Labrador Conservation Blueprint
Forteau Coast, southern Labrador, Newfoundland and Labrador (Photo by Lindzay Notzl))
Labrador, or "The Big Land" as it is affectionately known, is 294,330 square kilometres, or twice as large as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI combined. This vast area encompasses tundra, taiga and boreal forest ecosystems — from the severe, stark beauty of lichen-strewn barrens to the rich softwood forests of Canada's eastern boreal. Labrador's Torngat Mountains boast the highest peaks east of the Rockies, while its forests represent some of the largest intact ecosystems in the world!
Labrador Blueprint at a glance
- stretches inland from the Straight of Belle Isle and north to the tip of Cape Chidley at the mouth of Ungava Bay;
- NCC is engaged in a collaborative effort to identify areas of high conservation value throughout this enormous geographic region;
- most of the work to date has focussed on developing a "Labrador Nature Atlas" that maps the special natural areas and features of a region. This information will be used to help our partners in government, Aboriginal organizations, academia, industry and other conservation groups in making wise and sustainable land use planning and resource management decisions.
- Labrador's rich natural heritage boasts world-renowned populations of Atlantic salmon, Arctic char and brook trout, as well as unfragmented terrain that is home to what was once the world's largest migrating caribou herd, and wide-ranging mammals like wolf, lynx and American marten.
- Canada's eastern boreal also supports significant populations of water birds and waterfowl including 50-75 percent of the breeding population of black ducks.
- Coastal islands in Labrador's Groswater Bay and Table Bay areas are recognized as Important Bird Areas of continental significance for breeding common eiders.
- The region's habitats also provide a refuge for rare birds like Barrow's goldeneye and harlequin duck.
Our vision for Labrador
With a low population density and many wild areas remaining, Labrador has the opportunity to conserve "the best of the best," not just "the best of what's left." However, boreal and arctic Canada will undergo rapid industrialization over the next few decades as hydro development, transmission corridors, roads, mines and other major developments intensify. The Province, as well as the Inuit, Innu, Métis and others, will be developing the land-use plans over the next decade that may well define the future of Labrador's vast landscape.
A Labrador Conservation Blueprint can provide a foundation for continued traditional use of the land, future resource development and conservation success in the region.
Decisions taken over the next decade or so will help define the Labrador of future generations, and deserves our best collective efforts to get it right for Labrador's unique global legacy.