Sand Pond National Wildlife Area
Sand Pond National Wildlife Area (NWA) lies just 2 kilometers (km) inland from the inter-tidal zone of the nearby Argyle river, on the southwestern coast of Nova Scotia. The area comprises two shallow freshwater ponds and their wetland complexes, a bog and an expanse of forest and heath covered with ericaceous plants uplands.
Sand Pond NWA provides important staging habitat for migrating waterfowl as well as a suitable breeding habitat for:
- American black duck
- green-winged teal
- ring-necked duck
The principal use of the area's wetlands by waterfowl occurs during late summer and early autumn. The nearby tidal flats and estuaries provide excellent staging habitat for concentrations of green-winged teal, American black duck, Canada geese and others. Sand Pond NWA affords those waterfowl shallow freshwater habitat. American black ducks make greater use of the NWA than other species, as many as 2,000 have been observed there during the early autumn period. Waterfowl also frequent the smaller ponds of Fresh and Back Rivers. The wetlands provide a suitable nesting habitat for the American bittern and the Wilson’s snipe as well as feeding habitat for the great blue heron.
The shallow rocky soil, which is typical of southwestern Nova Scotia, is responsible for the lack of tree cover on much of the uplands. Upland habitats including forest, heath communities and old-fields afford breeding and migration habitat for a variety of species such as:
- ruffed grouse
- American woodcock
- song sparrow
- white-throated sparrow
- dark-eyed junco
- yellow warbler
- northern parula
- American redstart
- purple finch
- American goldfinch
Various mammal species can also be found in the uplands of the NWA including:
- snowshoe hare
- short-tailed weasel
- meadow jumping mouse
- white-tailed deer
The fragile soils and expansive wetlands within the NWA are easily damaged by unauthorized use of off-road and all-terrain vehicles (ATV). Such activities are often associated with the creation of informal trails on the wetlands, which sometimes intersect with designated trails. Use of vehicles within Sand Pond NWA are restricted to designated trails only.
Find more information on Sand Pond NWA in the summary table below.
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.
Access to Sand Pond NWA is not restricted and activities may be 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 Sand Pond NWA, include:
- wildlife viewing
- participating in a group meal or group event involving 15 or more people
- operating a vehicle, other than a snowmobile or an all-terrain vehicle, on designated roads and in designated parking areas
- non-commercial picking of edible plants and edible mushrooms
- boat launching and boat landing
- motorized boating with a motor of less than 10 horsepower
- non-motorized boating
- cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and skating
- sport hunting — including with dogs off-leash when hunting waterfowl or upland game birds — from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset, if the hunting is carried out
- in accordance with any applicable federal permit and any authorization required by the laws of Nova Scotia for sport hunting in that province; and
- without the use of toxic shot
- 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
- trapping in accordance with any applicable federal permit and any authorization required by the laws of Nova Scotia for trapping in that province
- activities referred to in items 1 to 10 and 13 from sunset to sunrise, in addition to during the period referred to in subsection 3.1(3)
More information on access and permitting for Sand Pond NWA, can be obtained by contacting the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.
Map of the area
This map shows the area northeast of Argyle, in Nova Scotia. The boundaries of Sand Pond NWA are indicated. The NWA is located to the northeast of Argyle and to the north north-west of Turtle Pond. It covers Sand Pond as well as a portion of the land and small bodies of water surrounding it. The scale on the map is in kilometers. Permanent water, intertidal water, roads and highways are all indicated on the map. A small inset map shows the NWA’s location in Canada.
This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to define legal boundaries.
|Protected Area designation||NWA|
|Latitude/Longitude.||43°48' North / 65°49' West|
|Reason for creation of protected area||Conservation of waterfowl migration habitat|
|Date created (Gazetted)||1977 – Legal Description|
|International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Management Category||Habitat/Species Management Area – (IV)|
|Keystone or flagship species|
|Main habitat type||
|Listed Species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA)|
|Invasive species||None recorded|
|Main threats and challenges||Illegal activities such as all-terrain vehicle (ATV)|
|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 Sand Pond NWA, include:
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.
Environment and Climate Change Canada - Atlantic Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas and Stewardship
17 Waterfowl Lane
Sackville, New Brunswick
Toll-free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
- Sand Pond NWA management plan
- Sand Pond NWA pamphlet
- Sand Pond NWA 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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