A Chance Encounter Brings Good Luck

In 1995 Mr. Gerry Yetman, a biologist working for the Department of Tourism, spent 2 months in the stewardship area looking at different bird populations and counted 95 different species. He discovered that the Prairie Pond area was home to many different species of birds, some of them rare.

Yetman approached the council with the idea of stopping the backfill process. He explained how over time the nutrient rich sediment in the remaining wetland was contributing to an enhanced wetland habitat. Observations revealed that the little wetland remaining had become a breeding area for various species of waterfowl and other wildlife.

Broods of American Wigeon, Pintail and Black Duck were observed in the area, as well as the American Bittern, Killdeer, and Red-Winged Blackbirds.

Sago pondweed, one of the top-rated aquatic plants for waterfowl is well established. Sago is relatively uncommon in Newfoundland. Cattails also benefited from the nutrients and were providing excellent cover around the pond.

The council, now aware of this valuable habitat, helped to develop a plan to reclaim a part of the pond. They looked for advice on how to protect and improve on the habitat that remained.

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