DEDICATED TO THE CONSERVATION OF PHEASANTS AND THEIR HABITAT
Pheasants Forever Calgary is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants and other wildlife by restoring and enhancing the upland wildlife landscape.
We protect habitat by helping to secure it:
- We partner with a number of other conservation organizations and private individuals to acquire parcels of land suitable for habitat enhancement and restoration. It is important that these sites have public access and will benefit upland wildlife especially pheasants.
We enhance and restore upland habitat for pheasants by:
- Planting quality nesting cover, trees, shrubs and grasses to create shelterbelts and protective cover
- Establishing winter food plots and emergency feeding stations
- Restoring wetlands
- Installing fencing to keep cattle from overgrazing established shelterbelts and riparian areas
- Developing off-site watering units for cattle
- Installing drip irrigation systems
- Installing turnouts on underground irrigation projects
We engage, educate and build relationships with stakeholders throughout Alberta to influence the long-term protection of pheasant habitat.
We support youth education programs that encourage and instill conservation ethics, responsible sportsmanship and an appreciation for wildlife.
WHY IT MATTERS
The primary aim of Pheasants Forever Calgary is to increase upland game birds and other wildlife populations in southern Alberta by protecting and enhancing the quantity and quality of wildlife habitat.
In addition to providing habitat for game birds, these upland habitats contribute to biodiversity, which in turn benefits our environment and society.
By protecting upland habitats, we are helping to protect biodiversity on the landscape. Biodiverse ecosystems perform critical functions essential to human existence, including oxygen production, soil creation, water purification and the provision of food, clothing and medicine.
When habitats are lost, biodiversity decreases resulting in ecosystems that are less stable, more vulnerable to extreme events and have weakened natural cycles. The naturally occurring results of a healthy ecosystem—such as clean water and air, maintenance of critical nutrient cycles, flood control, pest control and pollination of crops are critical to the wellbeing of all of us.
- 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. Read more…
- 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.