Helping waterfowl produce more ducklings with nest tunnels

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February 26, 2020
Environmental sciences diploma students got their hands dirty recently as they worked together to construct nest tunnels on nearby wetlands to provide waterfowl with safe, secure nesting grounds.
Nest tunnels
“I really liked this lab,” said Lisa Hurst, a conservation and restoration ecology (CARE) student. “It’s something hands-on that we got to do, right from constructing the tunnels ourselves to putting them in place. Sometimes it’s hard to alter our practices to cater to waterfowl and wildlife, so it’s nice that we can install the tunnels in a way that provides an alternative habitat without affecting agriculture.”
 
The tunnels are predominantly used by mallard ducks and were built by the CARE and the wildlife and fisheries conservation (WFC) students. They are installed on poles that are driven into shallow wetlands, high enough to keep the ducks safe from agricultural production, predators and the elements. Most of the materials for the nest tunnels were donated by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC). Lakeland has been working with DUC for over two decades on similar projects, though recently DUC moved away from habitat enhancement to more restoration and management projects.
 
“It was really great that we got to work with Ducks Unlimited. It’s important to connect with people from the industry,” Hurst says. “It’s really clear, not only to students but also to people in the industry, that Lakeland provides a lot of really awesome hands-on experiences like this one. It’s nice that we get our hands dirty at Lakeland.”
 
Five nest tunnels were deployed by CARE and wildlife and fisheries conservation students this year. One was deployed on a wetland near the campus that had been restored by alumnus Thom McAleer as part of the bachelor of applied science in environmental management (BASEM) program. The second nest tunnel was deployed on a wetland that had recent fencing added as a conservation action implemented by alumnus Chris Elder of Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS), who is also a graduate of the CARE and BASEM programs.
 
Next year, the college intends to deploy additional tunnels on nearby farmland as well as check on the tunnels that were deployed this year for signs of nesting and successful hatching.
 
Photos: Top - environmental sciences students ensure the nest tunnel is straight and securely deployed. Middle - students work together to fill the tunnel. Bottom - a student holds the tunnel while a hole is drilled through the ice.

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– Anthony Biglieni

Agribusiness Class of 2006

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Lakeland College has been a integral partner in growing our own through the school of business. As an alumnus of the college, I have first-hand learning experience in the school of business. The professors welcome Servus Credit Union to facilitate classes in the Business Ethics course each year.

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Vice President, Environmental Services, Vertex.

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Business studies, Class of 2016.

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2nd year UT student, 2017-18

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Animal Science & Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

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Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

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Interior Design Technology, Class of 2016.

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Heavy Equipment Technician, Class of 2016.

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Agribusiness, class of 2014, former Miss Rodeo Canada.

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Real Estate Appraisal and Assessment, Class of 2016.

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Esthetician, Class of 2016.

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University Transfer, Class of 2016.

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University Transfer, Class of 2017.

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Esthetician, Class of 2017.

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Esthetician, Class of 2017.

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– Nicole (Audet) Pysh

Class of 2006, Environmental Protection & Class of 2008, Applied Environmental Degree