Hotel for birds
Plan hatched to secure Holman Island as bird sanctuary
“Eventually, the birds will return, and that’s why it’s so important to protect coastal offshore Islands, like Holman’s. So they remain an isolated habitat for perpetuity and are always available for birds to nest on.” Julie Vasseur, program director, Nature Conservancy of Canada
Holman Island in Bedeque Bay is tranquil and breathtaking and once housed one of Canada’s first major resorts, but is also home to some spectacular bird species.
Although the bare bones of the resort still remain (after it was abandoned and burned down), an ambitious fundraising project by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is attempting to preserve the 90-acre area of ecological significance for future generations.
Julie Vasseur, program director with the NCC, said the project to secure the Island will soon be finalized.
“We are in the midst of dotting I’s and crossing the T’s, so to speak,” said Vasseur.
“As part of our agreement with the federal government, we are obligated to inform them of our progress. So that effort is underway. We also have a meeting next week with local Member of Parliament, Bobby Morrissey. “I would anticipate that once all the funding partners are notified, paperwork is finalized, and we have received dates that are suitable for everyone, we will update the public.”
The total conservation project — that includes acquiring the land, administrative expenses, legal fees and appraisals, and various other costs — comes to more than $500,000.
It’s important to nail down the project in order to perpetually offer a safe haven for migrating and nesting birds, in particular great blue herons, Vasseur said. The majestic crane-like birds nest under the green canopy of the mature Acadian Forest, and cruise along the coastline in search of fish.
“Eventually, the birds will return, and that’s why it’s so important to protect coastal offshore Islands, like Holman’s,” said Vasseur. “So they remain an isolated habitat for perpetuity and are always available for birds to nest on.”
The NCC plans to raise money to address any management issues on the Island. This includes covering the openings of the wells located at the hotel site with wildlife grates, and installing interpretive signs on select areas of the shoreline, for anyone visiting.
Anyone who would like to know more about the NCC conservation project can contact the P.E.I. office on: 902-892-3608, or visit the website: natureconservancy.ca.