More Nature on the Way for the Tusket Islands

04 Dec 2023

The latest addition to our coastal conservation lands, Sheep Islands are a trio of small, southwest Nova Scotian islands within the Kespukwitk District of Mi’kma’ki. Lying adjacent to the federally designated Tusket Islands Wilderness Area, these undeveloped coastal gems add 22 acres to a growing network protected by the Nature Trust.

Predominantly treed, the islands are different from most others found within the Tusket Island chain. Comprised mainly of intact coastal softwood forest, there are also areas of mixed wood and regenerating forests, and species include White Spruce, Balsam Fir, Red Maple, and Paper Birch. Additionally, pockets of salt marsh and rocky dunes rim the islands, and at low tide, abundant mudflats provide habitat for migrating shorebirds and other waterbirds.

Although Sheep Islands are not known for hosting colonial nesting seabirds, likely due to predation by populations supported by its larger neighbour, Big Tusket Island, acoustic monitoring revealed exciting evidence of Leach’s Storm Petrels, a species of high conservation concern known to nest on other forested islands in the region.

This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change’s Priority Places for Species at Risk Program. Saving these islands was also made possible by a generous donation from Nature’s Way Canada through their exemplary participation in the 1% for the Planet program and public funds raised through our Hope for the Coast campaign.

With only five percent of Nova Scotia’s coast currently conserved and over eighty percent privately owned, heavily fragmented and facing unprecedented threats, the urgency to protect intact coastlines continues to grow. Please consider making a difference and donating today to help save precious places like Sheep Islands for generations to come.

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