Environment Canada

Environment Canada

June 24, 2010 12:26 ET

Government of Canada and Nature Conservancy of Canada Conserve Valuable Habitat Near Shelburne, Nova Scotia

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - June 24, 2010) - Gerald Keddy, MP, South Shore – St. Margaret's and; Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, on behalf of Canada's Environment Minister Jim Prentice, today announced the Nature Conservancy of Canada's successful acquisition of the Johnstons Pond property – a total of 120 hectares (297 acres) of land near Shelburne, Nova Scotia. This project was secured in part with funding from Environment Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program and has an overall budget of $564,038.

"Government of Canada action is helping Nature Conservancy of Canada secure this important and ecologically-sensitive area through conservation planning and habitat restoration for future generations of Canadians to enjoy," said Member of Parliament Gerald Keddy. "Today's announcement means that many species, such as the Harlequin Duck, will be able to call this wonderfully diverse habitat their home for years to come."

The Johnstons Pond property features mature forests that are home to a variety of important forest and animal species. Johnstons Pond's mature coastal forest surrounds a barachois pond, salt marsh and mudflats that are foraging and roosting sites for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds including the Semipalmated Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plover, Black-bellied Plover, Sanderling, and Ruddy Turnstone.

The property is dominated by mature upland forest and wetlands flanking almost the entire eastern boundary of the Johnston's Pond estuary. Three kilometers of the property's Myrica-dominated shoreline borders the upper reaches of the estuary, which supports nesting and foraging birds such as American Black Duck, Common Eider, Black Scoter and Harlequin Duck, a COSEWIC species of special concern, which has been recorded staging offshore. Boreal Felt Lichen has newly been recorded on lands along the western boundary of the Pond. The mature coastal forest may represent potential habitat for this nationally endangered species.

"This acquisition marks another achievement under our government's $225-million Natural Areas Conservation Program. Our Government is proud of the work we are doing to protect and conserve our ecosystems and sensitive species for present and future generations," said Minister Prentice. "Your actions, large or small, will help to protect the abundance and variety of life that is part of our natural heritage."

"These Gifts to Canadians are tangible examples of what we are able to achieve by working together. By designing and managing networks of protected areas we fulfill our national and global responsibility to protect Canada's natural treasures for the future," said John Lounds President & CEO of Nature Conservancy of Canada. "What better way to celebrate our nation than by protecting the spectacular lands and wildlife that our country is known for around the world."

The Government of Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program is an important on-the-ground initiative that takes real action to preserve Canada's environment and conserve its precious natural heritage for present and future generations. It is through the ongoing contribution from all donors that we can ensure the protection of natural areas in Canada. As of March 2010, under the Natural Areas Conservation Program over 138,600 hectares (342,500 acres) have been secured, protecting habitat for over 79 species at risk.

For more information and to view a backgrounder on this announcement, please visit the Web site of Environment Canada, at http://www.ec.gc.ca/.

(Également offert en français)

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