Demonstration Farm Project – Enchant Farm Upland Restoration
Farming has become far more intensive since the post-war recovery following the Second World War. Wildlife that once thrived with earlier farming practices have increasingly struggled, and with more than 24 million acres in Alberta now under cultivation, hunting opportunity for upland gamebirds has diminished substantially. We established a partnership with a working farm to evaluate approaches for re-establishing vibrant upland bird densities while maintaining a profitable farming operation. Working closely with the landowner, we intend to trial habitat enhancements and progressive game management practices to increase breeding density and reproductive output of existing gamebirds (grey partridge), as well as re-establish the pheasant population. We will focus enhancements on habitat features important to upland birds for nesting, brood rearing and winter survival. We will also monitor a range of non-target species to assess effects on amphibians, invertebrates and songbirds. In 2014/15, the first year of the project, we focused primarily on collecting baseline data. The project is anticipated to continue for 10 years after our enhancements are initiated. The 1,340 ac property (5.42 km2) has 893 ac under cultivation, and already has shrub enhancements around some of the field edges surrounding the six fields under irrigation. During baseline surveys in early spring 2014, approximately 55 grey partridge pairs were counted, which is a density of 10.1 pair/km2. No hen pheasants were detected. Finding approaches that increase gamebird densities within a profitable farming operation is an important part of convincing landowners that both goals are attainable on the same farm.
Scott Ward and Cole Haggins, Stamp Select Seeds
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|Demonstration Farm Project – Enchant Farm Upland Restoration||2015||2|
|Demonstration Farm Project - Enchant Farm Upland||2016||2|