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Zoo sauvage de St-Félicien

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Conservation Project of the Heron aviary of St-Félicien

For many years, the black-crowned night heron has nested in the Western Arbour-vitae and larch growths located in edge of the town of St-Félicien. These growths are found on wet and sometimes flooded land. The vegetation is rather dense there, offering on the one hand a good protection, and on the other hand, abundant materials for building a nest. Large trees are also found in the sector which offer an ideal location for the night heron to build its nest.

In 2004, the construction of the loop line forced the night herons to move their nesting location. Today, they are restricted to a small wooded area located on the grounds of a cogeneration plant. It is this new nesting site which makes up our intervention area.

The black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) is a small night wader. It has a squat body, the top of its head and its back is black, its wings and its tail are gray and its chest is white. The night heron is a migratory bird which lives in colonies close to lakes, rivers and moist environments, in the dense forests. He roosts and sleeps in the trees and eats fish, insects, amphibians and small rodents.

Objectives

  • To protect the integrity of the nesting site
  • To protect the birds during their nesting period
  • To inform the visitors of the importance of the site and to put forth measures to respect and protect it

 Actions

  • To ensure an annual follow-up of the state of the population
  • To recover the sick or wounded birds and to provide them the necessary care
  • To inform the population of the importance of the site

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Project Evolution

The year 2008 marks the beginning of this conservation project. Technicians, in natural environment, crossed the site in order to evaluate the dimensions of the heron habitat and carried out a bird count as well as marking the nests and other signs of life. We counted more than 60 black-crowned night heron nests, on a territory of approximately 22,500 sq. meters.

Here are the actions which will be done annually :

  • Enlarging the inventory zone
  • Counting occupied and non-occupied nests and follow-up of activities
  • Recovery and care of the wounded or sick individuals if needed