Martens, piping plovers and flying squirrels are among a number of Nova Scotia wildlife habitats that will benefit from the Habitat Conservation Fund. Twelve projects will be supported with $86,000 this year from the fund, which is financed by the $3 wildlife habitat stamp on all hunting licences sold in Nova Scotia. “This initiative allows hunters and trappers to help protect the province’s wildlife habitats when they purchase their stamp,” said Department of Natural Resources Minister John MacDonell. “Since 2001, more than $860,000 has been invested in wildlife conservation.” The fund’s primary goal is to help projects that protect and enhance wildlife habitats. Projects are funded up to 75 per cent, on a cost-shared basis, to a maximum of $25,000 ($50,000 for land acquisition). To be considered, a project must improve habitat, research wildlife habitat, conduct related education programs or purchase land for the benefit of wildlife. Project applications are reviewed for recommendation by an independent board of directors with members from hunting, naturalist and academic associations. Applications for the 2010 Habitat Conservation Fund can be submitted to the Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Division, between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30. Guidelines and application forms can be obtained from Natural Resources offices or at www.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/habfund/ . Information on 2009 and past projects, is also available on the website.