Endangered moose, bird habitat protected on N.S. South Shore
Nature Conservancy of Canada has acquired 157 hectares of land on Port Joli pensinsula
Two pieces of land on Nova Scotia's South Shore that provide habitat to some endangered animals are being protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
The newly conserved land — nearly 160 hectares in total — is made up of salt marshes, tidal flats, beaches and Wabanaki-Acadian forest. It connects with existing protected areas on the Port Joli peninsula, including Thomas Raddall Provincial Park.
Andrew Holland, spokesperson for the nature conservancy, said the protection is strategic.
"It's not easy to find larger tracts of lands, wetlands, forests and coastal areas that have been unspoiled, so you've got to seize the opportunities as they come up, no matter the size," Holland said.
The mainland moose and piping plover, both considered endangered by the provincial government, are known to live in the Port Joli area. Holland said it's also a "hotspot" for many migratory bird species.
Forty-seven hectares of land was donated, and 110 hectares came at a cost of about $400,000 — a figure that includes the purchase of the land, as well as legal fees, staff time and contributions to stewardship endowment funds, among other costs.
Money for the conservation project came from a variety of sources, which Holland said "gives a sense of the importance."
Those funding the project include the federal and provincial governments, local businesses and individuals. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also chipped in through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.
Earlier this month, the Nature Conservancy finalized a deal to protect another swath of land in southwestern Nova Scotia — nearly 1,100 hectares next to Indian Fields Provincial Park and close to the Tobeatic Wilderness Area.
That area is also home to several endangered species, including lichens and birds.
Holland said protection of endangered, rare and at-risk species is the nature conservancy's priority.