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Lapointe J.,University of Quebec | Lapointe J.,Direction Of Lexpertise Energie Faune Forets Mines Territoire Of Labitibi Temiscamingue | Imbeau L.,University of Quebec | Tremblay J.A.,Ministere du Developpement Durable | And 2 more authors.
Auk | Year: 2013

Intensive agriculture, as is typical of corn and soybean production, may be responsible for declines in the abundance and diversity of farmland birds. In Quebec, the transition to intensive crops is evidenced by marked increases of corn and soybean fields. From 2008 to 2010, we used satellite telemetry to study use of corn (Zea mays) and soybean (Glycine max) fields, other farmlands, wetlands, urban areas, and other habitats by 10 female Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) of the anatum-tundrius complex, a taxon of "special concern" in Canada. We monitored females during the nesting season, from hatching of eggs to independence of young, but before the young dispersed away from the nest site. Adult females were less likely to use corn and soybean fields than the "other farmlands" and "other habitats" categories during the nestling stage and the first month after young fledged. Once young fledged, other farmlands and urban areas were more likely to be used than the "other habitats" category when females were hunting in the areas that were farthest from the nest. The expansion of corn and soybean fields in the Quebec agricultural landscape has occurred to the detriment of other crops and may contribute to the decline in quality of hunting habitat of Peregrine Falcons and other avian top predators. © 2013 by The American Ornithologists' Union. All rights reserved. Source

Rasiulis A.L.,Laval University | Festa-Bianchet M.,Universite de Sherbrooke | Festa-Bianchet M.,Laval University | Couturier S.,Ministere du Developpement Durable | Cote S.D.,Laval University
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2014

Radio transmitters are widely used in wildlife management; therefore, it is essential to assess any effects that they may have on animal survival. We compared the survival of 269 randomly selected adult migratory caribou (Rangifer tarandus) fitted with either light very high frequency or heavy Argos satellite collars during the same period. Heavy collars reduced annual survival of caribou in a declining population with generally poor body condition by about 18%. Accurate estimates of survival are crucial for management decisions and possible effects of collars should be considered when calculating estimates. © 2014 The Wildlife Society. Source

Bacterial contamination of surface waters in agricultural territories is a concern for the agricultural and public health sectors in Canada. In order to assess the influence of agriculture on this type of contamination, fecal coliforms (FC) were analyzed in water samples collected in 16 watercourses located in the southern part of the province of Quebec. Their sub watersheds cover surface areas of 15 to 100 km 2 and a large range of animal densities (10 to 520 animal units•km -2) and host a mainly intensive agriculture. Fecal coliform measurements obtained bi-weekly over three years show that concentrations in watercourses increase with animal density in the sub watersheds. Regression analyses have allowed the assessment of animal husbandry and human influence on FC counts in watercourses with comparable sub watersheds. The study also shows that FC point sources located immediately upstream from the sampling stations may increase from 3- to 20-fold during summer (May to October) and up to more than 100-fold during winter (November to April). Regression equations are provided as tools to assist bacterial contamination risk management. However, these tools have many limits: they could be improved and completed in taking into account other parameters. © Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs, Gouvernement du Québec, 2012. Source

Castaneda R.A.,McGill University | Avlijas S.,McGill University | Anouk Simard M.,Ministere du Developpement Durable | Ricciardi A.,McGill University
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences | Year: 2014

Although widely detected in marine ecosystems, microplastic pollution has only recently been documented in freshwater environments, almost exclusively in surface waters. Here, we report microplastics (polyethylene microbeads, 0.40-2.16mmdiameter) in the sediments of the St. Lawrence River. We sampled 10 freshwater sites along a 320 km section from Lake St. Francis to Québec City by passing sediment collected from a benthic grab through a 500 _m sieve. Microbeads were discovered throughout this section, and their abundances varied by four orders of magnitude across sites. Median and mean (±1 SE) densities across sites were 52 microbeads·m-2 and 13 832 (±13 677) microbeads·m-2, respectively. The highest site density was 1.4 × 105 microbeads·m-2 (or 103 microbeads·L-1), which is similar in magnitude to microplastic concentrations found in the world's most contaminated marine sediments. Mean diameter of microbeads was smaller at sites receiving municipal or industrial effluent (0.70 ± 0.01 mm) than at non-effluent sites (0.98 ± 0.01 mm), perhaps suggesting differential origins. Given the prevalence and locally high densities of microplastics in St. Lawrence River sediments, their ingestion by benthivorous fishes and macroinvertebrates warrants investigation. © 2014, National Research Council of Canada. All rights received. Source

The Flood directive 2007/60/EC of 23 October 2007 on the assessment and management of flood risks is entered into force on November 26th, 2007. It establishes a framework for the assessment and management of flood risks in Europe, aiming at the reduction of adverse consequences for human health, environment, cultural heritage and economic activity associated with floods. It asks to member States to proceed to three steps: • a preliminary flood risks assessment, followed by the selection of some areas with potential significant flood risks for which the 2 following steps will be conducted; • flood hazard maps and flood risk maps; • flood risk management plans including appropriate objectives for the management of flood risk and the measure for achieving those objectives. Except these demands concerning content and schedule of implementation, member States are free to define how they will execute the requirements. This freedom concerns in particular the way of presenting information, the scales, the return periods associated to the scenarios for mapping, etc.. France is currently transposing the text following the principles decided with deep attention. The methodologies for implementing the text with a way of working as homogeneous as possible is on construction. © 2011 Société Hydrotechnique de France. Source

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