Chignecto Isthmus, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Chignecto Isthmus, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Nature Conservancy of Canada gets major land donation for the Chignecto Isthmus “Moose Sex” Wilderness Corridor Project

February 28, 2022
Nova Scotia/New Brunswick


Giving and Receiving Sanctuary located along NS/NB border

A critically important area for wildlife in the Maritimes is getting a big boost. A large parcel of forest, wetland and coastline totalling 397 hectares along the New Brunswick–Nova Scotia border is now protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), thanks to a generous gift of land.

The property, called the Giving and Receiving Sanctuary, is located north of Amherst, Nova Scotia, on the Chignecto Isthmus.

The isthmus links Nova Scotia with the rest of North America. Monika Caemmerer is donating the property to NCC in memory of her late father, Hans Caemmerer.

A native of Germany, Mr. Caemmerer had earned enough money to travel and subsequently fell in love with the woodlands of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on trips to Canada, and purchased lands on the Chignecto Isthmus in the 1970s.

The Chignecto Isthmus, a narrow 24-kilometre stretch of land separating the Bay of Fundy from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, has been a conservation focus for NCC for over a decade. To date, NCC has protected 1,949 hectares on both sides of the isthmus. The area is fragmented by roads and is sensitive to climate change. These threats make it increasingly challenging for wildlife to travel between the two provinces.

NCC has been working to conserve privately owned forested and wetland habitats in the area to maintain an unbroken wilderness corridor between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. This habitat allows room for moose, bobcat and various other species to roam safely between the two provinces. The area is also an important stopover for migrating waterfowl and is home to various plants. Traditionally and currently used as meeting and hunting areas by Mi’kmaq communities, the isthmus has been a corridor for human connections for centuries.

The property was donated under the Government of Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program. The program provides enhanced tax incentives for individuals or corporations who donate ecologically significant land for conservation purposes.

In addition to the Caemerrer family, the Nature Conservancy of Canada wishes to thank many private individuals, The Echo Foundation, the George W. Wilson & Teresa Madelyn (Merriam) Wilson Foundation, Bruce MacLellan and Karen Girling, The Dr. & Mrs H.E. Christie Community Foundation, and the Cumberland Wilderness Society. Additional support has been provided under the Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (part of Canada’s Nature Fund), the Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Projects such as this one are a testament to NCC’s leadership in accelerating the pace of conservation in Canada. In the past two years alone, the organization has influenced the protection of more than 1 million hectares (almost twice the size of Prince Edward Island), coast to coast to coast. Over the next few years, NCC will double its impact by mobilizing Canadians and delivering permanent, large-scale conservation. 

In the face of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change, nature is our ally. There is no solution to either without nature conservation. The Nature Conservancy of Canada believes when nature thrives, we all thrive.


“I want to sincerely thank the landowner for her generous donation of this key habitat for iconic local species, like moose and bobcat. The conservation of lands is one of the most important ways that we can tackle the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, and it’s why our government is targeting the conservation of a quarter of lands and oceans in Canada by 2025. With this gift of land, we can preserve a vital wilderness corridor on the Chignecto Isthmus, to the great benefit of the local environment and generations of local residents. I am sure the donor’s father would be very proud and happy to know this land will forever be protected.” 

– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“My dad often told me how much he loved Canada. The skies were bluer than in Germany, the cloud formations more impressive, the changing of the fall colours were breathtaking and the people were so very friendly. He bought this land because he loved the woods and the wild animals that lived there, and he wanted to protect them from development. He was a very generous man and told me many times, if you want to receive something, you must give something first. That’s how he lived his life. Now that it’s up to me to decide how to best protect this wilderness, I’ve decided to give this land to the Nature Conservancy of Canada so they can care for it into the future.”

– Monika Caemmerer, land donor

“From an ecological, conservation and biological perspective, maintaining a connected landscape for large mammals to move freely between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia is incredibly important for the long-term health of wildlife populations. We want to thank Monika Caemmerer for this very generous land donation and all project supporters.”

– Jaimee Morozoff, Nova Scotia program director, Nature Conservancy of Canada

People can learn more about NCC’s work in Nova Scotia by visiting our website.


  • NCC dubbed this project the Chignecto Isthmus Moose Sex Corridor in 2012. The project has put a special emphasis on maintaining connectivity for plants and wildlife, including large mammals, in this sensitive area. Moose are endangered in mainland Nova Scotia, with the population estimated at below 500 individuals. In New Brunswick, the same moose sub-species boasts a healthy population.
  • The Chignecto Isthmus is an important staging area for migrating waterfowl. Significant numbers of green-winged teal, black ducks, hooded mergansers, mallards and common mergansers are found here.
  • To learn more about the Ecological Gifts Program, please visit http://www.ec.gc.ca/pde-egp/


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature. NCC seeks solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner, NCC works with people, communities, businesses and government to protect and care for our country’s most important natural areas. Since 1962, NCC has brought Canadians together to help conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares.

NCC is a registered charity. With nature, we build a thriving world.
To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca

The Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP) is a unique public-private partnership to support new protected and conserved areas by securing private lands and private interests in lands. The program is managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Federal funds invested in the program are matched with contributions raised by NCC and its partners: Ducks Unlimited Canada and the country’s land trust community.

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Andrew Herygers
Communications Manager

Andrew Holland
National Media Relations Director
Nature Conservancy of Canada
C: (506) 260-0469

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