New conservation area to help many species on Prince Edward Island
Nature Conservancy of Canada working to protect freshwater wetlands and forest near St. Peter’s Bay
There is a new conservation area on Prince Edward Island. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has announced it has finalized the purchase of two parcels of land, totalling 49 hectares, near St. Peter’s Bay, in the northeastern part of the province.
Called the Five Houses Woodland Nature Reserve, it consists of intact Wabanaki (Acadian) forest and freshwater wetlands. It is nestled between the provincially protected St. Peter’s Bog Natural Area on the western side, Schooner Creek to the south and McAskill River on the northern boundary. The reserve is an important nesting area for American black duck and other waterfowl.
Five Houses Woodland Nature Reserve features a healthy array of tree species, including trembling aspen, red maple, balsam fir, white birch, white spruce and black spruce. Intact blocks of forested habitat are rare on Prince Edward Island and are especially important for foraging and nesting songbirds. These lands are also home for black-backed woodpecker, a rare species within the province. Other birds dependent on this natural area include Canada warbler (threatened) and olive-sided flycatcher (threatened), both listed under the federal Species at Risk Act. Other species of interest include the provincially rare yellow lady's-slipper and showy lady's-slipper. Pink lady’s-slipper, the official provincial flower of PEI, was also found on the property.
NCC hopes to expand this nature reserve and is raising funds to conserve another 14 hectares. People wishing to learn more and to donate are encouraged to visit natureconservancy.ca and specify that their contribution is for the Five Houses Woodland Nature Reserve.
The completed conservation projects were made possible by the generosity of individuals and private charity foundations. Funding also came from the Government of Canada's Target 1 Challenge Fund administered by the Government of Prince Edward Island, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.
These projects highlight how NCC is accelerating the pace of conservation in Canada. In the past two years alone, NCC 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, the organization 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. When nature thrives, we all thrive.
“Wetlands cover approximately 13 percent of Canada’s land area and provide numerous ecosystem services including carbon storage, a vital element of action on climate change. It is by working with partners such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada and on projects like this one that we make progress toward our goal of protecting a quarter of lands and a quarter of oceans in Canada by 2025 and onwards to 30 percent of each by 2030.” – The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“On Prince Edward Island, we have ambitious climate goals and putting an importance on conservation allows us to maintain and restore habitats, and protect biological diversity while preventing the wasteful use of our resources. We appreciate the work of the Nature Conservancy of Canada.” – The Honourable Steven Myers, Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Action
“We are excited to announce the establishment of the Five Houses Woodland Nature Reserve. It is wonderful to learn about a new area of PEI and how we may be able to contribute to this beautiful area. Our hope is that we not only give wildlife a safe place to roam, but that we provide larger natural spaces for Islanders to explore and enjoy.” – Lanna Campbell, PEI program director, Nature Conservancy of Canada
- The Five Houses Woodland Nature Reserve is seen as being a contiguous, low-lying forested area with freshwater wetlands and river habitats. Having connected forested lands helps minimize threats, such as high winds, intense storms, extended drought and invasive plant infestations.
- NCC’s next step is to develop a property management plan, which will identify conservation priorities and explore how people may use this property for passive recreational uses.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature. We seek solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner, we work with people, communities, businesses, and government to protect and care for our most important natural areas. Since 1962, we have brought Canadians together to conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares. This includes 2,583 hectares that NCC has helped conserve in Prince Edward Island.
NCC is a registered charity. With nature we build a thriving world.
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