Parks Canada is looking for 'poop fairies' and young adventurers
Published Tuesday, November 5, 2019 9:45AM EST
TORONTO – Parks Canada is looking for volunteer citizen scientists to be “poop fairies” and three new youth ambassadors to explore the hidden gems of Canada’s wilderness.
On the West Coast, Staff at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are looking for people to search for and pick up as much wolf scat as possible, as part of a project dubbed “wild about wolves,” in an effort to improve coexistence between the animals and humans.
“It sounds funny at first but there’s a lot of information that you can collect from scat,” Todd Windle, the project manager for Parks Canada's Wild About Wolves project, told CTV’s Your Morning on Tuesday.
“To put it into context…The ‘wild about wolves’ project is a five-year initiative by Parks Canada and our partners, and the aim is to improve coexistence and reduce conflict between people and wolves in our area,” he said.
Windle said that the project aims to be multidisciplinary, which is why they have reached out to First Nations people like the Nuu-chah-nulth tribe, who “have coexisted with wolves for thousands of years” to collect traditional knowledge, as well as studying the “attitudes, beliefs and values” of people currently sharing territory with the wolves.
The “poop fairy” volunteers will receive training from Parks Canada on how to identify wolf scat, how to collect a sample properly – which includes filling out a data sheet and GPS to record where they collected the sample – and safety training should they have a face-to-face encounter with a wolf, bear or cougar while out on the trails.
Windle said that the project can tell “how the wolves are using the landscape and what they’re eating” from scat collection, which is why being a “poop fairy” is an important job.
Thousands of kilometres away from the West Coast and the wolf scat project, Parks Canada is hiring and paying three young people to travel across the country.
The youth ambassadors will be exploring Canada’s wilderness and posting about it on social media as part of their Parkslife youth collective.
Parks Canada says the ambassadors’ mission is to “share the work that Parks Canada does with other young Canadians, specifically in terms of science, conservation, indigenous reconciliation and to promote diversity and inclusion” according to their website.
Ambassadors will work and live in the Gatineau, Que., region from May to August 2020 and then work remotely from September 2020 until April 2021.
The full list of qualifications can be found on the Parks Canada Youth Ambassador application page, but candidates must be a registered full-time student in university or college, speak English or French and have experience in social media content creation, as well as show a willingness to “travel extensively.”