Biography

Kendra MacDonald, from Summerside, Prince Edward Island, currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia where she worked as a Piping Plover Recovery Technician with Parks Canada and Wildlife Preservation Canada.

After finishing high school Kendra undertook undergrad studies in Biology and Chemistry at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) before moving on to continue her education at the University of Western Ontario where she graduated with a Masters degree in Environment & Sustainability in 2008. As part of her Master’s program she worked with the Upper Thames Conservation Authority as a Species at Risk Biologist (Reptiles), the majority of her work focused on the spiny soft-shell turtle, including locating and monitoring nests, and collecting eggs from high risk nesting areas for artificial incubation. She also gained experience monitoring and processing hog-nosed snakes, Blanding’s turtles, eastern ribbon snakes and other reptiles. Upon completion of her Master degree, Kendra worked as the Nova Scotia Conservation Representative with The Nature Conservancy of Canada in Halifax, before taking a job with Parks Canada as a Natural History Interpreter at Kejimkujik National Park. Her role at the Park was to teach people about the species at risk and other special features within Kejimkujik National Park and on her days off she would help with Blanding’s turtles recovery and other projects going on throughout the Park. In the fall of 2010 Kendra completed her contract with Parks Canada and returned to Halifax where she continued volunteering at the Hope for Wildlife Center, which takes sick or injured wildlife and provides the medical treatment and husbandry needed for them to become healthy again.

In the winter of 2011 Kendra was selected as WPC’s 21st Canada’s New Noah. This program offered the opportunity to study endangered species management and recovery at the prestigious Durrell International Training Centre, in Jersey Island, UK. Following her summer studies she spent time on the Round Island Nature Preserve in Mauritius, working as an Assistant Warden. These experiences provided her with knowledge and experience that she was excited to take back to Canada and apply to species at risk here.

Since returning to Canada she is enjoying her opportunity to apply her new knowledge and skills as a Piping Plover Recovery Technician with Parks Canada and Wildlife Preservation Canada. In this position she successfully coordinated a multi-province captive rearing project of the endangered piping plover (Charadrius melodus). During the spring, she identified and improved aspects of existing captive rearing protocols to improve overall project success. Her summer was busy coordinating the project, including egg collection and transport, incubation and brooding, chick transportation and flight pen daily care, as well as release and post-release monitoring. Kendra looks forward to continuing her career in Species at Risk Biology, and has considered returning to further her studies in the future to obtain a PhD.

Presentation at Conferences

Salvage Captive Rearing of Piping Plovers at the Annual Conference for the Atlantic Society of Fish and Wildlife Biologist, October 2011.