Portage Island National Wildlife Area - Pamphlet

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Portage Island NationalWildlife Area
Photo: C. MacKinnon © Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2015. Portage Island National Wildlife Area

What makes Portage Island NWA so special?

Portage Island in Miramichi Bay, New Brunswick, was designated a National Wildlife Area (NWA) in 1979. The shallow waters in and around the 451-hectare island and its sheltered bay provide important staging and migration habitat for waterfowl. Extensive sand beaches are used by breeding and migrating shorebirds. The island’s sand dunes, interior wetlands and forested dunes supporta diversity of wildlife not seen on adjacent coastal islands.

This unique barrier island is:

  • a significant breeding site for the endangered Piping Plover;
  • a resting and feeding stop over for Red-breasted Mergansers, Great Blue Herons, Common Terns and Double-crested Cormorants, as well as large numbers of gulls;
  • habitat for a wide diversity of waterfowl such as American Black Duck, Green-winged Teal, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal and Northern Pintail;
  • home to mammal species such as Snowshoe Hare, Mink and Red Fox.

What are Environment and Climate Change Canada Protected Areas?

Environment and Climate Change Canada establishes marine and terrestrial NWAs for the purposes of conservation, research and interpretation. NWAs are established to protectmigratory birds, species at risk, and other wildlife and their habitats. NWAs are established under the authority of the Canada Wildlife Act and are, first and foremost, places for wildlife.

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs) are established under the authority of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, and provide a refuge formigratory birds in marine and terrestrial environments. The current Protected Areas Network consists of 54 NWAs and 92 MBSs comprising close to 12 million hectares across Canada.

What can I do at Portage Island NWA?

Access to Portage Island NWA for activities such as wildlife observation, picnicking and hiking is permitted; however,public visitation is not encouraged owing to the fragile nature of the dune habitat and the presence of an endange red species. Dogs and cats are prohibited in order to protect sensitive beach nesting areas.Hunting and trapping are allowed, subject to provincial and/or federal regulations and conditions.

Who can I contact?

Environment and Climate Change Canada – Atlantic Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
17 Waterfowl Lane
Sackville, New Brunswick E4L 4N1
1-800-668-6767
Email: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca
Protected Area web site
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