Cape Jourimain Nature Centre is located within the 621 hectare Cape Jourimain National Wildlife Area and operates under a lease agreement with the Canadian Wildlife Service.
The National Wildlife Area was designated for conservation in 1980 because of the diversity of waterfowl and shorebirds that use the area’s marshes and shores during migration. There are also excellent breeding areas for waterfowl, willet and many species of songbirds.
The area hosts a number of uncommon habitats and a number of rare plant species.
10 unique ecosystems that make up Cape Jourimain
The area looks out over the Northumberland Strait, a shallow, warm, and rich marine ecosystem. To tell the story of Cape Jourimain’s diverse habitats and inhabitants, 12 signature bird species are described in our Exhibit Hall.
- Mixed forests, including a variety of stand types and ages;
- Coniferous forests including black spruce bogs, white spruce, and a cedar swamp;
- Coastal hardwood forest with a diverse assemblage of tree and shrub species;
- Shrubby field communities that occupy old agricultural sites;
- Freshwater marshes created by dams made by people and beavers;
- Brackish marshes isolated from the reach of the tides by the causeway;Dunes
- Salt marshes that were once dyked but have regained their natural character;
- A sand dune stretching along the northwestern shore;
- Rocky shorelines colonized by mussels and oysters and frequented by gulls and seaducks;
- Tidal flats where clams and periwinkles abound.
A network of protected areas
Cape Jourimain National Wildlife Area is part of a national network special places set aside and protected by the federal government just for wildlife (Environment Canada’s Protected Areas Network).
Environment Canada, through the Canadian Wildlife Service, manages the National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, constituting some 11.8 million hectares (almost 30 million acres) — an area more than twice the size of the province of Nova Scotia. Some are as large as Polar Bear Pass National Wildlife Area in the Northwest Territories, at 262,400 hectares (648,404 acres); others as small as Eleanor Island in Ontario, at 0.6 hectares (less than 66,000 sq. ft.).