Beautiful Percival River site in PEI (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Beautiful Percival River site in PEI (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Nature Conservancy of Canada protects important forest habitat on Prince Edward Island

April 26, 2016
West Devon, PEI


The  Nature Conservancy of Canada is protecting one of the most important forested sites on Prince Edward Island.

The not-for-profit conservation group has acquired two key forest sites located on the Percival River totalling 130 hectares (323 acres). The properties are located about 40 kilometres west of Summerside. 

Participating in the announcement today were Egmont MP Robert Morrissey, on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, Catherine McKenna, along with representatives from the Nature Conservancy of Canada, TD Bank Group and the community.

Percival River annoucment, PEI (Photo by NCC)

Percival River annoucment, PEI (Photo by NCC)

The Percival River is a strategic area for conservation, feeding into Egmont Bay and the Northumberland Strait.  By protecting the lands from development, this area will continue to serve as an important refuge for migratory birds, and ultimately contribute to the sustainability of waterfowl populations in Prince Edward Island and along the Atlantic Flyway.

The purchased sites feature intact forests with red maple, black spruce, white birch, white cedar, white ash, aspen and balsam fir trees.

The lands include salt marshes, which provide habitat for wildlife, and also provide buffers against storm surges and act as a natural water filter.

The sites are home to beavers and many species of birds including black ducks, Canada geese, great blue herons, cedar waxwing, northern flicker, songbirds, and common goldeneye.  Plants found here include wild raisin shrub, various ferns and wildflowers.

A portion of one of these projects was donated through the federal government’s Ecological Gifts Program. This program provides enhanced tax incentives for donations of ecologically significant land.

These conservation projects were supported by funding from the Government of Canada through the Natural Areas Conservation Program; TD Forests; the United States Fish and Wildlife Service through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act; Joan and Regis Duffy Foundation and many local donors.


“The Percival River area provides people with a view rarely seen on Prince Edward Island: forest all around you. It is one of the best examples of natural connectivity remaining in the province, with a network of habitat corridors reaching all the way to Conway Narrows.”

Julie Vasseur, PEI Program Director with the Nature Conservancy of Canada

“The Government of Canada is proud to work with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to protect this significant wildlife habitat in Prince Edward Island. Protecting coastal lands like these also benefits local communities by helping to mitigate the impacts of storms and rising sea levels associated with climate change.”

Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Through the Natural Areas Conservation Program, the Government of Canada is working to support the protection of this important forest habitat and conserve the natural beauty of this region for generations to come.”

Robert Morrissey, MP Egmont

“More than 90 percent of Canadians have said forests are important to them, and for good reason. Forests form the backdrop of our communities, where we live, work and play –  and they perform an essential role in cleaning the air and moderating temperatures. As our world becomes more urbanized it is essential to protect forests and the valuable habitats they represent. That’s why we made protecting critical forest habitat a key pillar of the TD Forests program.”

Karen Clarke-Whistler, Chief Environment Officer, TD Bank Group


  •   Another plant on the property is marsh marigold; a delicate spring flower that flourishes wherever there is water-logged soil and sunlight;
  •   One of the sites is part of a larger protected complex, situated next to an existing 28-hectare (70-acre) NCC reserve and a 42-hectare (104-acre) provincially owned property protected by the Natural Areas Conservation Act.

Learn More:

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 (2.8 million acres), coast to coast. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has conserved 28,000 hectares, (over 69,000 acres), in the Atlantic provinces.  For more information visit:

The Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) is a unique public-private partnership led by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). To date, $345 million has been invested in the NACP by the Government of Canada to secure our natural heritage. Additionally, more than $400 million in matching contributions has been raised by NCC and its partners.

To learn more about the Ecological Gifts Program, please visit

Launched in 2012, TD Forests is a major conservation initiative built around two pillars – reduce (paper use) and grow (forested areas). The Nature Conservancy of Canada has been engaged in the "grow" pillar to increase the amount of forested lands protected and cared for in Canada and through its conservation partners in the U.S. TD and NCC are also engaging more Canadians in the mission to conserve our forests, which will safeguard not just the trees, but all the living things that rely on forested habitats. For more information, visit TD Forests.

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Media Contact:

Kathryn Morse
Director of Communications - Atlantic Provinces

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