HALIFAX, Dec. 15 /CNW/ - Canada's Environment Minister, John Baird, today announced the Nature Conservancy of Canada's successful acquisition of Goose Point Island—55 hectares (135 acres) of land near Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia. This project was secured in part with funding from Environment Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program and has an overall budget of $87,762.
"This acquisition marks another achievement under our government's Natural Areas Conservation Program. With this investment, we are taking real action to protect and conserve our ecosystems and sensitive species for present and future generations," said Minister Baird. "Your actions, large and small, will help to protect the abundance and variety of life that is part of our natural heritage."
"The protection of Goose Point Island represents a significant achievement for conservation in Nova Scotia," said Linda Stephenson, Nature Conservancy of Canada's Atlantic regional vice-president. "Without the considerable support from partners, this would have not been possible. This incredible island in Musquodoboit harbour, close to Halifax, will serve as refuge for the plants and animals that call the area home. The Nature Conservancy of Canada is incredibly proud to have protected five islands in the Musquodoboit Harbour for all time."
Goose Point Island is the last of the large coastal islands to be secured for conservation within Musquodoboit Harbour and is a key ecological component of the Harbour's large estuary. The island contains a coastal softwood forest with patches of heath and open barrens, and is large enough to support a number of terrestrial mammals, including white-tailed deer, mink and otter. Located in the upper reaches of the estuary, Goose Point Island can only be accessed by boat at very high tide and, as a result, remains relatively pristine. Its irregular shoreline is dotted with salt marshes and ponds, providing important feeding and staging habitat for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds. Bald eagles, osprey, and great blue heron can also be seen soaring overhead or nesting amongst the trees.
The Government of Canada's $225-million 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 willingness and support of landowners that we can ensure the protection of natural areas in Canada. As of July 2010, under the Natural Areas Conservation Program over 138,800 hectares (342,982 acres) have been secured, protecting habitat for over 79 species at risk.
(Également offert en français)
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