Our Projects


Lichen

Staff Contact: Tom Neily, Brad Toms

Boreal Felt Lichen, a rare cyanolichen, is an incredible organism formed from the partnership between fungi and cyanobacteria. Cyanolichens grow in the coastal forests of Nova Scotia and are at risk from air pollution and forestry. They are hard to find; this makes their distribution across Nova Scotia difficult to pinpoint. MTRI works with industry to investigate potential rare lichen habitat based on government satellite and aerial data. Since this project began, knowledge of Boreal Felt Lichen populations has increased greatly, and its continuation will be crucial to conserving Nova Scotian populations of this endangered species.  

Bats

Staff Contact: Brad Toms, Lori Phinney

Hibernating bats used to fill the night skies of Nova Scotia, but in 2011 their populations dropped suddenly because of a new fungal disease, white-nose syndrome. Bats are crucial mammals in our native ecosystems and provide many services to our society. Each night they consume massive amounts of insects, pollinate flowers, and spread plant seeds. Since their decline, MTRI has been monitoring, researching and teaching Nova Scotians all about the wonders of bats. We also manage the Nova Scotia Bat Hotline and use this information to identify nesting colonies and work with the private landowners and partners to monitor these sites.

Blanding's Turtle

Blanding's Turtles have a gentle and curious demeanour that quickly captures the heart of everyone who meets them. They are endangered in Nova Scotia and there are only 500 adults left in 4 different populations across the province. MTRI works with other organizations and governments to protect nests from predators, monitor populations, and follow up on public sightings to find potential new populations. The Blanding's Turtle has long been associated with our organization and we will continue working hard to preserve and restore them. 

Eastern Ribbonsnake

Snakes usually give people the creeps, but Nova Scotia’s native species are far from scary. Like all snakes in the province, the Eastern Ribbonsnake is harmless and non-venomous. This small and cautious species is Threatened in Nova Scotia as well as Canada and its range is limited to the interior of Southwest Nova Scotia. MTRI is dedicated to studying the Eastern Ribbonsnake to find out where they live, how its populations are doing, what factors are threatening it and working to make sure it is around for many generations to come.  

Monarch Butterfly

Staff Contact: Brad Toms, Carter Feltham

It is a hard to find a more charismatic species than the mighty Monarch Butterfly. Every year this species migrates 5000km+ from its wintering grounds in Mexico to the US and Canada. Sadly, this world traveler is Endangered in Nova Scotia, and their population is declining. Many factors are behind this but the most significant are the widespread use of pesticides and the loss of their habitat. MTRI is a leader in Monarch engagement with the public; we organize the provincial butterfly club, teach schoolchildren about this and other native pollinators and supply native plants needed for Monarchs to survive, the Milkweed plant.