidge,
1997). Access by people to the pasture should be limited during the breeding
season. Hydro-Québec towers and the like should not be allowed
on the property. The site should be added to the listed sites for the
Breeding Bird Site Inventory Program for endangered species in Québec
for monitoring purposes.
More protected forest must be ensured to protect this species on the site.
Further forest purchases should be adjacent to existing forests, or not
more than one mile away (as this is the flight distance limit of this
Dead and dying trees along with snags should be left intact to provide
suitable habitat for the Red-headed Woodpecker. If the Red-headed Woodpecker
is going to fend well against populations of the European starling, European
starling populations (which are doing well) need to be controlled. Car
collisions are a major concern for the Red-headed Woodpecker (they often
swoop close to roads for prey). Reduced speed limits are necessary to
help decrease incidents of road mortality. Since this is a nature preserve,
logging, fire-wood cutting and snag harvesting is not really a concern
as such activities will likely not be tolerated. Fire will likely be suppressed
for the most part in a nature preserve and reforestation is a natural
process that will likely occur - it is essential, however, to maintain
open habitat for the Red-headed Woodpecker. This may include such activities
as pruning shrubbery or thinning out particular sections of the forest.
These types of activities may or may not be necessary, however, as the
Red-headed Woodpecker could be making use of other natural open spaces
such as the pasture because of its generalist behavior. The introduction
of new creosote telephone poles into the nature preserve should obviously
not be permitted.
The occurrence of the Red-headed Woodpecker on the nature preserve needs
to be determined.
Grasshopper Sparrows tend to select sites 1 to 2 years after they have
been burned (grasses are patchy and begin to reach intermediate heights).
During years of drought, burnings should be avoided because there may
not be enough healthy vegetation to support the Grasshopper Sparrow. Mowing
hayfields and other agricultural lands less often and preferably many
weeks prior to breeding season will likely be beneficial to the Grasshopper
Sparrow (this has proven to be successful along many airport runways).
Moderate grazing is a good idea because it provides a patchy habitat with
a diversity of grass heights. In larger areas (i.e. greater than 80 hectares),
a mixture of burnings, mowing and moderate grazing can be beneficial creating
a mosaic habitat of different successional stages over different time
periods - this would be an efficient management strategy of grasslands
for the Grasshopper Sparrow. The reduction of edge effects through the
creation of a buffer zone would also be advisable. Any other activities
that damage the ground habitat of Grasshopper Sparrows such as the use
of ATVs would clearly be detrimental as these are crucial nesting sites.
Domestic animals such as cats and dog should not be permitted on the property.
Mowing or grazing of the existing pastures should be undertaken and supervised
to ensure that the length of the vegetation remains close to the ideal
50 cm. Hunting should be prohibited on the property and chemical spraying
should be limited as much as possible. The purchase and protection of
surrounding property that contain grassland should be considered.
Western Chorus Frog
The wetlands of the area must be protected so that they do not decrease
in area and remain free of contaminants. Pesticide use must be very limited
or eliminated as it could threaten the Western Chorus Frog’s food
source. Herbicides and pesticides should be limited as to prevent the
contamination of the wetlands. Any ditches on the property should be cleaned
in such a way that the frog would not be disturbed.
Cooper’s Hawks feed on European Starlings. This could benefit the
Red-Headed Woodpecker on the site since the starling is a strong competitor.
The use of organochlorine pesticides should be restricted to an on-the-spot
use, if used at all, because it decreases the hawk’s reproductive
Target flora species
were prioritized according to the seriousness of the threats to each present
on the site. The two species of highest concern are Rock Elm and Wild
Leek. Rock Elm is threatened by Dutch elm disease, whereas wild leak faces
risk of extirpation in Quebec due to intensive harvesting.
Steps to be taken:
Young trees of Rock Elm do not often grow past twenty centimeters in trunk
diameter before they are killed by the disease. Isolated individuals on
the site tend to survive longer. Further details on the extent of the
problem are currently unknown. Assessment of extent of the disease and
implementation of a program to deal with this threat requires immediate
attention in order to prevent the Rock Elm populations from declining.
Wild Leek is found on the forested slope on shingly sandy loam. The major
threat to this species is harvesting by humans, which is suspected to
occur on the site. Harvesting should be prohibited because computer models
of this species show that even harvesting rates of 5-15% caused population
decline (Nault et Gagnon, 1993). The population of Wild Leek should be
assessed because the minimal viable population of this species is estimated
to be 300 to 1000 individuals.