Nova Scotia

In Nova Scotia, approximately 0.46 million hectares (8.4% of the province as of 2010) are designated as protected. Environment Canada maintains 14 protected areas in Nova Scotia, including 6 National Wildlife Areas (NWAs) and 8 Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs), comprising over 7 thousand hectares of the province's protected lands and waters.

Map of Environment Canada's Protected Areas in Nova Scotia

Map of protected areas in Nova Scotia province. (4) Sand Pond NWA (1) Boot Island NWA (3) Chignecto NWA (2) John Lusby NWA (6) Wallace Bay NWA (5) Sea Wolf Island NWA (4) Kentville MBS (1) Amherst Point MBS (2) Big Glace Bay Lake MBS (7) Sable Island MBS (3) Port Hebert MBS (5) Port Joli MBS (6) Sable River MBS (8) Haley Lake MBS

Long description for the Map

Map showing the number of Environment Canada's protected areas in Nova Scotia province, totalling 14 divided among 6 National Wildlife Areas (NWAS) and 8 Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs).

Learn more about Nova Scotia...

List of Protected Areas in Nova Scotia

The tables below contain information about the NWAs and MBSs shown on the map above. In addition to the name, year of establishment, and size of each protected area, the tables indicate how these sites fit into national and international networks of conservation areas. The following entities may be noted:

Ramsar: Wetland of International Importance

Important Bird Area (IBA)

Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN)

Biosphere reserve of the The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB)

National Wildlife Areas

Boot Island NWA picture

Photo: A. MacPherson © Environment Canada
Boot Island NWA.

Nova Scotia
NWA NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Boot Island NWA1979107
John Lusby Marsh NWA1982552
Chignecto NWA1978432
Sand Pond NWA1977531
Sea Wolf Island NWA198276
Wallace Bay NWA1980702

Migratory Birds Sanctuary

Amherst Point MBS picture

Photo: Julie Paquet © Environment Canada
Amherst Point MBS.

Nova Scotia
MBS NameYear establishedSize in hectares
Amherst Point MBS1947432
Big Glace Bay Lake MBS1939393
Port Hebert MBS1980346
Kentville MBS1939506
Port Joli MBS1941397
Sable River MBS1941313
Sable Island MBS19773,100
Haley Lake MBS194195

Access and Permitting

Although access to NWAs is not restricted, the primary purpose of these areas is to protect and conserve wildlife and their habitats, and therefore most NWAs are not equipped with facilities to accommodate public visitation. Unless otherwise posted, all recreational activities are prohibited within NWAs.

Although access to most MBSs is not restricted either, the primary intent of these sanctuaries is to protect migratory birds, and therefore hunting, as well as disturbing or molesting migratory birds, their eggs, nests or habitat, is prohibited.

A permit may be obtained from the Minister of the Environment authorizing the conduct of certain activities in an NWA or MBS, if the Minister or delegate is of the opinion that the proposed activity:

  • will not interfere with the conservation of wildlife; or
  • is consistent with the purpose for which the protected area was established; and
  • is consistent with the management plan for the protected area.

Contact Information

Additional information on entry, prohibited activities and permits in Environment Canada's protected areas is provided on the Management and Activities web pages of the National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries. For more information on Environment Canada's protected areas in Nova Scotia, please contact the regional Environment Canada office: 

Environment Canada – Atlantic Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas and Stewardship
17 Waterfowl Lane
Sackville, NB
E4L 4N1
Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)

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