Ecologically Significant Areas
Between 1993 and 1995, the Trust carried out a major project identifying Ecologically Significant Areas (ESA) throughout the province. This project was undertaken in partnership with the provincial Departments of the Environment and Natural Resources and Energy. The aim of the project was to gather information on sites with a rich diversity of species or special features, e.g. rare plants or animals.
Information was gathered from 48 individuals, both professional scientists and interested naturalists, representing many different organizations. Over 900 sites were identified and these were later mapped by the provincial government providing a glimpse of the distribution of ecologically significant areas in the province.
Through detailed field work, carried out over two summers, the Nature Trust produced field reports on 30 sites including ecological zone descriptions, maps, photographs and species lists.
The database is currently used on a daily basis by the Department of the Environment in Environmental Impact Assessments and Watercourse Alteration Reviews.
ESA Database Applications
The ESA database listings provided initial guidance on conservation priorities for The Nature Trust’s own Coastal Charlotte County Project, St. John River Rare Flora Project, and Appalachian Hardwood Forest Project. In return, these projects have enabled further scientific investigations of the regional ESA listings, and promotion of stewardship activities among ESA landowners.
Nature NB, in a partnership with the Nature Trust, provincial Departments of the Environment and Natural Resources and Energy are currently working to update the database in 2010. Nature NB, the leader in this project, is working with volunteer naturalists to verify and improve all previously collected data, keeping it a relevant and practical database. Please visit this website in order to learn more or to participate in the Biodiversity Stewardship Program
The Nature Trust gratefully acknowledges the support of the following sponsors for their help with the ESA project: NB Environmental Trust Fund.