Project Dashboard

Northern Fulmar and Thick-billed Murre surveys and collections (149284)
Proposal Status: Conformity Determination Issued
Project Overview
Type of application: New
Proponent name: Mark Mallory
Company: Acadia University
Start Date: 2020-06-28
End Date: 2020-07-10
Operation Type: Annual
Project Description:
There are four main objectives of this project: 1. To survey Northern Fulmar (NOFU) nesting colonies in the Lancaster Sound region, at Prince Leopold Island (PLI), Cape Liddon (Devon Island), Hobhouse Inlet (Devon Island), Cape Vera (Devon Island), Baillarge Bay (Baffin Island), and Princess Charlotte Monument. 2. To assess plastic ingestion by seabirds, specifically NOFU and Thick-billed Murre (TBMU) at PLI. 3. To examine incorporation of plastic pollution in Black-legged Kittiwake (BLKI) nests at PLI. 4. To monitor contaminants in eggs of NOFU and TBMU at PLI. At the NOFU colonies, we will count and photograph the nesting areas from a helicopter. The helicopter will fly past the colony 250 m from the cliffs at about 30km/h. Multiple passes may be required, depending on the topography and the height of the cliffs. We expect to spend a maximum of a few hours at each colony. The purpose of the surveys are to count the birds present, so all measures will be taken to not disturb the birds. We take overlapping photographs that we stitch together afterwards with image software. We archive these and then mark each bird on a copy to conduct counts. Data are collated and stored with both Acadia University and federal wildlife officials. In 2018 the Canadian Wildlife Service and partners surveyed four NOFU colonies along the east coast of Baffin Island, and found that all of those colonies have declined by about 75% in the past four decades. Furthermore, genetic analysis of NOFU caught as bycatch in Baffin Bay fisheries indicates that about half of the individuals are from colonies in the Lancaster Sound region. We urgently need to assess whether population trends at colonies in the high Arctic, to help identify the geographic extent and cause(s) of the declines. These data will also aid management planning for PLI Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Nirjutiqarvik National Wildlife Area, and the newly formed Tallurutiup Imanga-Lancaster Sound National Marine Conservation Area. We also may land near each colony to salvage up to 10 carcasses or 10 eggs (birds found dead or cold eggs in abandoned nests) for each of the main species found at the colonies (possibly including NOFU, TBMU, BLKI, Glaucous Gulls, Black Guillemots, Common Eiders, Long-tailed Ducks, Snow Buntings, shorebirds). Samples from these birds will be used in ongoing analyses of contaminants and genetics. At PLI, a field crew will land to collect adults and eggs and take photographs. We will collect 40 adult NOFU and 40 adult TBMU. This will be done in an area of the colony away from any long-term population monitoring plots or egg collection plots. These birds will later be dissected to enable a detailed quantification of all ingested plastic pollution. Within established breeding observation plots for BLKI, 50 nests will be observed using binoculars to determine whether any plastic material is in the nest cups. Additionally, a minimum of 200 nests will be photographed (including the 50 nests within the focal plots) to be examined later for plastic pollution incorporation using digital photo processing software. While work of this type has not taken place in the Canadian Arctic to date, these methods are being used in Europe where BLKI are commonly found incorporating plastics in their nests. Finally, climbers will collect 15 NOFU eggs and 15 TBMU eggs, to be analyzed to track levels of contaminants in the marine environment (this contaminant monitoring has been ongoing at PLI since 1975). The work at PLI will be done in consultation and collaboration with the the Area-Co-Management Committee for the Migratory Bird Sanctuary, and the local hunter and trapper organization to ensure minimal impact on the land and animals during this work.
Persons: 4
Days: 3
Project Map
List of all project geometries:
ID Geometry Location Name
6031 point Cape Vera
6032 point Princess Charlotte Monument
6033 point Cape Liddon
6034 point Hobhouse Inlet
6036 point Prince Leopold Island
6037 point Baillarge Bay
6038 point Whaler Point
Planning Regions:
Affected Areas and Land Types
Extablished National or Territorial Park
Settlement Area
North Baffin Planning Region
Project Land Use and Authorizations
Project Land Use
Scientific Research
Licensing Agencies
GN-DOE: Wildlife Research Permit
CWS: Migratory Bird Sanctuary permit under the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations
CWS: National Wildlife Area permit under the Wildlife Area Regulations
CWS: Scientific permit under the Migratory Bird Regulations
Other Licensing Requirements
No data found.
Material Use
Type Quantity Size Use
Helicopter 1 Bell 206 We will travel by helicopter to seabird colonies, to photograph the colonies from the helicopter. Travel time should be ~8.5 hours/day for 2 days, including travel from PCSP facilities at Resolute Bay to the colonies and time spent at each colony. Weather delays could lead to increased travel time and/or increased number of days. Either in conjunction with the surveys, or on another date, we will also fly by helicopter to PLI to collect seabirds and eggs.
Airplane 1 Twin Otter Prior to the survey dates (~15 June 2020), a Twin Otter will be used to position fuel drums at Cape Vera and Whaler Point, to be used during the helicopter surveys (flight time ~5 hours).
Fuel Use
Type Container(s) Capacity UOM Use
Aviation fuel 6 45 Gallons For helicopter travel and surveys
Hazardous Material and Chemical Use
Type Container(s) Capacity UOM Use
No records found.
Water Consumption
Daily Amount (m3) Retrieval Method Retrieval Location
Waste and Impacts
Environmental Impacts
We do not expect this project to entail any waste disposal at the research sites, as surveys will be completed by helicopter, departing from and returning to PCSP. During the colony surveys, we will maintain distances that have been demonstrated to minimize disturbance while still allowing accurate counts to be obtained. For the collections at PLI, we have well-established sampling locations, to minimize disturbance to birds from ropes or from our movements on the cliffs. We have used these sites for > 20 years. During egg collections, we don't handle the birds and we sample around the start of egg-laying for most species and take 1 egg from each nest, so that they may re-lay an egg, or not abandon the nest. Based on population monitoring at this site, past egg collections have had no measurable negative effects on any of the species. Similarly, collection of 40 adult fulmars and murres will have negligible effect on population dynamics.
Waste Management
Waste Type Quantity Generated Treatement Method Disposal Method
No data found.
Category: Application related document - Conformity Determination Letter
Recieved: 2020-02-11
Originator: Goump Djalogue
Public Registry ID: 17284
Document Size: 249.48 Kb


