Wilderness and ecological reserves can be excellent places to conduct scientific research. And that research can definitely serve our parks and reserves, because it provides much-needed information about how species and natural systems function, cope, thrive, fail, and adapt. Without in-depth knowledge of our natural systems, we cannot hope to begin to understand all the ways we interact with, affect, and are affected by the natural world. Research provides important biophysical data for a wide variety of interested audiences, and it assists the Province in managing its parks and reserves.
Scientific research is therefore encouraged in the Province's protected areas. Please note that permits are required.
Research in wilderness and ecological reserves requires authorization by the Parks and Natural Areas Division. Researchers must apply for a scientific research permit, and carry it with them when conducting their research in the protected area.
Applications are evaluated by the Parks and Natural Areas Division. The criteria used include:
Research applications are evaluated as they are received. A minimum of two weeks' processing time is advisable.
The process for evaluating applications for seabird ecological reserves is slightly different. They are reviewed once a year by the Seabird Ecological Reserves Advisory Committee (SERAC), and must be received at the Parks and Natural Areas Division office before January 31. The seabird ecological reserves are Baccalieu Island, Cape St. Mary's, Funk Island, Gannet Islands, Hare Bay Islands, and Witless Bay.
Conditions of a scientific research permit include compliance with the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Act, as well as the appropriate regulations (wilderness, seabird, fossil, botanical). Generally, all scientific work must be non-invasive and non-intrusive—it cannot be done in a way that destroys or diminishes the reserve. There are a few exceptions to the regulations for researchers, such as collecting specimens, which are outlined in the appropriate regulations and may also be listed on the permit. Other conditions may also apply.
Multi-year permits may be requested, to a maximum limit of three years.
Successful applicants must submit a Field Report one month after their field season has ended, a Final Report by January 31 of the final year of the research, and any published material resulting from the work.
Anyone conducting scientific research and/or monitoring in a park or reserve must have a valid scientific research permit (145 KB).
The information required for a permit application includes the following details about the proposed study:
If a permit is granted and the project proceeds, researchers must submit to the Parks and Natural Areas Division:
Other conditions may also apply. There is no fee charged for a permit.
For more information on scientific research permits, or if you have any questions, please contact the Natural Areas Biologist.
Important note on timing: Allow a minimum of two weeks for your application to be processed.
Important exception: Applications for research in the seabird ecological reserves are processed once a year. Send your application to the Parks and Natural Areas Division no later than January 31. This allows timely review by the Seabird Ecological Reserves Advisory Committee. Applications are reviewed at the Committee's annual meeting in late winter each year.
The seabird ecological reserves are Baccalieu Island, Cape St. Mary's, Funk Island, Gannet Islands, Hare Bay Islands, and Witless Bay.
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