Research and monitoring
Recent research permits in PEI National Park have included bat studies, St. Lawrence Aster, climate change (using drones) and dune geo-morphology.
Note: any use of drones in the park requires a permit. For more information: Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) / Drones
Research project spotlight: Bats and White-nose syndrome
On Prince Edward Island, there is a growing concern for the conservation and management of bats. A research project with UPEI and the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (2015 and 2016) was implemented with the arrival of the disease White-nose Syndrome in bats which is caused by the fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans.
Several bat species from the genus Myotis, such as Little Brown Bats and Northern Long-eared Bats, are currently endangered and thus it is important to know if these species are currently using Prince Edward Island National Park. By collecting preliminary data on the spatial and temporal distribution of these species is possible to gain a better understanding of what habitats or areas of the park may be critical to bats.
Bats are monitored with stationary and mobile acoustic bat detectors that are used to identify bat activity and species composition, both temporally and spatially. In addition, potential roosting sites are acoustically monitored for activity indicative of active summer roosts. Bats have been found to be associated with the wetlands in the park and to date, activity levels of migratory bat species appear to be lower than activity levels of Little Brown Bats and Northern Long-eared Bats.
Please note: Any research conducted in the park requires the acquisition of a research permit.
Ecological Integrity Monitoring
Canada’s national parks protect and preserve our natural heritage for the benefit of all Canadians, now and in the future. Our national parks are home to innumerable wild plants and animals, some in danger of extinction, and by keeping their habitats safe and intact we can all help to ensure their future.
Our primary objective is to ensure “ecological integrity.” This means that we want to keep our national park ecosystems healthy. An ecosystem is formed by the interaction of all living things with one another and with their habitat in a particular environment. Ecosystems are complex and constantly changing. People are an integral part of natural ecosystems; keeping them healthy helps to enhance the quality of our lives as well.
Management of our national parks must be based on a clear understanding of ecosystems and of all possible stresses on them. To ensure the continuity or sustainability of our park, we must view the natural environment as a whole, being careful to ensure that decisions take into consideration the interactions and dynamic nature of ecosystems as well as their capacity to withstand and recover from stress. Together we can make a difference. To maintain the balance of nature, we must all be attentive to the impact we have on it.
The ecological integrity condition of our park is determined by assessing four indicators (ecosystems) in the park. The four ecosystems are: coastal, forest, wetland and freshwater. There are five measures for each ecosystem, which are monitored, assessed against thresholds and given a status such as red (poor), yellow (fair) and green (good) status along with a trend such as increasing, decreasing or stable We work hard to improve the status of our ecosystems each year.