Grand Manan, New Brunswick
Nature Trust of New Brunswick – 2021
The Keiko & Errol Nature Preserve on Ross Island is classified as an Ecologically Significant Area, containing habitats listed by the Habitat Conservation Strategy for the Bay of Fundy. The Preserve is part of the Flagg Cove and Whale Cove Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area due to the aggregation of benthic organisms around the southeast of the island. This abundance and diversity of benthic organisms coupled with the strong upwellings of the Bay of Fundy make this area a region of high marine productivity. The island is home to many uncommon, rare, and at-risk species and is located on the traditional territory of the Wabanaki people.
Ross Island is a part of the Grand Manan Archipelago Important Bird Area. The rocky shores act as a nursery for fish and crustaceans. In addition, the salt marshes found on the island provide essential spawning grounds and stop-over sites for migratory birds. The Preserve on Ross Island contains 11 kilometres of rugged coastline and 270 acres of wetlands, including bogs, fens, marshes, and swamps.
The tidal marshes and wetlands on the island provide important stop-over sites for birds like the spotted sandpiper, semipalmated sandpiper, whimbrel Baird’s sandpiper and the endangered Red Knot. Colonies of common eider are known to breed in the area as well. Although the spruce-fir forest dominates the Preserve, species like the yellow-bellied flycatcher, Cape May warbler, blackpoll warbler, and Bicknell’s thrush (threatened) have been reported.
Ross Island is close to three existing preserves on Grand Manan that are under protection by the Nature Trust of New Brunswick, the Meredith Houseworth Memorial Seashore Nature Preserve, the Seven Days Work Cliff Nature Preserve, and the Thomas B. Munro Memorial Shoreline Nature Preserve. The protection of Ross Island allows for the continued preservation of unique places on Grand Manan and the coastal areas in New Brunswick that hold both ecological and recreational value.
The protection of the Preserve on Ross Island was a milestone acquisition for the Nature Trust of New Brunswick as one of the most significant acquisitions in the organization’s history, reaching a record 10,000 acres protected in New Brunswick.
“As far as wildlife is concerned, the 10,000 acres that you’re protecting are simply providing space for threatened and endangered species or species at risk, to regroup, to breathe, to breed, and to get back on track. We hope that bit by bit, hectare by hectare, we will provide an opportunity for restoration of both flora and fauna.” – Dr. Isobel Ralston, MapleCross.
Thank you to the MapleCross Fund for their generous contribution and for helping the Nature Trust of New Brunswick reach our exciting 10,000-acre milestone.
Content and property pictures courtesy of: Nature Trust of New Brunswick at naturetrust.nb.ca