WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and Appalachian Corridor have partnered on developing a landowner tool to protect wildlife habitat. The guidebook, “Cohabiter avec la nature!” was developed in French to provide guidance on wildlife-friendly residential development and land-use planning in the Appalachians of Southern Quebec.

The guidebook is a translation and adaptation of WCS's graphically rich handbook, titled “Make Room for Wildlife: A Resource for Landowners in the Northern Forest” that was published in 2013. The contents introduce concepts to landowners such as potential use of their property by animals as habitat or as a travel corridor, understanding a residence’s “wildlife shadow,” and taking wildlife into account at the local planning level. The guide is informed by science conducted by WCS in the Adirondacks.

In one example, the brochure references a WCS study showing that development can impact wildlife up to 600 feet away from a house due to factors related to lawn care practices, free-roaming pets, noise and physical changes to the forest zones.

Mélanie Lelièvre, Appalachian Corridor’s Executive Director, who helped initiate the partnership and the implementation of this project in Québec said, “The original brochure really grabbed our attention. It highlights the concept of fragmentation in a concise and efficient way, while offering practical solutions to avoid it. Municipalities and developers need to be aware of these issues and this document fills a gap. We are delighted with its translation and adaptation to the Quebec context and thank WCS for a fruitful collaboration.”

 The Northern Forest is one of the great forested landscapes in the US. At 26 million acres, it is the largest continuous forest east of the Mississippi River, and continues north of the Canada border into Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It is home to human and wildlife populations that live across a mosaic of forests, wetlands, mountains, and rivers. Among its iconic wildlife are ecologically viable populations of black bear, moose, bobcat, marten, and other species that roam among its public and private lands.

 The translated and adapted edition will extend the reach of the brochure’s messaging into the French-speaking areas of Canada where it can be a resource for landowners, conservation advocates, real estate agents, and local municipalities. The brochure can be helpful for territory planning at all levels.

 “WCS works across the Northern Appalachians as one of its primary regions in its North America program and the entire region faces threats from exurban (rural) development,” said WCS Livelihoods & Conservation Coordinator Heidi Kretser. “WCS has significant engagement on both sides of the border. Because of this partnership with Appalachian Corridor and their effort to translate the brochure and make it relevant to the land-use context in Quebec, we are able to communicate our science and recommendations to a much larger audience.”

This brochure was made possible through the generous support of the Government of Canada through its National Conservation Plan and the Fondation de la faune du Québec. The brochure is printed on paper made in Quebec from trees harvested in forests managed in accordance with the principles of the Forest Stewardship Council.

 For more information on this story, or to talk with the scientists involved, please contact Scott Smith at 718-220-3698.

 To download a copy of “Cohabiter avec la nature!”,  click here

To download a copy of “Make Room for Wildlife,” click here.