Isle Haute National Wildlife Area

Backgrounder

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada is transferring administrative management of Isle Haute to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). ECCC proposes to protect this island and its sensitive ecosystem as a National Wildlife Area.

Isle Haute is a fitting name for this three-kilometre long island that rises majestically from the water with its steep 100-metre cliffs, rugged terrain and rocky shoreline. The island is home to over 60 species of birds and 300 species of plants. It is an important seabird nesting site and inhabited by Species at Risk including the Peregrine Falcon and colonies of Great Blue Heron and the Common Eider.

Isle Haute is also steeped in human history. Isle Haute was a special meeting place for the Mi’kmaq Indigenous peoples for many centuries. The first European to land on the island was French explorer Samuel de Champlain who landed on the island in 1604 and named it Isle Haute or High Island. More recently the island has been enjoyed by day-trippers and scientists. Sightings can be made of Red-backed Salamanders, and Harbour and Grey seals as they frequent its surrounding waters.

The views and perspectives of local communities including Indigenous communities are key to advancing environmental protection. ECCC will consult and work in close collaboration and partnership with Indigenous peoples to increase protection on federal properties, such as Isle Haute, as administrative management is being transferred to ECCC from other departments.

This action will contribute to Canada’s goal of doubling the amount of nature protected across Canada’s lands and oceans by the end of 2020. Isle Haute is a national treasure, and soon its unique wildlife and natural beauty will be protected for generations to come.

Associated links

Isle Haute: proposed National Wildlife Area


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