Nova Scotia moose are encouraged to look for love in neighbouring New Brunswick.
Photo Credit: Mike Dembeck

Donation facilitates moose sex


A former Canadian diplomat has donated a large piece of land to help moose from one province meet moose from another province and hopefully procreate. Encouraging moose love is something that delights Derek Burney, the former Canadian ambassador to the United States.

Moose in the eastern province of Nova Scotia are endangered. At less than 1,000 their numbers are so small that a lack of genetic diversity is a problem.  That could be solved if they were able to find love by crossing into the adjoining province of New Brunswick where the moose population is much bigger.

The problem is that the corridor connecting the two provinces is very small and over the years has become more developed with the harvesting of wood and the building of roads and farms.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is trying to restore the forest in the Chignecto Isthmus. © Mike Dembeck

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is trying to restore the forest in the Chignecto Isthmus. © Mike Dembeck

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has been acquiring parcels of land to try to preserve and restore enough wilderness to make it possible for wildlife to traverse from one side to the other. This would benefit not just moose, but other animals such as lynx, bobcat, bear and northern goshawk.

Effort to restore forest

Some of the land had been razed to make farms and the conservancy is now trying to restore the original temperate Acadian forest which is one of the most diverse forest types in the world. It’s a mixture of the more northern boreal forest and the more southern hardwood species of tree.

“We’re certainly not going to protect it all or set it all aside in nature preserves,” said Paula Noel, program manager for New Brunswick with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. “…there is some existing protected land in the region and we’re trying to just create sort of stepping stones of additional protected land between those so that we’re sure that there will be a corridor of mature forest, of wilderness area for wildlife to move through.”

The conservancy is trying to encourage small private wood lot owners and farmers to manage their land in a wildlife friendly way. The contribution of 316 hectares of land from Burney and his wife will help the conservation effort as will a contribution from the Canadian government of $104,000 and $70,000 from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Categories: Environment & Animal Life

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