Grand Manan (Photo by Nick Hawkins)

Grand Manan (Photo by Nick Hawkins)

Nature Conservancy of Canada completes protection of Bay of Fundy migratory bird sanctuary on Grand Manan

August 2, 2018
Grand Manan, NB


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has conserved the last privately owned property inside the Grand Manan Migratory Bird Sanctuary on the island of Grand Manan, an internationally renowned birding destination. NCC acquired the 11-hectare (28-acre) coastal property from New Brunswick land owners Earl Brewer and Sandy Kitchen. It is the second Grand Manan property entrusted by the couple to NCC through a partial donation under the Ecological Gifts Program. The conservation project announced today completes the protection of the entire 433-hectare (1,070-acre) Grand Manan Migratory Bird Sanctuary; key migratory bird habitat in the region.

Participating in the announcement with NCC staff were New Brunswick Southwest MP Karen Ludwig, on behalf of Environment and Climate Change Canada Minister, Catherine McKenna, Grand Manan Village Mayor, Dennis Greene, along with project supporters and local residents.

Grand Manan provides habitat for more than 300 species of birds, and is one of the most diverse locations in Atlantic Canada. The Grand Manan Migratory Bird Sanctuary was designated by the Canadian government many years ago. It is located in an internationally recognized Important Bird Area. However, a portion of the land inside the sanctuary boundary remained in private hands and was not fully protected until now. NCC has been working on Grand Manan since 2004, and has now protected just over 243 hectares (600 acres) on the island.

The new nature reserve is located between the communities of Grand Harbour and Seal Cove, on the southeast side of Grand Manan, near Anchorage Provincial Park. The property includes coastal barrens, forest and just over one kilometre of shoreline. A portion of the property previously used as a gravel pit will be restored with native species to provide wildlife habitat. NCC will be developing partnerships with local groups and island residents for the ongoing monitoring and care of its Grand Manan nature reserves. The two newest properties entrusted to NCC will be named the Wayne B. Kitchen Memorial Nature Reserve.

Conservation of this property and others on Grand Manan was made possible with funding from the Government of Canada, through the Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP). The NACP was established to accelerate the conservation of privately owned land in Canada. A portion of NCC’s Grand Manan project was donated to NCC under the Government of Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program. The program provides enhanced tax incentives for individuals or corporations who donate ecologically significant land.

The New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act), Crabtree Foundation, Sir James Dunn Foundation and McCain Foundation, Davis Conservation Fund, William P. Wharton Trust, American Friends of Nature Conservancy of Canada and many private donors contributed to the success of the Grand Manan Migratory Bird Sanctuary conservation project.


“The Nature Conservancy of Canada has been working on this project for five years, and we are thrilled to have helped ensure the Grand Manan Migratory Bird Sanctuary is fully protected. This property provides globally significant habitat for many birds, including at-risk species. We would like to thank the Government of Canada and our many donors for their support for this important conservation project.”

Paula Noel, New Brunswick Program Director, Nature Conservancy of Canada

“On behalf of my colleague Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, I want to congratulate the Nature Conservancy of Canada for acquiring lands that help to complete the protection and conservation of the Grand Manan Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Through the Ecological Gifts Program and the Natural Areas Conservation Program our government is supporting the important work being done here in Atlantic Canada to conserve migratory bird habitat.”

Karen Ludwig, Member of Parliament for Southwest New Brunswick


  • Visited by ornithologist John James Audubon in the 1830s, Grand Manan has long been recognized as a critical breeding, wintering and migratory stopover site for a wide range of birds, including razorbill, common murre, American black duck, sanderling, purple sandpiper, bufflehead, Canada geese, ring-necked duck, northern pintail, American wigeon, common eider and North American brant.
  • The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has assessed several birds found on Grand Manan as follows: red knot is endangered; barn swallow, bank swallow, common nighthawk, Canada warbler, bobolink, olive-sided flycatcher are threatened; eastern wood-pewee and rusty blackbird are special concern. Some of these species are also listed under the Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA). The monarch butterfly, listed as special concern under SARA, has been sighted on NCC’s new Grand Manan properties.


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) 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) across the country. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has conserved more than 29,500 hectares (74,000 acres) in the Atlantic provinces.

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.

Learn more about the Ecological Gifts Program:

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