Cape Jourimain Nature Centre is located within a 621-ha National Wildlife Area and operates under a lease agreement with the Canadian Wildlife Service. It encompasses Jourimain Island, Trenholm Island, Oak Island, and part of the mainland.
The area’s array of diverse ecosystems and dynamic marine environment provides excellent breeding ground for waterfowl, songbirds, and other coastal species.
What is a National Wildlife Area?
Cape Jourimain National Wildlife Area is one of 54 National Wildlife Areas across the country which are managed by the Canadian Wildlife Service under Environment and Climate Canada. These sites are established under the Canada Wildlife Act on federally owned land and encompass both terrestrial and marine habitat. Their primary objective is to protect the ecological integrity of a site for the benefit of species and habitats which have been identified for their high conservation value.
Wildlife Area Regulations identify what activities are and are not permitted within these sites.
Click here for more information on Cape Jourimain and other National Wildlife Areas.
History of the Cape Jourimain National Wildlife Area
In the 1960s, a causeway was developed between Trenholm and Jourimain Island in an aborted attempt to build a fixed-link crossing to Prince Edward Island. This cut the saltwater marshes in half, resulting in the establishment of a brackish marsh ecosystem that turned into valuable habitat migrating ducks and other coastal wildlife.
In 1977, a proposal was brought to the Government of Canada to have Cape Jourimain declared a National Wildlife Area. Two year later, in 1979 the 621-ha Cape Jourimain National Wildlife Area was officially established.
The 10 Ecosystems of Cape Jourimain
- 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;
- Shubland – that occupy old agricultural sites;
- Freshwater marshes – created by dams which were made by both people and beavers;
- Brackish marshes – isolated from the reach of the tides by the causeway;
- 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 sea ducks;
- Tidal flats – where clams and periwinkles abound.