ISSUES OF PRIME IMPORTANCE TO PHEASANTS FOREVER
- Ditches and Right-of-ways are key habitat areas and must be protected. Healthy ditches and right-of-ways benefit everyone. Ditches and right-of-ways function much like a wetland, providing flood attenuation that saves municipalities from having to repair and replace culverts, bridges and roads. Healthy ditches provide a necessary buffer filtering nutrients applied to agricultural fields that would otherwise run off into our rivers and lakes, contributing to deteriorated water quality. Other benefits of roadside ditches include their contribution to biodiversity and the provision of critical habitat for pollinators and other insects, songbirds and upland gamebirds. Our goal is to launch an awareness campaign that informs and educates landowners and municipalities about the importance of preserving and enhancing ditches and right-of-ways in southern Alberta. It is our goal to eliminate their continued loss – while more information is gathered that helps quantify their rate of loss and the benefits they provide. Find out more at Pheasants Forever Calgary…
- We are against the selling of our most threatened habitat, native grasslands. We put grassland conservation on the forefront. Grassland ecotypes support 75% of Alberta’s species at risk. While we understand that some public land will be sold, we strongly advise against the selling of native grasslands.
- Green energy developments should be restricted to cultivated lands. It is important that the health of our native grasslands be maintained as we move forward with the expansion of green energy infrastructure. Specifically, wind turbines and solar panels placed on native grasslands negatively impact the functionality of our landscapes. Biodiversity and species abundance are at risk wherever these developments are established. Given that grassland habitats are critical to most of our species at risk, the placement of green developments should be restricted to cultivated lands.
- Grassland bird reproduction is compromised by neonicotinoid insecticides and resultant population declines are a cause for concern. A developing concern in Alberta is the reduction in abundance and diversity of insects and songbirds. Recent literature cites the use of neonicotinoids as a probable cause of reductions in insect populations across the prairies. Further, research conducted by the University of Saskatchewan has shown that grassland bird reproduction is compromised by neonicotinoids and that the resultant population declines are a cause for concern. Most recently, studies from South Dakota reveal that these insecticides are also accumulating in the organs of white-tailed deer and are having negative reproductive effects on deer populations. There is little doubt that further research will demonstrate that pheasants and other upland gamebirds are, in fact, also being harmed.