Two lands on the south shore of Nova Scotia that are home to endangered animals are protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
The newly preserved territory — nearly 160 hectares in total — is made up of salt marshes, tidal flats, beaches and Wabanaki-Acadian forest. It is connected to existing protected areas on the Port Joli Peninsula, including Thomas Raddall Provincial Park.
Nature Conservancy spokesman Andrew Holland said the protection was strategic.
“It’s not easy to find larger tracts of land, wetlands, forests and coastal areas that have been preserved, so you need to seize opportunities as they arise, no matter what. either their size,” Holland said.
Mainland moose and piping plover, both considered endangered by the provincial government, are known to live in the Port Joli area. Holland said it was also a “hotspot” for many species of migratory birds.
Forty-seven hectares of land were donated, and 110 hectares cost approximately $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 significance.”
Those who fund the project include the federal and provincial governments, local businesses and individuals. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service also contributed through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.
Earlier this month, the Nature Conservancy finalized an agreement to protect another swath of land in southwestern Nova Scotia — nearly 1,100 hectares adjacent to Indian Fields Provincial Park and close to the Tobeatic wilderness area.
This area is also home to several endangered species, including lichens and birds.
Holland said protecting endangered, rare and at-risk species is the priority of nature conservation.