Globally significant habitat on Grand Manan closer to being conserved
A globally significant bird habitat on the island of Grand Manan is one step closer to being conserved. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has reached an agreement to purchase the last unprotected parcel of land in the federally designated Grand Manan Migratory Bird Sanctuary. The 28-acre (11-hectare) coastal property is privately owned. NCC, a not-for-profit land trust, has reached an agreement with the private landowner to purchase the property, pending a successful fundraising campaign.
“At the Nature Conservancy of Canada we are thrilled to have this opportunity to conserve the final unprotected property inside the Grand Manan Migratory Bird Sanctuary,” says Paula Noel, New Brunswick program director for NCC. “This property provides globally significant habitat for many birds, including at-risk species. We didn’t want to see it developed. We are appealing to our supporters and bird lovers in the Atlantic Region to help us create a permanent sanctuary for birds on Grand Manan. We invite them to make a donation to this important conservation project.”
More than 350 species of birds have been identified on and around Grand Manan. The island is a popular destination for birders and nature lovers. The Grand Manan Migratory Bird Sanctuary was created by the Canadian government many years ago. The sanctuary is located in an internationally recognized Important Bird Area. However, a portion of the land inside the sanctuary boundary remained in private hands. This portion was not protected until this year, when NCC conserved 319 acres (129 hectares) there.
The remaining 28-acre (11-hectare) property NCC is working to conserve is located between the communities of Grand Harbour and Seal Cove, on the southeast side of Grand Manan. Located near The Anchorage Provincial Park, the property includes coastal barrens and forest. It also includes an old gravel pit, which will be restored to provide wildlife habitat. The property borders close to 600 acres (243 hectares) conserved by NCC on Grand Manan.
The owner of the 28-acre (11-hectare) property is selling it at a reduced rate. However, NCC still needs to raise just over $80,000 to purchase the land and protect it for the long term. Through existing grant programs, the Canadian and American governments will match donations by individuals and companies to this project. To find out how you can help, contact NCC’s Fredericton office at 1-877-231-4400. All donations to the Nature Conservancy of Canada are tax deductible.
• The Nature Conservancy of Canada protects key bird habitats around the Bay of Fundy, an important Canadian stopover site for migratory birds on the Atlantic Flyway, through its Grand Manan nature reserve, its recently expanded Musquash reserve, its Johnson’s Mills shorebird reserve and its Brier Island, Nova Scotia, reserve. These projects have been funded under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.
• Visited by ornithologist John James Audubon in the 1830s, Grand Manan has long been recognized as a critical breeding, wintering and migratory stopover site. A wide range of birds, including razorbill, common murre, American black duck, sanderling, purple sandpiper, bufflehead, Canada goose, ring-necked duck, northern pintail, American wigeon, common eider and North American brant, all stop here.
• The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has assessed several birds found on Grand Manan: red knot is endangered; barn swallow, bank swallow, common nighthawk, Canada warbler, bobolink, olive-sided flycatcher are threatened; eastern wood-pewee and rusty blackbird are special concern. Some of these species are also listed under the Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA). The monarch butterfly, listed under both COSEWIC and SARA, has been sighted on NCC’s new Grand Manan properties.
• The most comprehensive report of its kind, the State of the North America’s Birds Report 2016, sounded the alarm that one third of bird species in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are now of “major conservation concern.” Loss of habitat is one of the key reasons for the decline in bird populations. For more information and to read the full report, visit stateofthebirds.org/2016/.
• Wetlands, like those protected by NCC on Grand Manan, provide shelter, food and habitat for a large number and variety of wildlife species. They also provide benefits to surrounding communities, such as clean water and flood protection.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation's leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect 2.8 million acres (more than 1.1 million hectares) across the country. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has conserved more than 73,000 acres (29,500 hectares) in the Atlantic provinces.
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