Aiden Mahoney

Newfoundland and Labrador

Number of projects: During this period, NCC also funded the relinquishment of 82,313 acres (33,311 hectares) of timber rights outside the new Birch River Wildland Park in Alberta. These rights were cancelled by the provincial government and will only be re-issued for ecological purposes. 1

Land value: Land value is the fair market value as determined by independent appraisal. $98,000

Acres conserved: 195

Stewardship volunteers: 55

Nature reserve secured near Stephenville

Aiden Mahoney

Not many people receive land as a christening gift. But in 1927, that’s exactly what happened to Fred Carter Sr. For many years, he enjoyed spending time at his riverside cabin on the property, located near Stephenville.

In February 2018, his sons Fred and Ralph Carter partially donated the Barachois Brook property to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in memory of their father, who was an avid salmon fisherman. NCC will continue to allow access to the nature reserve for recreation and traditional uses, such as fishing.

The 79-hectare (195-acre) nature reserve borders Barachois Pond Provincial Park. The reserve surrounds over two kilometres of Barachois Brook, a well-known Atlantic salmon river. The forest in the area is habitat for red fox, black bear and more than 100 species of birds, including ruffed grouse. The threatened Newfoundland population of the American marten is also found in the area.

Conservation of this property was made possible with funding from the Government of Canada, through the Natural Areas Conservation Program. A portion of the property was donated to NCC through the federal government’s Ecological Gifts program, which provides tax incentives for donations of ecologically significant land. Support for this project was also provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. The Nature Conservancy of Canada protects more than 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) on the west coast of Newfoundland, including the Sandy Point Nature Reserve, the Grasses Nature Reserve and the Grand Codroy Estuary Nature Reserve.

Bioblitzing the Grand Codroy Estuary

Aiden Mahoney

A group of seven intrepid Conservation Volunteers and NCC staff gathered at the newest property in the Grand Codroy Estuary Nature Reserve early one Saturday morning in July, for the property’s first bioblitz. Located in the southwest corner of the island of Newfoundland, with views of the dramatic Long Range Mountains, NCC’s nature reserve in the Codroy Valley is a popular destination for birders.

The volunteer group’s mission for the next six hours was to identify and document any and all species on the new property. This information will be used to help NCC develop a baseline inventory, which will inform future management of the reserve.

The team completed eight different habitat surveys. Over the course of the day, volunteers identified 18 species of birds and over 90 species of plants. Some of the birds noted on the property included boreal chickadee, American redstart, black and white warbler, blackpoll warbler, black-throated warbler and ruby-crowned kinglet. 

Fall science seminar

In November, NCC held a science seminar in St John’s. The event was an opportunity to showcase the research being conducted as part of NCC’s Science Support Program in Newfoundland and Labrador. It was also an opportunity for master’s-level students to profile their research and network with the conservation community.

All of the research highlighted in the seminar contributes to NCC’s understanding and management of our nature reserves in Newfoundland and Labrador. The seminar was also a chance to thank the students and recognize their work.

Sixteen people, including NCC staff and Memorial University professors, attended the event and the students’ presentations. Topics ranged from the use of technology to inventory wetlands, to studies of residents’ attitudes towards NCC properties, to the lichens found in the province’s forested wetlands.

The Newfoundland population of the American marten is a small tree-dwelling carnivore and a member of the weasel family. This subspecies is endemic to Canada and is found only on the Island of Newfoundland. Initially assessed as endangered, its population is showing some signs of recovery due to conservation measures, and it was re-assessed as threatened in 2007. Some of NCC`s nature reserves, such as the Grasses Nature Reserve, provide habitat for the Newfoundland marten.