Chignecto National Wildlife Area

Notice

Chignecto National Wildlife Area trails and parking lot are open to the public for day-use only.

Respect the environment and leave no trace.

Remember, you are responsible for your own safety.

Chignecto National Wildlife Area (NWA) is located in Nova Scotia. The NWA contains diverse habitats and supports a wide array of wildlife species. Two hundred twenty eight bird species have been recorded within the NWA in recent years.

Aerial view of Chignecto NWA
Aerial view of Chignecto NWA. Photo: C. MacKinnon

Chignecto NWA is home to a variety of species. Various marsh birds such as sora and Virginia rail are common. Some of the highest nesting densities of pied-billed grebe in North America have been recorded within the NWA. over 100 bird species regularly breed within the NWA..  One can find a sugar maple tree with a circumference of over 4 meters. This tree is estimated to be over 250 years old.

The Amherst Point section consists of 412 hectares of land, which has both NWA and MBS status. Ducks Unlimited Canada has improved a large portion of the site’s wetlands, through the construction of dykes and water control structures.

Chignecto NWA provides habitat for a wide variety of mammals including:

  • masked shrew
  • Northern flying squirrel
  • star-nosed mole
  • red fox
  • snowshoe hare
  • woodchuck

Find more information on Chignecto NWA in the summary table below.

Photo of Pied-billed Grebe
Two pied-billed grebes. Photo: Scott Leslie

Management

Under the Canada Wildlife Act, NWAs are protected and managed in accordance with the Wildlife Area Regulations. The primary purpose of NWAs is to protect and conserve wildlife and wildlife habitat. For this purpose and according to the legislation, all activities in a NWA that could interfere with the conservation of wildlife can be prohibited. Consequently, most NWAs are not accessible to the public and all other activities are prohibited in all NWAs. However, some activities may be authorized through Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations or the issuance of permits as long as they are consistent with the management plan goals for the NWA. For more information, consult the NWA Management and Activities section.

Planning your visit

There is a small network of trails, which provides access to the Chignecto NWA. You can enjoy hiking, wildlife observation, as well as some lovely photo opportunities in the NWA.

Note: Hunting is not permitted within the NWA

Public facilities: Parking lot and walking trails

Access to the NWA is permitted in accordance with the conservation objectives of the NWA management plan. Any authorized activities are listed in Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations; signage is also posted at access points.

Authorized activities listed in Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations for Chignecto NWA, include:

  1. Wildlife viewing
  2. Hiking
  3. Participating in a group meal or group event involving 15 or more people
  4. Operating a vehicle, other than a snowmobile or an all-terrain vehicle, on designated roads and in designated parking areas
  5. Swimming
  6. Non-commercial picking of edible plants and edible mushrooms
  7. Boat launching and boat landing
  8. Motorized boating with a motor of less than 10 horsepower
  9. Non-motorized boating
  10. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and skating
  11. Sport fishing, in accordance with any applicable federal permit and any authorization required by the laws of Nova Scotia for sport fishing in that province, during the periods authorized by those laws
  12. Trapping in accordance with any applicable federal permit and any authorization required by the laws of Nova Scotia for trapping in that province
  13. Activities referred to in items 1 to 10 and 12 from sunset to sunrise, in addition to during the period referred to in subsection 3.1(3)

Directions

From the town of Amherst, Nova Scotia, take Southampton Road southeast until the road turns southwest. This is part of the Bay of Fundy Eco-Tour route. You can access a small parking lot on the north side of Southampton Road.

GPS: 45.783421, -64.259447

You can find more information on access and permitting for Chignecto NWA, by contacting the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.

Map of the area

Map John Lusby Marsh and Chignecto NWA boundaries
Map showing Chignecto National Wildlife Area
Long description

This map shows the southwest region of Amherst, Nova Scotia. The boundaries of Chignecto national wildlife area (NWA) and Amherst Point Migratory Bird Sanctuary are indicated. Found on the south-eastern portion of the map, they overlap each other and they cover a land area and water bodies. The boundaries of John Lusby Marsh NWA are also indicated, just off the east coast of the Cumberland Basin. Permanent water, intertidal water, roads and highways are all indicated on the map. An inset shows the NWA’s location in Canada.

This map is for illustrative purposes only. It should not be used to define legal boundaries.

Summary table

Summary table
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 habitat for a wide variety of bird species, including species at risk.

Date created (Gazetted)

1982 - Legal description

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Management Category

VI - Habitat/Species Management Area

Additional designations

Keystone or flagship species

Main habitat type

  • cattail marsh and bog (27%)
  • open water lakes (6%)
  • mixed forest (27%)
  • open upland fields (27%)

Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA)

Invasive species

  • Norway maple
  • buckthorn

Additional links

Birds:

Mammals:

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

Authorized activities listed in Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations for Chignecto NWA, include:

  1. Wildlife viewing
  2. Hiking
  3. Participating in a group meal or group event involving 15 or more people
  4. Operating a vehicle, other than a snowmobile or an all-terrain vehicle, on designated roads and in designated parking areas
  5. Swimming
  6. Non-commercial picking of edible plants and edible mushrooms
  7. Boat launching and boat landing
  8. Motorized boating with a motor of less than 10 horsepower
  9. Non-motorized boating
  10. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and skating
  11. Sport fishing, in accordance with any applicable federal permit and any authorization required by the laws of Nova Scotia for sport fishing in that province, during the periods authorized by those laws
  12. Trapping in accordance with any applicable federal permit and any authorization required by the laws of Nova Scotia for trapping in that province
  13. Activities referred to in items 1 to 10 and 12 from sunset to sunrise, in addition to during the period referred to in subsection 3.1(3)

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

Contact us

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Atlantic Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected area program
17 Waterfowl Lane
Sackville NB E4L 4N1

Toll-free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
Email: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca

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