Nature Conservancy says protecting species begins with protecting habitat

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The Olive-sided flycatcher is among the province’s newly listed species at risk. 

HALIFAX – The Nature Conservancy of Canada says the addition of 19 more species to the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act is “disheartening and worrisome”.

Species and ecosystems across Canada as well as the world are facing a myriad of challenges in the face of an expanding population and economic growth and development. Nova Scotia is no different.  

Nature Conservancy of Canada Program Manager Craig Smith says the not-for-profit land conservation organization is working to protect habitat for several of these species throughout the province.

Among these newly-listed species, NCC protects habitat for the vulnerable Snapping turtle, endangered Vole’s Ears lichen, and birds such as the endangered Canada warbler and threatened Olive-Sided flycatcher.

 “Perhaps the most surprising on the list, the Snapping turtle, is not an animal most Nova Scotians would expect to be considered vulnerable. However, the turtle is under increasing threat due to human interference caused by roads and other infrastructure,” says Smith.

NCC has been working to protect land in the Pugwash River Estuary and the Isthmus of Chignecto. The isthmus is home to the Canada warber and the Olive-Sided flycatcher. 

To date, NCC has conserved over 30,800 acres of significant habitat across Nova Scotia and over 63,000 acres in Atlantic Canada. 

Smith says targeting land of ecological significance, which is determined by the diversity and quality of ecosystems, communities and species in an area, NCC ensures endangered, threatened and vulnerable species are at the forefront of its conservation decisions.

“Protecting species starts with protecting their habitat,” stresses Smith, "By providing these species with the natural areas they require, we are taking the first step to protecting rare and at-risk species, and through good management planning, we are helping to mitigate localized threats they could face in the future.”

Smith says the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act is indicative of the challenges faced by our species and ecosystems in the Province and serves as an important reminder to all Nova Scotians along with NCC staff, partners, donors and supporters that the work they are doing is vital to our province’s natural areas and the species that call these special places home.


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