Nature Conservancy of Canada saves key habitat for birds on Grand Manan

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Grand Manan – The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) today announced an additional 129 hectares (319 acres) of coastal wetlands and valuable wildlife habitat has been conserved within the Grand Manan Migratory Bird Sanctuary Nature Reserve on the island.

In addition to the announcement was the news of a recently signed agreement for another approximate 10 hectare (25 acres) piece of property, which means the habitat within the sanctuary will now be completely protected from development.

All of the property is located in a globally-significant Important Bird Area (IBA), in the Bay of Fundy.

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Today’s announcement, which took place at Anchorage Provincial Park at noon, overlooking the new sanctuary property, included the details of a donation and partial donation from two New Brunswickers.

A 6-hectare (15 acre) property was donated by Arlene Small in memory of her parents Hartford and Bessie (Trecartin) Ingalls and a 123-hectare (304 acre) property was partially donated through the Ecological Gifts Program by Earl Brewer and Sandy Kitchen, in memory of Wayne B. Kitchen.

With these two acquisitions finalized, NCC has now protected close to 243 hectares (600 acres) on Grand Manan.
More than 350 species of birds have been recorded at Grand Manan, including 174 species of breeding birds. Grand Manan provides habitat for many endangered, threatened or special concern birds.

Paula Noel, the New Brunswick NCC program director, said more information on the newest 10 hectare piece of property would be made available in the coming months and fundraising to purchase it would begin shortly.

She explained the bird sanctuary protects migratory and nesting birds. The sanctuary designation is put on areas of importance to birds, but doesn’t take away the right of private land owners to development and use the property. Ownership by the NCC does not allow for development.

Noel said when the NCC saw the final piece of property within the sanctuary area being advertised on the open market and being promoted as a beautiful site for development of cottages or cabins, it decided to make the move to purchase.
“We wanted to make sure the area is protected for the birds and birders,” she said, adding that unless one is a birder, one is not aware of how well known Grand Manan is among those interested in birds.

“It’s a destination globally for those who are passionate about observing birds,” said Noel, noting birders are an important part of the island economy.
“The Nature Conservancy of Canada wishes to thank the land donors, the Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program and Ecological Gifts Program, and our many supporters, for helping us conserve these outstanding habitats on Grand Manan,” stated Noel.

“Our newly-conserved properties are in a significant area for migratory birds in the Bay of Fundy and we are thrilled to be able to protect this area for the benefit of wildlife and the enjoyment of residents and visitors to Grand Manan.”

“The Government of Canada is proud to support this important habitat conservation initiative through the Natural Areas Conservation Program and the Ecological Gifts Program,” said New Brunswick Southwest MP Karen Ludwig.
“Working collaboratively we can conserve and protect our natural environment.”

NCC’s newest properties are located between the communities of Grand Harbour and Seal Cove, on the southeast side of Grand Manan, near Anchorage Provincial Park. They include the eastern shoreline of Great Pond, the largest freshwater pond on the island, as well as half a kilometre of coastline with a sand and gravel beach.