The Acadian Peninsula coastline is inhabited by many bird species, many of which are threatened by habitat loss – this preserve protects 21 hectares (51 acres) of this habitat, including shrub wetland and coastal marsh.
The Bernie Bowie Sr. Nature Preserve is within traditional Mi’kmaq territory. The preserve was donated in 2018 by Janice Buchanan, named in memory of her grandfather, Bernard (Bernie) James Bowie, 1880-1968.
The nature preserve is composed of 50% wetland, some which is classified as provincially significant. The surrounding area has a history of peat mining. Without protection of this nature preserve, it too would be threatened by peat mining.
The preserve is in proximity to Grande Dune Inlet, which is considered an Ecologically Significant Area, and borders the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Grande Dune Nature Reserve, creating a connected refuge for wildlife. The forest in the area is dominated by spruce softwood. Plants found in the area include American searocket (Cakile edentula), shepard’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) and Pennsylvania bittercress (Cardamine pensylvanica). The Gulf of Saint Lawrence aster (Symphyotrichum laurentianum) is also known to occur in this ecodistrict.
There are five Important Bird Areas stretching up the coastline nearby, including Escuminac Beaches, Neguac Sandspit, Tabusintac Lagoon & River Estuary, Pointe-a-Bouleau and Tracadie Bay and Sandspit. Birds that have been spotted in the area include greater yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca), spotted sandpiper (Actitis macularius), willet (Tringa semipalmata), pectoral sandpiper (Calidris melanotos), bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), and pine siskin (Spinus pinus).
Access and Activities
This preserve is inaccessible and is set aside for wildlife refuge. Hunting and trapping is also not permitted on this preserve.