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Proposed Protected Areas

Nature Canada / Proposed Protected Areas

Together, with our affiliates, we have signed the protected places declaration. As a group, we are working towards protected nature across Canada. Below are some of the places we want to focus our efforts on in defending these ecologically important areas.

Image of marshes in Baie de L'Isle-Verte

Marshes of Baie de L’Isle-Verte by Fralambert (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Baie de L’Île-Verte & the Cacouna Marsh Important Bird Area

Baie de L’Île-Verte is a National Wildlife Area that comprises roughly 322 to 403 hectares of marsh wetlands that serve as a critical habitat for a variety of species. The proposed expansion would include the Cacouna Marsh Important Bird Area site which is one of the three most vital shorebird sites on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River.

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Image of the Brier Island Lighthouse

Brier Island Lighthouse by Dennis Jarvis (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Brier Island and Offshore National Marine Conservation Area

The proposed conservation area would encompass Brier Island and its surrounding waters, as well as the adjacent portions of Digby Neck, which its total would safeguard up to 1,000 km2 of land and water. Situated on Nova Scotia’s western end, at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, the Brier Island and Offshore National Marine Conservation Area would protect one of the Maritime’s most important bird and biodiversity areas – both on land and on the water.

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Image of Bridge and reflections at Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area

Bridge and reflections. Flickr Photo by Arthur Chapman (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area

The Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area is a Canadian wetland, nestled between the mountains in the south-west corner of British Columbia. Saddling the south end of Kootenay Lake and continuing to the United States border, spanning 17,000 acres, this wetland protected areas was established by the province in 1968 and is now home to more than 392 different species of wildlife.

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Fraser River Estuary by jmv (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Fraser River Estuary

The Fraser River Estuary is a large area of interconnected marine, estuarine, freshwater and agricultural habitats, near Vancouver. With  almost 17,000 hectares of wetland, the estuary supports a variety of  habitats such as  salt and  estuarine marshes, mudflats, and  deep tidal waters.

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Image of Govenlock Pastures

Govenlock National Wildlife Area

The Govenlock National Wildlife Area comprises 200 square kilometres of federally-protected short grass pasture in Southern Saskatchewan. The pasture supports the highest remaining percentage of natural ground cover in Canada’s prairies and is home to many species at risk.

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Great Black-backed Gull by NottsExMiner (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Great Black-backed Gull by NottsExMiner (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Manawagonish Island National Wildlife Area

Manawagonish Island National Wildlife Area is located on the Bay of Fundy which is a few kilometres south-west and offshore of Saint John, New Brunswick. In addition to serving as a sanctuary for seabirds, the 40-hectare island is used for mainly for research and conservation of breeding seabirds. The island is home to several species of colonial birds including the Double-crested Cormorants, Herring Gulls, and Great Black-backed Gulls.

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Image of Mealy Mountain National Park Reserve

English River, photo by Ian K. MacNeil

Mealy Mountains National Park

The Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve is located in southeastern Labrador and is the largest national park in Eastern Canada. Aptly named after the picturesque Mealy Mountains that overlook Melville Lake, Mealy Mountains National Park is home to boreal forests, coastal seascapes and diverse wildlife. A unique agreement between the Government of Canada and the Innu Nation ensures cooperative management and planning of the park.

Nature Canada was instrumental in the interim protections of the Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve. Nature Canada is calling for final and formal protection of the park under the Canada National Parks Act.

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Image of Canadian grasslandsNashlyn-Battle Creek Cooperative Wildlife Management Area

Nashlyn and Battle Creek are former PFRA pastures in southwestern Saskatchewan and have been proposed for protection as Cooperative Wildlife Management Area under the Canadian Wildlife Act. Together, with the adjacent Govenlock community pasture, these areas encompass 70,600 hectares of native grasslands and is home to several dozen species at risk.

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Image of Great Slave LakeNorth Arm of the Great Slave Lakes

In the Northwest Territories, just bordering Yellowknife, lies Dinàgà Wek’èhodì (dee-na-ga wek-a-ho-dee) – a northern pocket in the North Arm of the Great Slave Lake. The 790 square kilometre region is an IBA-designated, international hot-spot for migrating birds, with the springtime seeing thousands of flocks staged here (and a respectable number of avian residents in the fall, too).

