Chignecto National Wildlife Area

Aerial view of the Chignecto NWA
Photo: D. MacKinnon © Environment and Climate Change Canada. Chignecto National Wildlife Area - aerial vie.

Related Documents


Chignecto National Wildlife Area (NWA) is located 5 kilometres (km) southwest of Amherst, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia. Chignecto NWA overlaps with the Amherst Point Migratory Bird Sanctuary. The wide diversity of habitats within the Chignecto NWA is due partly to the area's karst geology caused by localized gypsum deposits and subsequently more alkaline soils. An impressive variety of birds can be found on the NWA including waterfowl such as the Mallard, Black Duck, Northern Pintail, and Ring-necked Duck. Furthermore, several waterfowl species that have limited distribution and uncommon occurrence in the region such as the Gadwall, Wood Duck, Redhead and Ruddy Duck can be seen here.

Various marsh birds such as Sora and Virginia Rail are common and some of the highest nesting densities of Pied-billed Grebe in North America have been recorded here. A total of 228 bird species have been recorded within the NWA in recent years, and more than 100 species breed within the protected area. In addition, a Sugar Maple Tree, with a circumference of over 4 meters, can be found on the NWA and has been estimated to be over 250 years old.

A large portion of the sanctuary's wetlands has been improved for wildlife by Ducks Unlimited Canada through the construction of dykes and control structures. The Amherst Point section consists of 412 ha which has both NWA and Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) status leaving 20 ha that has MBS status only.

Chignecto NWA further provides habitat for a wide variety of mammals including the Masked Shrew, Northern Flying Squirrel, Star-nosed Mole, Red Fox, Snowshoe Hare and Woodchuck among others.

More information on Chignecto NWA is provided in the summary table below.

Planning Your Visit

A small network of trails provides access to the Chignecto NWA where you can enjoy hiking and wildlife observation as well as some lovely photographic opportunities.

Note: Hunting is not permitted within the Chignecto NWA, however trapping is allowed subject to provincial regulations.

Public facilities: parking lot and walking trails

Access to Chignecto NWA is permitted in accordance with the conservation objectives of the NWA management plan. Public notices listing the authorized activities within the wildlife area are posted at access points.

For more information on what is permitted in NWAs, consult the NWA Management and Activities page.


From the town of Amherst, Nova Scotia take Southampton Road south-east until the road turns south-west (this is part of the Bay of Fundy Eco-Tour route). A small parking lot can be accessed on the north side of Southampton Road.

GPS: 45.783421, -64.259447.

More information on access and permitting for Chignecto NWA, can be obtained by contacting the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.

Map of the Area

  • John Lusby Marsh and Chignecto NWA
Long description for the Map

Map showing the area directly southwest of the city of Amherst in Nova Scotia. The boundaries of the Chignecto and the John Lusby Marsh National Wildlife Areas and also the ones of the Amherst Point Migratory Bird Sanctuary are indicated. The John Lusby Marsh National Wildlife Area is mainly located in intertidal and permanent water with some small portions of land located on the western shore of the Cumberland Basin. The Chignecto National Wildlife Area and the Amherst Point Migratory Bird Sanctuary overlap fully. This protected area is located between Amherst Point, the city of Amherst and Nappan and contains several small bodies of water. The scale on the map is in kilometers. Permanent water, intertidal zones, roads and highways are all indicated on the map. A small, inset national map situates the National Wildlife Area in Canada.

This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to define legal boundaries. Chignecto NWA can also be viewed using Google Maps. Please note that the Google map is a complementary source of information and does not represent the official map or site name.

Summary Table

This table provides summary information for Chignecto NWA
Category Information
Protected Area designation NWA
Province/territory Nova Scotia
Latitude/longitude 45°48' North / 64°16' West
Size 432 hectares
Reason for creation of protected area To provide a habitat for a wide variety of bird species including rare species such as Commmon Nighthawk, Canada Warbler, Chimney Swift, Least Bittern, Short-eared Owl, Barn Swallow and Bobolink.
Date created (Gazetted) 1978 - 1980 - Legal description
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Management Category VI - Habitat/Species Management Area
Additional designations
Keystone or flagship species Osprey, Ring-necked Duck , Pied-billed Grebe.
Main habitat type Cattail Marsh and Bog (27%), Controlled Water-level Impoundments (27%), Open Water Lakes (6%), Mixed Forest (27%), Open Upland Fields (27%).
Listed Species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) None recorded
Invasive species Norway Maple and thickets of Buckthorn
Additional links Birds: Mallard, Black Duck, Northern Pintail, Gadwall, Wood Duck, Redhead, Ruddy Duck, Sora, and Virginia Rail.
Main threats and challenges Increased public use and encroachment of housing around the periphery.
Management Agency Environment and Climate Change Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service)
Public access and usage Walking trails are maintained within the NWA and can be accessed from the parking lot at Amherst Point. No other facilities are on site.

Note: If there is a discrepancy between the information presented on this web page and any notice posted at the NWA site, the notice prevails as it is the legal instrument authorizing the activity.

Contact Information

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Atlantic Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Landscape Conservation Unit
17 Waterfowl Lane
Sackville, New Brunswick NB
E4L 4N1
Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Privacy statement

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: