The Nova Scotia Bird Society has donated seven islands and one coastal property to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.
Bob McDonald of the bird society said they gained the 300 acres of land over the years to protect places important to birds — and birders.
“Each of them was acquired separately, either from donation or, say, a long-time member who was really keen to preserve the property,” he told CBC’s Information Morning on Monday.
They also bought some of the properties. The donated lands include:
- Hertford Island in Cape Breton
- Indian Island near Bridgewater
- The four “Bald Islands” in the Tusket area
- Peter’s Island near Digby
- Coastal property near Port Joli.
The sites support 20 per cent of the province’s bird species, providing a critical habitat for migratory and nesting birds, the trust said. Among the birds are nesting great cormorants, puffins, razorbills and black-legged kittiwakes.
“The Nature Trust’s expertise in land conservation and stewardship is a perfect complement to the bird society’s passion and energy for birds and birdwatching.”
McDonald said paying the property taxes was the “easy bit” when the society owned the land.
“What was difficult was properly stewarding them. What that means is you have to visit the properties from time to time and some of these properties are very difficult to visit,” he said.
Sutherland says the trust will be able to better monitor the islands. The Department of Natural Resources, for example, is monitoring Hertford Island and local fishermen keep an eye on other spots.
“Bonnie is not going to have any problem finding bird society members as volunteers to be property guardians,” McDonald added.