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Image of the North French River

The North French River. Photo by Ted Cheskey.

North French River

The North French River stretches 200 kilometres from Cochrane, Ontario up north to its flowing point into Moose River (south of Moose Factory). This watershed is invaluable in its quality – offering clean drinking water praised by the Moose Cree who live nearby. However, the North French River has been the subject of natural resource debate as the prospect of industrial activities, like logging and mining, threatens the purity of its waters.

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Image of Onefour Research Farm

OneFarm, AB. Photo by Jan Normandale (CC BY-SA 4.0)

One-Four Ranch Cooperative Wildlife Management Area

In southeastern Alberta, the One-Four Ranch Research Facility has served as a hub for both agricultural and conservation research since 1927. The site is a 42,000-acre expanse of semi-arid mixed-grass prairie situated south of Medicine Hat AB.

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Image of Prince Edward County

Inn on the Mountain, Prince Edward County. Flickr Photo by Active Steve (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Prince Edward County South Shore

Prince Edward County already encompasses a number of protected areas. However, Nature Canada is looking to initiate either a National Wildlife Area (NWA) or a National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA) on the south shore of Prince Edward County. It is understood that the region’s current Important Bird Area designation does not serve as sufficient protection for all species that call this area home.

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Image of Rouge Park Toronto

Rouge National Urban Park

The Rouge National Urban Park in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is an opportunity to protect and restore an important ecosystem in Canada’s largest urban centre, and provide millions of Canadians with access to experience wild nature without leaving the city. Rouge Park spans across 47 square kilometres of the Greater Toronto Area and is expected to grow up to 79.1 square kilometres through the conservation initiatives of Parks Canada. It is home to 1,700 species of plants and animals, which includes a vast network of wetlands, marshes, and Carolinian forests.

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Image of South Okanagan by Tim Gage

South Okanagan by Tim Gage (CC BY-SA 2.0)

South Okanagan Similkameen National Park Reserve

The South Okanagan-Similkameen region is a proposed national park reserve located in British Columbia’s hot and arid South Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys. The proposed park covers nearly 300 square kilometres and comprises one of Canada’s richest areas of natural biodiversity.

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Image of the Southern Strait of Georgia NMCA

Southern Strait of Georgia NMCA by Andrea Inness

Southern Strait of Georgia

A National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA) has been proposed for the Southern Strait of Georgia. This NMCA has a proposed boundary that covers approximately 1,400 square kilometres stretching from Cordova Bay, north of Victoria, to southern Gabriola Island, including as well the Saanich Inlet. The Southern Strait of Georgia has a diversity of marine life that depends on a healthy marine ecosystem and it is an area that would greatly benefit from proper protection.

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Image of a Woodland Caribou

St. Raphael Signature Site

The St. Raphael Signature Site located near Sioux Lookout in northern Ontario includes 153,000 ha of pristine boreal forest and 400 lakes and 2,500 kilometres of shoreline. The Signature Site includes both the St. Raphael Provincial Park and Miniss Enhanced Management Area, where logging continues to be authorized.

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Image of a field

Suffield National Wildlife Area by Cliff Wallis.

Suffield National Wildlife Area

The Suffield National Wildlife Area is located within the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) north-west of Suffield, Alberta. In 2003, 458 km2 of the CFB was designated as a National Wildlife Area (NWA). The lands included in the NWA are rarely disturbed for military reasons, and civilians are prohibited from entering the Suffield NWA so as not to disrupt the species inhabiting the area.  The NWA could be expanded to protect 410 kmof so-called community pastures formerly managed by the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA).

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Image of Thelon River

Photo of the Thelon River. Photo taken by Cameron Hayne. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary

The Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary spans 52,000 square kilometres of Low Arctic tundra on both sides of the Northwest Territories-Nunavut border. Despite its location 160 km north of the tree line, tall shrubs and trees are found within the Thelon River Valley and extend as outliers into the sanctuary’s tundra.

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