Environmental Protection:
s3.13.8: The applicant undertakes to prevent any new occurrences of pollution, garbage and contamination at the site of the development.

Removal of Fuel Drums:
s3.13.8: The applicant undertakes to remove all drums safely from the site and dispose of the drums in a safe manner.

New Site Restoration and Clean Up:
s3.13.1 and Appendix H, s1: The applicant undertakes to clean up the site and restore the site to its natural condition to the greatest extent possible.

Old Site Restoration and Clean Up:
s3.13.2: The applicant undertakes to clean up the site and restore the site to its original condition to the greatest extent possible, including any work required due to the applicant's action prior to this application.

Low-Level Air Flights:
Appendix H, s3: Will the applicant avoid all low-level flights?
i. If not, explain why such flights are or may be absolutely necessary.
At the fulmar colonies, surveys will be conducted by helicopter. The helicopter will fly past the cliffs at a distance of about 250 m, at 30 km/h in order for observers to photograph the colony. Previous research has shown that these distances are sufficient to obtain reliable counts without excessively disturbing the colony.
ii. If such flights are or may be absolutely necessary, will they avoid disturbance to people and wildlife?
iii. If not, explain why it is not possible to avoid such disturbance.
Disturbance to people will be avoided during the helicopter flights. The seabird colonies that we plan to survey are in remote areas, with no nearby settlements. We will discuss our research plans during community consultations prior to the fieldwork, and we will take local activities and concerns into account when planning in order to avoid any disturbance. We do not expect the helicopter surveys to cause excessive disturbance at the seabird colonies. Mark Mallory has decades of experience conducting aerial surveys of seabird colonies, and with a helicopter at a distance of 250 m from the colony, it is unlikely that the colony will be significantly disturbed.

Caribou Protection Measures:
s3.3.7 and Appendix D: Will the applicant comply with the Caribou Protection Measures outlined in section 2.4.6 and in Appendix D?

Caribou Water Crossings:
s3.3.7 and map: Will the applicant avoid, between may 15 and September 1, to construct any camp, cache any fuel or conduct any blasting within 10 km of any Designated Caribou Water Crossing identified

Polar Bear Denning Areas and Walrus Haul-outs:
s3.3.8: Will the applicant keep its activities away from any polar bear denning area or walrus haul-out?

Reporting of Archaeological Sites:
s3.11.3 and Appendix H, s2 and s8: Will the applicant immediately report the discovery of all suspected archaeological sites to the Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth (GN)?

Scientific Research:
s3.9.3: Does the project proposal involve scientific research?
If yes, will the applicant integrate all available and relevant local and traditional knowledge when conducting its research?

Consultation with Nunavut Research Institute:
s3.9.5: Has the applicant consulted with the Nunavut Research Institute about research topics that would benefit or interest local residents?
i. Describe the results of your consultation.
This project is basically a continuation of two previous projects (Effects of anthropogenic stressors on Arctic seabirds no. 148645 and Contaminants in Arctic seabirds no. 148757). The NRI was consulted during initial planning stages; consultation with and reporting to relevant HTOs and ACMCs has been ongoing.
Local Services and Local Employment:
s3.9.4: Will the applicant rely on local services and employment where possible?
i. Describe the services retained and the people to be employed.
The field work component of this project directly involves several community members from Resolute Bay. First, the local Area Co-Management Committee will be part of the team that plans for the implementation of the project. This includes logistics, selection of the local crew, and how this project will fit into the larger plan for the protected areas. Second, we are currently planning to hire an Inuit Field Research Assistant (IFRA) as administered by the Canadian Wildlife Service Iqaluit office.In part, this project is being carried out with the community to pilot different approaches that could be used within a community monitoring framework for microplastics in coastal ecosystems. All birds to be used in this study will be part of the Wildlife Contaminants Workshop (WCW) in 2020. During the workshop, the students in the Environmental Technology Program at the Nunavut Arctic College in Iqaluit will be trained to dissect seabirds and collect tissues for contaminants analysis, including microplastics. In 2020-21, the WCW will have a plastics component, and we will use this project to discuss ongoing work on plastics in the region. This will be led by J. Provencher (Environment and Climate Change Canada) and Chelsea Rochman (University of Toronto). The approach using photographs of black-legged kittiwake nests will be a new project and we plan on working with the community of Resolute Bay to have the photo-processing done by a community member. The ACMC has expressed a desire for projects that can involve processing of data in the community, and this portion of the project builds on some work by the ACMC to install cameras at PLI to monitor ship movements near the colony and bird reactions. If funded, the project leads will work with the ACMC and the CWS Iqaluit office to hire a northerner to process and report on the plastic incorporation in nests observed.

Communication on Scientific Research:
s3.2.8: The applicant will, at minimum, translate a summary of its work into Inuktitut and communicate with communities using language that is clear and non-technical. The results of all scientific re