Nature Conservancy of Canada Continues Holiday Tradition
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is inviting Maritimers to make a moose’s Christmas — by helping build a “love connection” on the Chignecto Isthmus. The charitable organization is conserving habitat on the narrow Isthmus, the only land bridge between Nova Scotia’s endangered population of indigenous moose and the much larger moose population in New Brunswick. The ultimate goal of the 5th annual “Help the Moose Cross the Isthmus for Christmas” campaign, also known as the “Moose Sex Project,” is to help the lonely moose of Nova Scotia find mates. The tongue-in-cheek campaign has a serious purpose: to create a protected and ecologically intact wildlife corridor on the Isthmus to allow moose and other animals to move freely between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
“If you have an animal lover on your list, a donation in their name to the Moose Sex Project is a Christmas gift they’ll never forget,” says Paula Noel, NCC program director for New Brunswick. “By helping NCC conserve a vital wildlife corridor between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, you can make a difference for moose and many other animals. This year your donation will help us purchase a 196-acre property near Baie Verte that has excellent forested habitat for moose and connects to other protected areas on the Chignecto Isthmus.”
Only 23 kilometres wide at its narrowest point, near the Nova Scotia/New Brunswick border, the Chignecto Isthmus is becoming more densely populated and fragmented by roads, with development pressures reducing the ability of wildlife to migrate between the two provinces. While some areas on the Isthmus are becoming more developed, other areas include forested wilderness that supports Nova Scotia’s largest remaining group of mainland moose. Designated endangered in 2003, Nova Scotia’s mainland moose population has declined to an estimated 500–1,000 individuals. By contrast, New Brunswick’s moose population is estimated at 29,000.
Over the past five years, through a combination of private donations and government support, the NCC’s Moose Sex Project has succeeded in conserving more than 3,000 acres of land on and around the Chignecto Isthmus. This year, NCC is using motion-activated video cameras near the Nova Scotia and New Brunswick border to track the movement of wildlife in order to determine future priority areas for conservation. Conserving an ecologically intact wilderness corridor between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick — and providing “connectivity”— is valuable for the genetic diversity and health of many animals, and is especially essential for the long-term survival of Nova Scotia’s mainland moose.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation's leading 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 more than 2.8 million acres (over 1.1 million hectares), coast to coast. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has conserved more than 71,000 acres in the Atlantic provinces.
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