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Environment and Conservation
December 30, 2009

Research Activities on the Rise in Provinceís Protected Areas

Newfoundland and Labradorís protected areas provide natural venues for scientific research, and a significant amount of research took place during the 2009 season. Thirty scientific research permits were issued for projects in wilderness and ecological reserves and provincial parks throughout the province, a number that has been increasing steadily since 2004.

"Scientific research is essential to the successful management of our provinceís parks and reserves, and we encourage this research within our protected areas," said the Honourable Charlene Johnson, Minister of Environment and Conservation. "The diversity and calibre of research programs in the parks and reserves this season truly demonstrates the scientific value of these areas."

The majority of research in 2009 was carried out by local researchers, in addition to a number of projects were conducted by scientists from Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Many of the permits were for new research projects, including the refurbishment of eider duck nest boxes at Hare Bay Islands Ecological Reserve; inventories of birds, arthropods and lichens in a number of parks and reserves; and the casting of the globally-significant Ediacaran fossils at Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve. The silicone cast of these fossils was highlighted on the Discovery Channelís Daily Planet show and is important in the study of early animal evolution.

Research permits were also renewed for ongoing research on fossils, mushrooms, brook trout, seabirds and woodland caribou.

Permits to conduct scientific research and monitoring in provincial parks and wilderness and ecological reserves are mandatory and can be obtained by contacting the Parks and Natural Areas ecologist at 709-635-4529, or by visiting

The Parks and Natural Areas Division of the Department of Environment and Conservation is responsible for the 19 wilderness and ecological reserves, one public reserve, 32 provincial parks, and two Canadian heritage rivers in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Media contact:

Melony OíNeill
Director of Communications
Department of Environment and Conservation
709-729-2575, 689-0928

2009 12 30                                                        10:15 a.m.

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