First of all, Parks Canada’s Conservation and Restoration (CoRe) program addresses many issues that are related to the conservation of biodiversity and healthy ecosystem on the Earth. It plays an essential role in protecting wildlife, tackling climate change, and it conserves the species at danger (Government of Canada, 2018). The forest of Terra Nova National Park is located on the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. It was established in 1957 and was the first National Park in Newfoundland. Parks Canada selected Terra Nova National Park as it is an outstanding example of the eastern Atlantic natural region.
It was also chosen to be National Park more than a half-century ago to protect its unique Boreal forest & wildlife species that call Terra Nova home (Terra Nova brochure, 1970). It is a popular area for tourism because of its characteristics coastal landscape, abundant forest, and one can experience first-hand of the riches of the land and seashore. Even of its natural beauty, Terra Nova National Park faces many challenges, including moose population, fire forest, and some species face extinction due to global warming, ozone depletion, invasive species & irregular human activities (Parks Canada, 2019).
The structure of the forest was changing due to the increasing number of moose & fire. Firstly, between 1878 and 1904, moose were introduced to the island of Newfoundland after that population of moose increased in the Terra Nova National park predator-free environment. Two particular factors that help to the successful growth of moose population: 1) in 1932, the only wild predators of moose in Newfoundland, the wolf, became extirpated.
2) During the 1970 to 1980, extensive insect disturbance created additional favorable moose habitat. (Forest health in terra nova national park, pg.2). Moose can eat a lot of trees in one day because they are huge animals. Moose used tasty hardwood and fir seedling for their appetites. So trees were not regenerating, and forest look liked as an open field. At this time, in some areas of the park, natural disturbance like forest fire occurred, so trees became weaker. Forest dependent species were losing their habitat due to the diversity of wildlife and vegetation. A few years’ discussion & planning Parks Canada introduce saving the seedling restoration project in which the moose population reduction program in Terra Nova National Park helps to improve forest health and ecological integrity of the forest. (Government. of Canada).
Stakeholders: What groups were involved in the work, and what were their roles?
Wildlife management specialists, provincial stakeholders, native people, and the Quality and Miawpkek Milkmaa first nation were involved in this program to reduce and maintain the moose population in Terra Nova National Park. However, Park Canada plays a vital role in providing guidance and direction to all participants.
Volunteers: school children, naturalist clubs, and people from local communities were also participate in this project (Parks Canada, 2017).
Indigenous communities: Parks Canada agency established a relationship with two indigenous community quipu and miawpked Mi'kmaq because they were majority members of the west coast of the island. They have in-depth knowledge about the heritage resources of the national park (Terra Nova National Park draft management plan, 2019).
Government groups: Were any government groups involved? Was any important legislation invoked? Was the work spurred by a grassroots movement?
In this project, there were only two groups that were involved (1) Parks Canada (2) wildlife division of the government of newfound and Labrador.
Other federal departments and agencies provincial and municipal governments support the management system in the assessment process of the Terra Nova National Park.
Legislations: Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (2012)
Parks Canada Agency Act (1998)
Canada National Parks Act (2010)
Under the bill, there were few restrictions to be considered: 1) Parks Canada allocated the hunting license in which moose is only species permitted for hunting. 2) Backcountry camping is allowed at specific campsites that resister moose harvester information (hunting trapping guide- 2019 & 2020). 3) Parks Canada choose some areas where wildflowers are not to be picked. Feeding, and touching to the wild animals is not permitted because of maintaining the natural ecosystem of Terra Nova National Park.
Timeline and milestone:
30 percentage moose population reduced from 2013 to 2017.
2013: park Canada surveyed the forest area where the moose population damage forest health. Parks Canada also notices the results of the hyperabundant species management plan 2001 that preserve the forest ecosystem from moose browsing in the park.
2014-2015: Park Canada made 85 licenses and also 5 licenses for registered charitable organizations in Terra Nova National Park. They established a fence to moose browsing. 20 meters buffer area where hunting is not permitted along the Trans-Canada highway and Terra Nova Road and 20 meters fence along the Eastport highway.
2016: Park Canada extended the hunting season from September to January to get success in this program. The number of licenses was also increased from 90 to 120 and 30 for a registered charitable trust.
2017: Between 2015 and 2017, four prescribed fires were conducted to restore mature black spruce forest and established a forest health pavilion and interpretive trail to provide education about awareness of forest health.
Milestone was achived and final report was prepared. The resuls got from this project was 25% less browsing on hardwood species and 25% balsam fir seedling and sapling at Terra Nova Park (Parks Canada).
Parks Canada’s achievement health recovery of the forest program is measured by vegetation response. Balsam fir and other hardwood species are monitored according to the height and steam density of plants by parks Canada. Some invasive species were removed and increase the success of re-greening trees and replace the forest canopy when the moose population declined. Terra Nova National Park management used other techniques like seeding, tree planting, weed control in those areas that have been particularly hard-hit by moose browsing to jumpstart the regeneration of the forest (park Canada.gc.ca). According to the condition and trend of EI indicator national park. Terra Nova got a green indicator condition, which means overall forest biodiversity is increasing (condition guidelines for E1 monitoring, 2011).
Government of Canada played an important role in financing this project. In 5 years, the government of Canada got 75 million dollars annually to restore and improve biodiversity in Canada’s National Parks from the budget 2003 and 60 million over from budget 2003. Several million dollars for improving the national status of national historic infrastructure.
In this project budget (1.8 million dollars) PA2 budget (90%) for restoring the forest health. The analysis of expenditure suggested that there was no accurate figure for the sub-program of National Parks conservation. The investment of this budget used on research on the ecosystem, cost of E1 monitoring & restoration subprogram.
Expertise & Technology:
Government of Newfoundland & Labrador gave this responsibility to parks Canada. Many Ecologists wanted to find out the actual reason for decreasing forest biodiversity. After the research, it was a moose that were eating all the young trees before they could grow. So they built 2 small enclosures that kept the moos out. One the North Mountain and another on the Skyline trail. After months, trees on the North Mountain started to recover on their own. So keeping the moos away may be all that is needed to help the forest recover in that Park. On the Skyline Trail, the forest was more severely damaged by the moose population or the grasses were too dense, so it needs more help to restore its ecological integrity. So larger enclosures were built, and thousands of seeding were planted. Parks Canada began efforts to control the moose population, working with Mi’kmaw community harvesters, the moose meat is distributed to the community through Nova Scotia. Lower number of moose in the Terra Nova Park will lead to higher biodiversity across the landscape (Parks Canada). Lastly, Parks Canada finished this project with the help of volunteers, including students and Mi’kmaw youth.
Terra Nova National Park Invite Canada and World to enjoy spectacular Boreal forest & unique natural wonders to explore its awe-inspiring beauty.