Boot Island National Wildlife Area pamphlet

Boot Island National Wildlife Area
Photo: C. MacKinnon © Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2015. Boot Island National Wildlife Area

What makes Boot Island NWA so special?

Boot Island, Nova Scotia, was established as a National Wildlife Area (NWA) in 1979 in recognition of the importance of the island’s salt marsh and uplands for migratory birds in the Atlantic provinces. The forces of erosion that once severed Boot Island from the mainland and continue to eat away at its shoreline are also important natural forces that shape the invertebrate-rich intertidal mud flats that sustain migratory birds in this flyway.

The 107-hectare Boot Island NWA is:

  • a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention;
  • home to breeding colonies of Herring Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls, Great Blue Herons and Double-crested Cormorants;
  • a migration and staging area for thousands of Canada Geese, Black Ducks and other waterfowl;
  • home to over 130 plant species and 30 bird species.

Boot Island makes an important contribution to the growth and maintenance of populations of migratory birds and is also an important wildlife refuge in this biologically rich maritime landscape.

What are Environment and Climate Change Canada Protected Areas?

Environment and Climate Change Canada establishes marine and terrestrial NWAs for the purposes of conservation, research and interpretation. NWAs are established to protect migratory birds, species at risk, and other wildlife and their habitats. NWAs are established under the authority of the Canada Wildlife Act and are, first and foremost, places for wildlife.

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs) are established under the authority of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, and provide a refuge for migratory birds in the marine and terrestrial environment. The current Protected Areas Network consists of 54 NWAs and 92 MBSs comprising close to 12 million hectares across Canada.

What can I do at Boot Island NWA?

Access to Boot Island NWA for the conduct of certain activities is permitted. These activities include wildlife observation, hiking and berry-picking. Hunting and trapping are also allowed but are subject to provincial and/or federal regulations and conditions.

Canada Map
Long description of the map

Location of the NWA on an illustrated map of Canada. The NWA location is indicated by a general annotation in the province of Nova Scotia.

Who can I contact?

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Atlantic Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
17 Waterfowl Lane
Sackville, New Brunswick E4L 4N1
Protected Area web site
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