Awareness program on the impact of interfering with seabirds

Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve

ROBERGE, B. 1998. Le programme sur la sensibilisation au dérangement des oiseaux marins et sur l'éthique de navigation dans l'archipel de Mingan . Une approche de gestion basée sur la participation du public. Poster. Parcs Canada, Unité de gestion de Mingan. 1p.

Atlantic puffins and razorbill standing on a rock
Atlantic Puffins and Razorbill
© Parks Canada / M. Boulianne / L 31 04 22, 1989

The 12 species and over 35,000 nesting couples of seabirds in the Mingan Archipelago are of immeasurable value to the region from an ecological, cultural and economic perspective. Scientific studies have demonstrated that human interference can adversely affect the survival of seabirds. The Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada ( MANPRC ) thus initiated an Awareness Program on the Impact of Interfering With Seabirds and Navigation Ethics in the Mingan Archipelago in 1996. Through a public awareness campaign and, equally, the development of a code of ethics with regional stakeholders, this program aims to anticipate and thus limit disturbance to seabirds that is linked to observation and navigation activities in the park and its surrounding waters. This approach is based on a global vision integrating the regional, legal and ecological aspects of seabird population management in the Mingan region. Consultation with regional partners and the public in 1996 and 1997 resulted in a code of ethics which was distributed in leaflet form in 1998. This code of ethics outlines the behaviour to adopt to avoid disturbing seabirds during observation and navigation activities in the Mingan Archipelago. Public participation in this process was of utmost benefit in arriving at enlightened decisions that best reflect the regional reality. These consultations allowed Parks Canada to enter into a dialogue with the local population, and to make the mandate of the national parks better known. The code of ethics was generally well received during its first year of publication, with the majority of residents having already integrated these behaviours into their boating and observation activities. However, public adherence to the code of ethics remains a long-term effort of awareness and education which will be better able to be evaluated in the future. Distribution of the code of ethics as well as presentations on seabirds are planned for local communities. Public participation in this Parks Canada program remains a sizeable and key challenge in ensuring the conservation of seabirds for the benefit of future generations.

This report is available at the Regional Library of Parks Canada in Quebec (in French).

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