Wedgeport, Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia Nature Trust – 2020
24 hectares (60 acres)
Spectacle Island, at Nova Scotia’s southwestern tip, is part of an island chain recognized as globally significant for bird conservation and recovery. With 96% of the islands privately-owned, and amid alarming bird population declines, saving Spectacle is an important win for birds and for bird lovers, adding to a growing legacy of over 1000 island acres protected to date.
The islands’ diverse habitats, from coastal barrens, bogs and beaches to salt marsh and lagoons, provide vital sanctuary for breeding and nesting birds, from terns, gulls and petrels to songbirds, including Barn and Bank Swallows, both threatened in Canada. It is also a critical stopover for migratory birds. Shorebirds, from plovers and sandpipers to whimbrels, willets and endangered Red Knots, as well as raptors and songbirds, use the islands’ wetlands to refuel during migration, sometimes in great numbers. Winter visitors include Harlequin Ducks, American Black Duck and Eiders.
The islands are popular with boaters and birders, who enjoy their wild beauty and marvel at the number and diversity of birds.
MapleCross (Jan Oudenes and Isobel Ralston) made a significant donation towards the securement of Spectacle Island.
“As Canadians we often take for granted the amazing legacy of nature we have all around us”, Isobel noted. “But it is disappearing. Once places like Spectacle Island are developed, we can’t get nature back. By taking the initiative now to protect these very special places, we are ensuring that our unique biodiversity survives, and that current and future generations will be able to connect to nature and experience its wonder.”
Jan and Isobel’s strategic investment unlocked significant funding from the Canada Nature Fund, the Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust and private donors.
“We love that Jan and Isobel are inspiring others to follow their lead, amplifying our conservation impact,” said Bonnie Sutherland, the Nova Scotia Nature Trust Executive Director.
Content and property pictures courtesy of: Nova Scotia Nature Trust at nsnt.ca