Unama’KIDS enjoyed a full-day workshop with Paul Koziel from Nova Scotia Natural Resources, building nesting boxes for the final release of American Martens in Unama’ki.
The American Marten is an endangered species here and UINR has been involved with Parks Canada and Nova Scotia Natural Resources in a project that has seen the release of martens in the Cape Breton Highlands in an effort to increase their population. The martens are trapped in New Brunswick and transported to the Highlands. The American Marten was once plentiful in Cape Breton but a combination of loss of habitat and over-trapping has resulted in the species being added to the list of Species at Risk in Cape Breton.
Unama’KIDS have been involved in the marten release in the past, accompanying Elders and others to the Highlands for a ceremonial blessing and release. This year they were even more involved, helping to construct the small nesting boxes that serve as the temporary home of the martens on their journey from New Brunswick to Cape Breton.
Paul talked about the importance of this species and how the capture and release is done, while instructing the Unama’KIDS in basic carpentry skills. At the end of the day enough nesting boxes were assembled to accommodate all the martens scheduled for release.