Montréal, May 6th 2019 – The Ecomuseum Zoo is pleased to announce the completion of the second phase of a project that aims to protect the natural habitat of the brown snake, the most urban reptile in the province.
Improving the Brown Snake’s habitats in Montréal
In order to contribute to the maintenance and good health of brown snake populations in the greater Montréal area, the Ecomuseum Zoo continued its efforts to improve and conserve the natural habitats favored by the species.
Thanks to generous support from Environment and Climate Change Canada ($ 52,756), the Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’environnement ($ 25,900) and the Fondation de la Faune du Québec ($ 18,000), a second phase of the project has just been completed.
Thus, four protected areas were developed in 2017 and 2018 to improve the habitats where the species is present: the Parc Nature de l’Île-de-la-Visitation, the Parc Nature de la Pointe-aux-Prairies, the Refuge faunique de Deux-Montagnes, and the Parc nationale des Îles-de-Boucherville. Improvements over a total of almost 31 hectares of habitat were targeted. It took 342 metric tons of blasted stones to erect 4 hibernacula and 87 shelters, more than double the work completed in phase I of the project.
Initiate activities to protect and to raise awareness
In order to raise awareness among the various actors within the territory (both at various decision-making levels and local organizations) of the necessity and the urgency to better protect Brown snake populations, the Ecomuseum Zoo developed Québec’s Brown Snake Conservation Plan. This plan was widely distributed in 2018 and is now in the hands of 95 public, private and government agencies. To date, the Ecomuseum Zoo's efforts have supported the protection of an additional 30 hectares of habitat for Brown snakes, as well as the potential integration of further sites in conservation measures.
The Ecomuseum Zoo also produced an animated video capsule that aims to introduce the Brown snake to the general public and raise awareness of the importance of protecting its habitat. Several facts are presented and myths are debunked to allow everyone to get to know this unfamiliar species, both harmless and very useful on our territory. The video capsule will be broadcast on the Ecomuseum Zoo’s social media platforms in the spring of 2019.
The one and only outdoor zoo on the island of Montréal, the Ecomuseum Zoo has offered its visitors an incomparable and natural experience for more than 30 years. Opened to the public for the first time in 1988, it is operated by the Saint-Lawrence Vallary Natural History Society, a non-profit organization whose mission is focused on education, conservation and applied research. Since its inception, the Ecomuseum Zoo has developed notable expertise in the research and conservation of Québec’s reptiles and amphibians. In 2011, the Ecomuseum Zoo was bestowed CAZA-AZAC’s (Accredited Aquariums and Zoos of Canada) Thomas R. Baines Award for the body of its work with Québec's reptile and amphibian populations. The Ecomuseum Zoo is accredited by CAZA-AZAC. For more information visit www.zooecomuseum.ca.
The Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’environnement supports organizations that work concretely to protect, restore and enhance natural habitats and who strive to educate local communities about specific environmental issues of their surroundings. From 2001 to 2018, the Fondation awarded close to $ 16 million to 284 projects implemented in all of Québec's administrative regions. The overall value of these projects is estimated at just over $ 51 million. To find out more about the various projects the Fondation has contributed to, visit www.hydroquebec.com/fondation-environment.
Environment and Climate Change Canada's EcoAction community funding program provides financial support to community groups involved in projects that have both positive and measurable environmental impacts. Projects must address one of Environment and Climate Change Canada's environmental priorities: climate change, air quality and the natural environment. For more information, visit www.ec.gc.ca.
The Fondation de la Faune du Québec’s mission is to showcase and enhance wildlife and its habitats. That's why, for the last 25 years, it has supported nearly 2,000 organizations that protect this invaluable treasure throughout Québec thus creating a true wildlife movement. To learn more, visit www.fondationdelafaune.qc.ca.