Wallace Bay National Wildlife Area
Wallace Bay National Wildlife Area is open to the public for day-use only. While most trails will be opened from June 1st, some trails and visitor facilities may remain closed until such time that they can be safely re-opened.
Please respect social distancing measures. Respect the environment and leave no trace.
Remember, you are responsible for your own safety.
We hope to provide visitors with additional access to services and facilities in the near future as conditions allow, and subject to the direction from federal and provincial health authorities.
For more information, please consult our Q&A page.
Wallace Bay National Wildlife Area (NWA) provides habitat for many species of birds and other wildlife. It is particularly important for migratory and nesting waterfowl.
Wallace Bay National Wildlife Area (NWA) is located 42 km east of Amherst in northeastern Nova Scotia. It resides at the upper limit of Wallace Harbour on the Northumberland Strait. It is 783 hectares (ha) in size and consists of:
- marine and freshwater wetlands
- forested uplands
A road and aboiteau across the area divide the wetlands almost equally into marine and freshwater. An aboiteau is a water channel controlled by a hinged door built into a dyke. At low tide the door swings open allowing fresh water to escape. At high tide the door swing shut to prevent salt water from getting in.
The marine wetland is made up of tidal channels and salt marsh. In a joint effort with Ducks Unlimited Canada, impounded freshwater wetlands were developed over a large section of lands that were once drained and dyked for agriculture. Habitat management has resulted in significant increases in waterfowl production. Eight species of waterfowl regularly breed at the NWA, including:
- green-winged teal
- black duck
- northern pintail
- blue-winged teal
- northern shoveler
- American wigeon
- ring-necked duck
- hooded merganser
Species that have also been recorded, but not annually, include:
The first redhead brood was recorded in 1979 and during three of the next five years broods were observed on the wildlife area.
The shallow wetlands afford nesting habitat for several species of regularly breeding marsh birds including:
Other species observed on occasion and presumed to breed irregularly include:
A list of 155 other bird species has been recorded as frequenting the NWA. Many of these birds nest in the surrounding uplands. Most common land and freshwater mammals of Nova Scotia occur at Wallace Bay NWA . Muskrat are particularly abundant. A pair of bald eagles usually can be seen nesting on the site.
More information on Wallace Bay NWA is provided 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 their 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 activities are prohibited. However, some activities may be authorized through public notice or the issuance of permits as long as they are consistent with the management plan goals for the NWA. For more information, consult the NWAs Management and Activities section.
Access to Wallace Bay NWA is not restricted and activities may be 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. In accordance with specified conditions and federal and provincial regulations, actions that are permitted at Wallace Bay NWA include:
Other authorized public activities that are compatible with the objectives of the NWA include:
- wildlife observation
More information on access and permitting for Wallace Bay NWA , can be obtained by contacting the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.
Map of the area
Map showing the area near Wallace Bridge and Wallace Bay, Nova Scotia. The boundaries of the Wallace Bay NWA are indicated. The protected area is located to the north of Highways 6 and 368. It covers the western portion of Wallace bay as well as a portion of the surrounding land. The scale on the map is in kilometers (km). Permanent water, intertidal water, roads and highways are shown on the map. A small inset national map situates the NWA in Canada.
This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to define legal boundaries.
|Protected Area designation||NWA|
|Latitude/longitude||45°50' North / 63°34' West|
|Reason for creation of protected area||Conservation of coastal wetlands (waterfowl and waterbird habitat)|
|Date created (Gazetted)||1980 - Legal description|
|International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Management Category||Protected area with sustainable use of natural resources (VI)|
|Keystone or flagship species|
|Main habitat type||
|Listed Species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA)||None|
|Main threats and challenges||Increasing coastal development and adjacent land use|
|Management Agency||Environment and Climate Change Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service) in partnership with the Department of Lands and Forests, Nova Scotia, and Ducks Unlimited Canada|
|Public access and usage||
Permitted as posted at the entrance of the NWA include:
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.
Environment and Climate Change Canada - Atlantic Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
17 Waterfowl Lane
Sackville, New Brunswick
Toll-free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
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