Chignecto Isthmus, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Chignecto Isthmus, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Chignecto Isthmus

Lynx, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Lynx, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

The Chignecto Isthmus is one of the most important habitats in the Maritimes. It is a crucial land bridge that serves as the only route for wildlife to move in and out of Nova Scotia.

There is currently an opportunity to increase the amount of protected land on the Chignecto Isthmus. A land donor is prepared to donate 566 hectares (1,400 acres) which will connect existing conserved lands for wildlife. In the 1970s, the late Hans Caemmerer, a frequent visitor to Canada, purchased these lands on the Chignecto Isthmus. His daughter, Dr. Monika Caemmerer, is donating them in his memory.


Hans Caemmerer, 1976  (Photo courtesy of Dr. Monika Caemmerer)

Hans Caemmerer, 1976 (Photo courtesy of Dr. Monika Caemmerer)

“He bought the land because he loved those wild woods & the wild animals that live there, and wanted to protect the land from development.”

 “He always said to me that the sky is more blue in Canada than in Germany, the cloud formations are more impressive and the Fall colours of the leaves are breathtaking. He loved the friendliness of the people.”

“When I moved here it was for him like I was starting to live his dream, which made him happy. Now it is on me to decide how to protect the wilderness land forever. The Nature Conservancy of Canada seems to be the perfect steward.”

Dr. Monika Caemmerer, Hans Caemmerer’s daughter

Dr. Monika Caemmerer’s generous land donation is the first step on the journey of protection for generations to come. We need your help in ensuring long-term management and care for this land.

A gift right now will be matched dollar for dollar. Your donation will support the conservation and protection of the land; plus, thanks to government partnerships, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) can access matching funds for gifts from private individuals, like you.

For more information and to learn how you can help, please contact NCC's Atlantic Region at 1-877-231-4400 or

Continue reading to learn more about why this area is so critically important and the ongoing work you can be a part of;

Conservation values

The isthmus is the only route for animals such as the endangered Nova Scotia mainland moose to move between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It is important that wildlife continue to be able to move freely across the land to find food, as well as ensure their offspring have continued genetic diversity. 

Moose on the Chignecto Isthmus (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Moose on the Chignecto Isthmus (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Moose populations are healthy in New Brunswick. However, in mainland Nova Scotia they are endangered. The Chignecto Isthmus is a key link for moose habitat to ensure this species can be sustained.

In addition to moose, other mammals and bird species found here include Canada lynx, bobcat, northern flying squirrel and northern goshawk. The area is also a potential nesting site for American black duck, green-winged teal and wood duck.

The isthmus features extensive freshwater wetlands, diverse Acadian forest, grasslands and two distinct coasts. It is an important site for migratory birds; critical for waterfowl and other marsh birds and shorebirds. The natural grasslands make this landscape a significant area for species like short-eared owl, barn swallow and bobolink. The swamps, lakes, marshes and bogs are home to wood turtle, eastern wood pewee and black ash. There are also rare plants including Halberd-leaf tearthumb and lesser wintergreen.

Historically used as Mi’kmaq meeting and hunting grounds, the Isthmus has been a human transportation corridor for centuries. It is only 24 km wide at its most narrow point. The Chignecto Isthmus is fragmented by roads and sensitive to climate change making it increasingly challenging for wildlife to travel between provinces. NCC has been working on the Chignecto Isthmus for over a decade to expand conservation areas along the critical wildlife corridor. 

Our work in the Chignecto Isthmus

NCC and partners are working together to coordinate conservation efforts in this critical area. In the Chignecto Isthmus Natural Area NCC has protected more than 1,793 hectares (4,430 acres).


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