Percival River (Dembeck)

Valuable habitat

Percival River property donated to Nature Conservancy

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The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has announced it has conserved a valuable wetland, salt marsh and forest habitat along the Percival River in Egmont Bay, west of Summerside.

The 35-hectare (87-acre) coastal property was donated to NCC by Anne Louise Boswall, of Ogden, Quebec, and conserved through the Government of Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program and Natural Areas Conservation Program.

The Stanley G. Bryant Nature Reserve features a 9-hectare (22-acre) freshwater wetland and a 3.5-hectare (8.5-acre) salt marsh, both of which are important habitats for many species of birds. The new reserve, named for Anne Louise Boswall’s grandfather, expands the total NCC-conserved land along the Percival River to 221 hectares (547 acres).

Because the Egmont Bay region is low-lying and naturally boggy, it was considered unsuitable for farming and much of it remained wild. Now the region’s intact wetlands and forests are some of the most ecologically significant wild habitats remaining on PEI. They are a haven for wildlife, in particular American black duck, Canada goose, Nelson’s sparrow and many other species of migratory birds. Provincially rare trees such as black ash and eastern white cedar are found in the Percival River area, as well as the Island’s highest diversity of lichens.

Egmont Bay and Percival River are conservation priorities for NCC and its partners due to their extensive salt marshes and wetlands, and also because they fall within one of only two large forested corridors remaining on PEI. The West Prince forest corridor runs from Egmont Bay and the Percival River in the south, to Conway Sandhills in the north.

Conservation of this property was made possible with the financial support of the Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program and Ecological Gifts Program. NCC also received support from J.D.Irving Ltd, Cooke Insurance, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. Individual donors also supported the project.