Musquodoboit River wetlands (Photo by NCC)

Musquodoboit River wetlands (Photo by NCC)

Nature Conservancy of Canada protects rare forests, floodplain and valuable habitat

October 13, 2016
Halifax, NS


New projects announced at Musquodoboit River

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is protecting 70.5 hectares (175 acres) of some of the most unspoiled and intact wildlife habitat remaining on the Musquodoboit River, just 30 minutes from Halifax.

These four properties protect habitat for Atlantic salmon and several species at risk, and represent the start of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC) plans to protect lands and waters of the Musquodoboit River.

The new conservation area features riverside wetlands and forested floodplains, with mature stands of a rare floodplain forest type which includes black cherry trees. The area provides habitat for several types of wildlife listed under the federal Species at Risk Act as endangered, threatened or special concern, including: wood turtle, snapping turtle, and chimney swift.

The Musquodoboit River hosts one of the best remaining runs of Atlantic salmon on Nova Scotia’s eastern shore, and is also home to sea-run brook trout.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has previously protected several islands in nearby Musquodoboit Harbour, an Important Bird Area that has been designated under the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international significance. With the addition of these upriver properties, NCC has now conserved more than 619 hectares (1,529 acres) in the Musquodoboit area for the benefit of wildlife and for recreational use.

The Musquodoboit Rail Trail provides excellent access to the area, including sites conserved by NCC. North of Musquodoboit Harbour, and near NCC’s new properties, the Province of Nova Scotia has protected lands as part of the White Lake Wilderness Area.

The Musquodoboit River conservation project was supported by funding from the Government of Canada through the Natural Areas Conservation Program; the Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust; the United States Fish and Wildlife Service under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act; and many individual landowners and donors.


“I would like to thank our landowners and supporters for working with the Nature Conservancy of Canada conserve this very special wild place. With much of the upper Musquodoboit River altered by mining, agriculture and forestry, I am very pleased NCC has been able to protect this lower section of the river forever. We look forward to working on future conservation projects with landowners along the Musquodoboit River. We also look forward to working with HRM and the Nova Scotia Habitat Conservation Foundation on the next phases of this project.

Craig Smith, NCC Program Director in Nova Scotia

“Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems –and also among the most threatened habitats –in the world. Recognizing this, the Government of Canada is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention, which promotes the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. As part of this ongoing commitment, I am proud that we are supporting the protection of wildlife habitat adjacent to this designated Ramsar site in Nova Scotia."

Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“I want to thank the many donors who helped make this important conservation initiative possible. The Government of Canada is proud to support their efforts through the Natural Areas Conservation Program. Working together, we will protect the diverse species, especially those at risk, and their habitat in the Musquodoboit River Valley.”

Sean Fraser, Member of Parliament, Central Nova


  • The Musquodoboit River is one of the most biologically-rich rivers in the region due to the presence of limestone and gypsum in its headwaters and fertile soil downstream, contributing to the development of rich aquatic conditions

  • The Musquodoboit River supports one of the best remaining runs of Atlantic salmon on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia. However the species has declined significantly here and recreational angling is no longer permitted

  • Other wildlife found in the Musquodoboit River watershed listed under the federal Species at Risk Act as threatened or special concern include: Canada warbler, common nighthawk, olive-sided flycatcher, rusty blackbird and eastern whip-poor-will.

  • The lower Musquodoboit River is an important conservation area for the Nature Conservancy of Canada because it borders and connects to existing protected areas such as White Lake, Ship Harbour Long Lake, and Tangier Grand Lake Wilderness Areas. Together, this is a key corridor of protected land larger than Kejimukujik National Park, with three times as many lakes.


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 1.1 million hectares (over 2.8 million acres), coast to coast. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has conserved more than 34,000 acres in Nova Scotia.

The Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) of the Government of Canada is a unique public–private partnership, managed and directed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. To date, $345 million has been invested in the NACP by the Government of Canada towards the conservation of our natural heritage. Moreover, an additional $500 million in matching funds has been raised by NCC and its partners and invested in the program.

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Media Contact:

Kathryn Morse
Director of Communications - Atlantic Provinces

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