Biodiversity (a contraction of “biological diversity”) comprises all life on Earth. Biodiversity is critical to maintaining healthy ecosystems as well as protecting human health.
“We are in the midst of both climate and biological diversity (extinction) emergencies, wherein we are at or beyond planetary thresholds for being able to recover. Such intact ecosystems as Owls Head are our ecological life-support systems. We need them in order to survive as a species, as do the other species with which we share this land, many of which are endangered1.”
Statement from Canadian Parks And Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Nova Scotia Chapter
This summer, CPAWS-NS has visited Owls Head numerous times. Accompanied by a range of biodiversity experts, we have been completing a series of surveys to record the rich natural diversity of this coastal headland.
Our team has identified over 75 species of birds that occur here, undertaking surveys from the land and on the water. Later this month, we’ll be out again with our snorkels, studying eelgrass beds in the area.
A lot has happened since the CBC investigative report by Michael Gorman uncovered the secret delisting of Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve by the Nova Scotia government. This backroom deal to turn a park into a golf course development has drawn huge public condemnation, and rightly so.
Here’s what we know so far:
2017 – Negotiations begin behind-closed-doors to delist Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve and remove the site from the Nova Scotia ‘Our Parks and Protected Areas Plan’.
HALIFAX, N.S. — Starting Monday, an environmental lawyer will make his case to a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge to allow for a judicial review of the delisting of Owls Head Provincial Park and its negotiated sale to a private golf course developer.
But the two-day hearing is only the start to ensuring Nova Scotia’s Department of Lands and Forestry is open and transparent about all of its provincial parks, whether they’re officially designated or pending approval, Jamie Simpson said.
Today, we are sharing in-depth excerpts from the Report on the Ecological Importance of Owls Head Crown land. Dr. Jeremy Lundholm, PhD, and Caitlin Porter, MSc, voluntarily provided this information to the court and have subsequently given us permission to share it online. You can find their unabridged report at the bottom of this page. If you’d prefer, you can read the post of their conclusions instead.