Wildlife

Looking for volunteers

As the human population continues to grow and more roads are built, it is important to keep in mind the wildlife that is affected by such changes. Year round, many animals cross the roads in search of new habitat, food, or for breeding. When roads are built in the areas rich with wildlife the risks of wildlife vehicle collisions are much higher. When animals are large (like moose or white-tailed deer) it poses a risk to motorist safety and increases animal road mortality. There are also many invisible effects on wildlife like the creation of barriers, roadkill, habitat fragmentation, pollution (air, noise, and light), and in some cases, reduced wildlife population sizes or even extirpation of a species from the area. Therefore, when roads are constructed, it is very important that they are mitigated in the interest of wildlife and human safety.

The National Capital Greenbelt and Gatineau Park have amazing biodiversity that provides opportunities for ecological tourism and many ecosystem services. However, many bio-rich areas are sensitive to development, especially to the construction of new roads and extension of the road network. Is there a problem with road impact on biodiversity in the Capital City region? What species are most affected: large or small? Is this effect adverse? Is there still opportunity to change the situation and raise public awareness about safe roads for people and wildlife?

In 2016, the Ottawa Valley chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society began a road ecology study in Gatineau Park and other areas to determine the impacts that certain roads have on wildlife. This is a 2-year study, and CPAWS-OV is looking for volunteers who are interested in helping with data collection in Gatineau Park and along Highway 5. This would involve reporting to CPAWS-OV any observations made of dead animals on the roads, with their coordinates and description of area near the road where they were found (marsh, wetland, forest, etc.). If possible, and depending on comfortability, we would like the animals to be moved off the road so that they are not counted again. The animals included in the study are amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The areas of study in Gatineau Park are Meech Lake road, Dunlop, the north loop of the Gatineau Parkway, and Fortune Lake road.
 

 

If you are interested, please contact the Road Ecology Technician, Leah Viau at lviau@cpaws.org for more information. The first phase report will be available soon, although after the second phase of the study, a full report will be completed with suggested mitigation measures.

The deer Tick

Ixodes scapularis, also called deer tick, is a tick species more and more frequently found in the province of Quebec. This tick is infamous as a vector of many zoonosis such as babesiosis, ehrlichiosis and of course, the Lyme disease. This is why it is important to take precautionary measures before and after a forest outing.

Recognize the deer tick

The deer tick is an insect recognizable by its black head and paws and at its rufous body. It’s about 1 to 3 mm long and females can triple in size when gorged of blood. In that state, they are taking a silver gray color and are easier to spot.


What can we do to avoid ticks?

The simplest thing to do is to wear a hat, long sleeves-shirts, longs pants and closed shoes when walking in the woods. It is also recommended to apply insect repellant with DEET.  It very Important to inspect yourself, your children and your pets after a forest outing.

What to do when bitten by a tick?

If you find a tick on you or your children, you must carefully remove it as soon as possible (see the following section) and keep it in a sealed container. It is recommended to note the date, the place and the body part where you found the insect as this information could be useful if you have to see a doctor. Once you have removed the tick, wash your hand and the body part bitten with water and soap and call Info Santé at 811.

For a tick found on your pet, remove it and bring it to your veterinary. Some veterinary offer an analysis service for tick-transmitted diseases. 

 

How can I safely remove a tick?

1.    Gently but firmly, pinch the tick’s head with narrow-pointed pliers. Do not press or turn the insect and DO NOT PRESS THE TICK’S ABDOMEN witch increases the risk of diseases transmission.

2.    Gently, firmly and continuously pull the tick’s head upright.  If the head is still stuck in the skin, remove it afterward.

3.    Put the insect in a sealed container (ex. A pills container)

4.    Wash your hand and the bitten area with soap and water.

 

Useful Links

http://sante.gouv.qc.ca/en/problemes-de-sante/maladie-de-lyme/

https://www.ville.gatineau.qc.ca/portail/default.aspx?p=sante_publique_q...

http://sante.gouv.qc.ca/en/conseils-et-prevention/retrait-de-la-tique-en...

 


 

Living in harmony with the black bear



 

Bears need a large volume of food in order to build fat reserves to help them easily go through the winter months of dozing inside their den. Human food scraps are a concentrated and energetic food source for the bear. If the food is easy to obtain, the bear will gradually lose its fear of humans and could become a problem.

 


Black bears can be attracted by:

  • Bird feeders
  • BBQ grids that have not been cleaned properly
  • Pet food left outside the house
  • Fruit trees and berry patches
  • Gardens

 

These sources of food can appear negligible, but they are important enough to attract bears on your property and encourage them to remain in the surrounding area.
 
The ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec (MRNF) will not install a cage in order to relocate a bear as long as the sources of food mentioned above are not eliminated.
 

 

 

 


Household waste:

 

The collection of household waste in Chelsea is done in alternation every two weeks. That is, one week household waste is picked up and the next week, recyclables. This practice allows for our environmental goals to be achieved more quickly.
 
However, the smell of household waste can attract bears. Thus, it is very important to put your household waste in an airtight container, such as stipulated in article 4 of the By-law on household waste collection in Chelsea. 

 

 

Our recommendations:

  • Put your refuse in a 360 L rolling container
  • Put your garbage bin outside the day of the collection
  • Store garbage bins or containers in a closed space
  • In the absence of a garage or shed, build a garbage box able to accommodate 360 L containers
  • Neutralize odors using dolomitic lime

 

Be careful when walking or strolling

Be vigilant when taking a walk in places where bears have been seen. Inform them of your presence by speaking, singing, whistling or carrying a bear bell with you.

 

If you encounter a black bear:

  • Stay calm.
  • Don’t shout or make sudden movements. Talk to it in a soft voice.
  • Always leave it an avenue of escape
  • Don’t run away. By running, you may encourage the bear to follow you and see you as its prey.
  • Avoid looking it directly in the eyes.
  • Back up slowly, keeping it in your sight all the while.
  • If it advances, toss objects in front of you to distract it. 

 

If it attacks :

  • It is NOT recommended to play dead with a black bear. Stay attentive and be ready to face it in the event it attacks.
  • If it attacks, defend yourself with whatever is close at hand: rocks, sticks, an axe, etc. Raise your voice, shout and gesticulate. The goal is to impress it into retreating. 

 

Information:

www.mrnf.gouv.qc.ca
General information1-866-248-6936

 

Role of the municipality :

  • To inform residents and pass on information regarding black bears. 
  • To do follow-ups regarding the procedures to be undertaken. 
  • To stay in contact with the National Capital Commission (NCC) and the MRNF regarding various issues, including that of troublesome bears. 
  • However, it is not the role of the municipality to intervene in the trapping and relocation of troublesome black bears.


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