Photo: US Fish and Wildlife Service
AMHERST, NOVA SCOTIA—March 2,
2017 —The Open Space Institute’s Transborder Land Protection Fund was
instrumental in allowing The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s)
tongue-in-cheek “Moose Sex Project” to expand and grow in impact. With funding
from OSI, and other conservation partners, NCC conserved three new properties totaling
236.5 acres near Amherst, on the Chignecto Isthmus, the narrow land bridge that
connects Nova Scotia to New Brunswick.
The announcement is part of a
larger, long-term conservation effort aimed at protecting a wilderness corridor
on the Chignecto Isthmus for the benefit of wildlife, in particular for Nova
Scotia’s mainland moose, listed as Endangered under Nova Scotia’s Endangered
Species Act. Nova Scotia’s moose population has declined to an estimated 500 to
1,000 animals, with one of the largest remaining groups living on the Chignecto
At its narrowest point, the
Chignecto Isthmus is only 15 miles wide. It is a priority area for conservation
because it provides the only geographic connection between Nova Scotia and the
rest of North America, a connection that is becoming increasingly fragmented by
roads and resource development.
By conserving forests and wetlands
on the Isthmus, NCC is protecting the habitat “connectivity” between Nova
Scotia’s wildlife and the larger wildlife populations in eastern Canada and the
“We need to work now to conserve the
last wild places remaining on both sides of this divide,” said Jennifer
Melville, OSI’s Vice President for Grants and Loans who manages the Transborder
fund. “NCC’s is doing critically important work to make sure the majestic moose
and other species stay around for generations to come.”
Through its Transborder Fund, OSI
has invested $250,000 through six grants to conserve 1,447 acres of critical
wildlife connections across the Chignecto Isthmus. With support from
the Partridge Foundation, OSI 's $3 million Transborder Land Protection Fund
supports conservation in the Northern Appalachians, which stretches from the
Adirondacks in New York State to Quebec's Gaspe Peninsula.
Transborder Land Protection Fund is the first of its kind, as it specifically
targets the eastern Canadian/U.S. transborder region while working closely on
the ground with local organizations critically aware of the need to link core
“The Transborder Fund is a logical
extension of OSI’s work in the Northern Forest of New England and New York and
we are thankful to have partners and funders who recognize the importance of
thinking beyond national boundaries to conserve the ecological integrity of the
region,” explained Melville.
These properties and surrounding
area provide habitat for many species of songbirds, waterfowl and migrating
birds, as well as for large mammals, such as lynx, bobcat and moose.
Conserving intact wilderness on the Isthmus — and the ability for wildlife
to migrate from Nova Scotia to breed in New Brunswick— is vital for the health
and renewal of many populations, but most critically for the moose.