The team at the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Atlantic office is working hard to conserve a critical wildlife corridor along the New Brunswick-Nova Scotia border, a move they hope will help boost the love lives of the moose between the two provinces.
Andrew Holland, director of communications for NCC Atlantic, said the fundraising campaign they launched last fall to acquire several pieces of land along the Chignecto Isthmus has been successful to date but still requires about $18,000 to secure the properties. Dubbed the ‘Moose Sex Project,” the campaign will help NCC secure about 250 acres of forest and wetland along the isthmus, adding to the other lands they have already protected there.
“This is a key wildlife corridor,” said Holland of the Chignecto Isthmus. “This is a really crucial piece of land to be preserved in Atlantic Canada.”
With the land purchase, the NCC hopes to become a “matchmaker” for moose, providing a corridor between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick where moose can roam freely and safely, and also maybe partake in some some cross-border loving.
Although there is a healthy population of moose in New Brunswick, the same can’t be said for across the border. Moose are an endangered species in mainland Nova Scotia, with recent ground and aerial surveys indicating a count of between 500 and 1,000.
“They’ve been endangered there since 2003,” said Holland. “There’s only a few pockets where they’re located.”
So the aim of the NCC project, he said, is to try and ensure moose continue to make their home in the Chignecto Isthmus wilderness area and hopefully “make more friends in Nova Scotia . . . to give a boost to the Nova Scotia populations because they need it.”
The isthmus is a land bridge that serves as the only route for terrestrial wildlife to move in and out of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It needs to be protected, said Holland, so that the wildlife there remains undisturbed.
“One of the reasons why we’re protecting the Chignecto Isthmus is because sometimes moose go looking for love in all the wrong places,” he says of the animals’ tendency to wander onto highways or backyards when their habitats have been altered by developments or clear-cutting.
“So we’re hopeful that, by protecting this natural area, they’ll go looking for love in all the right places.”
Moose are not the only species the NCC is hoping to conserve by protecting the isthmus area. The corridor is also a nesting site for many duck populations and is also home to bobcats and Canada lynx, as well as many rare flora and fauna.
Holland said there’s no government funding supporting this particular project, so the NCC is asking the general public, local groups and foundations to consider donating to the cause. The NCC is a non-profit charity and people making a donation will receive a charitable tax receipt
To make a donation, go to www.natureconservancy.ca or call toll-free at 1-877-231-4400. Make sure you indicate which project you would like to support when making your donation.
The NCC is also seeking photos of moose for a slideshow on their website and on Facebook. Area residents are encouraged to submit their photos at firstname.lastname@example.org and they can win prizes for their efforts.