Isle Haute: proposed National Wildlife Area

Isle Haute will soon be protected as a National Wildlife Area (NWA) under the Canada Wildlife Act. This NWA conserves vital habitat for biodiversity in the upper Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia.


Isle Haute is an 80-hectare island, three kilometers in length with 100m cliffs. It is comprised entirely of Jurassic-era basalt, a feature unique to only a handful of sites in the upper Bay of Fundy.

Photo of Isle Haute
Isle Haute. Photo: Andrew Kennedy

The NWA supports ecologically unique habitats. As one of the very few islands in the upper Bay of Fundy, this NWA supports habitats that are ecologically unique for over 60 species of migratory birds including:

  • seabirds such as Leach’s storm petrel
  • waterfowl such as common eider
  • birds of prey such as bald eagle and peregrine falcon (a species at risk)
  • a large number of songbirds

It also has 300 plant taxa which is large for an island this size and may be underestimated since parts of the island have not been surveyed for plant life.   

The island also has significant cultural and historic value:

  • Mi’kmaq Indigenous peoples have used the island for many centuries
  • French explorer Samuel de Champlain landed here in 1604 and gave it the name Isle Haute (High Island)
  • it has been home to lightstation keepers and more recently enjoyed as a destination for day-trippers and scientists


An NWA can only be designated on lands owned by the federal government under the Wildlife Area Regulations. Where lands are not federally owned, the Government of Canada may enter into an agreement with the landowner to establish and cooperatively manage a wildlife area not designated under the regulations. These regulations also identify prohibited and permitted activities in NWAs.

The Canadian Coast Guard has declared Isle Haute as surplus since it is no longer required with the introduction of modern navigation systems. Going forward, the Government of Canada will lead discussions on NWA planning and management activities.

Map of the area

Map of proposed Isle Haute National Wildlife Area
  • Long description

    Map showing an island in Nova Scotia. The boundaries of Isle Haute National Wildlife Area are indicated. The National Wildlife Area is an island on Fundy Bay. The scale on the map is in tens of meters. Insets show the area in relation to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Islands. Permanent water and intertidal water are shown on the map.

Note: This map should not be used to define legal boundaries.

Summary table

Category Information
Protected Area designation NWA
Province/territory Nova Scotia
Latitude/longitude 45°15'00.7"N 65°00'09.7"W
Size 80 ha
Date created (Gazetted) -
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Management Category Strict Nature Reserve (Ia)
Additional designations None
Keystone or flagship species None
Other species
Listed Species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) Peregrine falcon
Main habitat type Jurassic-era basalt
Invasive species None
Additional links None
Management Agency Environment and Climate Change Canada

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.

Related link

Isle Haute National Wildlife Area on Google Maps (Please note that the Google map is a complementary source of information and does not represent the official map or site name)

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