Conservation Volunteers 2009 - Battling 'Aliens' to Protect Nature's Diversity

    TORONTO, May 21 /CNW/ -


    The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is looking for volunteers to help
battle aliens - the invasive alien species that threaten our natural habitats
and biodiversity.
    NCC is launching its annual Conservation Volunteers program in time for
May 22, International Day of Biological Diversity. This year the United
Nations sanctioned day will target invasive species that can overwhelm entire
landscapes and choke out native plants and animals. The Conservation
Volunteers program for 2009 offers scores of ways for Canadians to fight the
alien invaders.
    Conservation Volunteers is the only program of its kind that operates
from coast to coast across Canada. Open to anyone who loves nature, the
program brings together volunteers and NCC experts to work together in the
field caring for some of this country's most precious natural areas.
    This year Conservation Volunteers will host nearly 100 events from spring
to late fall. In addition to monitoring and removing invasive plants,
volunteers will count butterflies and birds, plant trees and learn how to
protect and care for the diversity of nature that we all value.
    Conservation Volunteers make a real difference. In 2008 more than a
thousand volunteers got their hands dirty with NCC. They planted 4,800 trees,
banded 1,900 birds, and collected two tonnes of garbage and filled nearly 300
large garbage bags with non-native invasive plants. They contributed more than
9,300 hours of conservation work vital to NCC's mission to protect our natural
treasures. And they had fun.
    Outings offer great experiences for budding ecologists, skilled
naturalists, families, photographers and all outdoor enthusiasts. Explore,
restore and learn more with Conservation Volunteers.


    "We are so lucky to be living in a country that has been blessed with
such natural beauty," said John Lounds, President and CEO of NCC.
"Unfortunately, many of us don't take the time to enjoy it. Conservation
Volunteers allows Canadians to do just that while helping protect significant
wildlife habitats."
    "This program provides a tremendous boost to our capacity to deliver
conservation results on a suite of properties right across Canada. Volunteers
work with us and contribute directly to our conservation and stewardship goals
in the field," explains Kevin Kavanagh, Manager of Conservation Volunteers and
Internship Programs at NCC.


    -   Conservation Volunteers began as a small regional initiative in
        Ontario and Alberta. This is the second year for a full-scale
        national program
    -   In 2008 NCC hosted 63 volunteer events
    -   In 2008 volunteers contributed work valued at close to a quarter of a
        million dollars
    -   Volunteers surveyed 1,186 acres of NCC lands for rare plants
        resulting in the discovery of 10 notable species and one rare plant

    Learn More

    For information about events taking place in your region visit

    The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is Canada's leading land
conservation organization. Since 1962, NCC has helped to protect more than
800,000 hectares (2 million acres) of ecologically significant land
nationwide. Visit

    Great media opportunities available.

For further information:

For further information: Reena Kudhail, Media Relations Coordinator,
Nature Conservancy of Canada, (416) 932-0050 ext. 252,

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