Salt marsh of the Nouvelle River, QC (Photo by NCC)

Salt marsh of the Nouvelle River, QC (Photo by NCC)

Nature Conservancy of Canada protects habitat for an endangered butterfly in the Gaspé Peninsula

December 14, 2020
Nouvelle (Gaspé Peninsula, QC)


An early holiday gift for the Gaspé Region

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is opening a holiday present early in order to share it with residents of the Gaspé Peninsula ahead of Christmas.

The not-for-profit organization is announcing the protection of a new property located in the salt marsh of the Nouvelle River, in the Gaspé Peninsula’s municipality of Nouvelle.

Due to its biological diversity and the absence of human activities, this 2-hectare (6-acre) property provides quality habitat for a rare butterfly: the maritime ringlet.

The maritime ringlet, an understated butterfly with fragile wings that are easily damaged by rain, wind and certain human activities, is threatened in Quebec and endangered in Canada. It is characteristic of the Baie des Chaleurs, in the southern Gaspé Peninsula.

“This acquisition is in line with our desire to protect the biodiversity associated with the coastal marshes that are characteristic of the Gaspé Peninsula,” said Camille Bolduc, NCC’s project manager for Eastern Quebec. “It consolidates our efforts that began in 2016, when NCC acquired its first property in the Nouvelle River salt marsh, which consists of several privately-owned lots. I would like to highlight the significant gesture of the owner, who has chosen to conserve this property in perpetuity by selling it to the Nature Conservancy of Canada.”

The Nouvelle River salt marsh is also recognized as a nesting site for Nelson’s sharp-tailed sparrow and yellow rail. The Nelson’s sharp-tailed sparrow is likely to be designated as a threatened or vulnerable species in Quebec, and the yellow rail is designated as threatened.

In addition to these two species, the Nouvelle River salt marsh is frequented by other at-risk species, including:

  • the short-eared owl, likely to be designated as a threatened or vulnerable species in Quebec
  • the Atlantic salmon


This acquisition was made possible by contributions from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the Government of Quebec, through a grant from the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, under the Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels, and from Wildlife Habitat Canada.


"The recovery of species that are threatened, vulnerable or likely to be designated as such is closely linked to the preservation of their essential habitats. That's why we are delighted to contribute to this initiative with the funding provided to NCC through the Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels." —Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region

“Wildlife Habitat Canada (WHC) is proud to partner and support NCC by providing funding for activities that assisted them in securing this land acquisition. WHC is pleased that this valuable wildlife habitat will be conserved and enjoyed for years to come” – Cameron Mack, Executive Director, Wildlife Habitat Canada


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is Canada’s leading not-for-profit private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC has helped to protect 14 million hectares (35 million acres), coast to coast to coast, including 48,000 hectares (around 119,00 acres) in Quebec. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act is a program administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels (PPMN) is a three-year, $13-million grant to NCC from the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques. It provides support for initiatives to protect natural areas of interest through financial partnerships with conservation organizations across the province. The PPMN aims to develop and consolidate Quebec’s network of protected areas located on private land.

Wildlife Habitat Canada is a non-profit, conservation organization that conserves habitat, primarily by investing the funds from the sale of the Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp and Print program contributed by waterfowl hunters. Since 1985, WHC has provided over $55 million in grants to more than 1,500 habitat conservation projects across Canada, which have helped safeguard important ecosystems and countless wild species. To learn more, please visit www.whc.org.

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Media Contact:

Elizabeth Sbaglia
Communications Manager, Quebec Region
Nature Conservancy of Canada
1 877-876-5444 x6240

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