Nature Conservancy of Canada expands protected area on Musquodoboit River and Musquodoboit Trailway
More habitat conserved for at-risk species
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has expanded its conservation area on the Musquodoboit River by 67 hectares (166 acres) to protect important habitat for several species of at-risk turtles and migratory birds. NCC has added two new properties and now protects 214 hectares (528 acres) of floodplain, wetlands, mature forest and rare trees on the lower Musqudoboit River.
The Musquodoboit River provides rich habitat for a wide diversity of species, including several federally listed species at risk: wood turtle, snapping turtle, Canada warbler, chimney swift, common nighthawk, rusty blackbird and olive-sided flycatcher. The Musquodoboit River has one of the best remaining runs of Atlantic salmon on Nova Scotia’s eastern shore, and provides habitat for sea-run brook trout. Wood duck, common merganser and other waterfowl also live and breed here. NCC’s lands include extensive frontage on the Musquodoboit River, and support a red oak and black cherry floodplain forest, which is uncommon in Nova Scotia.
NCC’s new properties were conserved strategically not only to conserve habitat for species at risk, but also to provide wildlife corridors and habitat connectivity to the nearby White Lake Wilderness Area owned by the Province of Nova Scotia. NCC’s Musquodoboit River properties are open to the public and are located on the Musquodoboit Trailway, a former railway line and well-maintained hiking and biking trail, just a 40-minute drive from Halifax.
Conservation of these properties was made possible with funding support from the Government of Canada through the Natural Areas Conservation Program. The program was established to accelerate the rate of private land conservation in Canada. The Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust, the Nova Scotia Habitat Conservation Fund, Halifax Regional Municipality and many private donors also contributed to the success of this conservation project.
“We are grateful for the Government of Canada’s support through the Natural Areas Conservation Program for this important habitat conservation project. The properties we have conserved include some of the best remaining wetland and forest habitats on the Musquodoboit River, and we are thrilled to have protected them for the benefit of wildlife and the enjoyment of residents and visitors.”
Craig Smith, Nova Scotia Program Director, Nature Conservancy of Canada
“On behalf of my colleague, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, I would like to congratulate the Nature Conservancy of Canada and its partners on the protection and conservation of 67 additional hectares of important wetland and forest habitat along the Musquodoboit River. The Government of Canada is proud to support this important conservation initiative through the Natural Areas Conservation Program. This initiative shows what we can achieve when we work together to conserve and protect Canada’s natural heritage.”
Sean Fraser, Member of Parliament for Central Nova
• The wood turtle is found in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario; the entire Canadian population is estimated to be between 6,000 and 12,000 adults. Wood turtles have a slow reproductive rate, and exposure to road traffic and loss of habitat are key threats.
• Canada warbler is a migratory songbird listed as threatened under the Species at Risk Act. In Canada, its preferred habitat is mature, mixed forest and forested swamps. Its primary threats are habitat loss in both Canada and its winter habitat in South America.
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 more than 1.1 million hectares (2.8 million acres), coast to coast to coast. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has conserved more than 29,500 hectares (73,000 acres) in the Atlantic provinces.
To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.
The Government of Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) is a unique public-private partnership to accelerate the pace of land conservation across southern Canada. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) manages the program. Federal funds are matched by contributions raised by NCC and its partners. Habitat conserved under the NACP enhances natural corridors and other protected areas.
- 30 -