Former Canadian ambassador to the United States Derek Burney, 73, loves wildlife. That shows through in his most recent contribution to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), a donation of roughly 780 acres to the organization.
However, the reason for this generous offer may bring a smile–or a chuckle–to many readers’ lips. Burney’s donated parcel of land, which straddles the border between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, will significantly increase the area protected by what the NCC refers to as the “Moose Sex Project.” While nearby New Brunswick is bloated with a moose population of over 29,000, Nova Scotia has only a scant 1,000. The Chignecto Isthmus, which serves as a land bridge into Nova Scotia from New Brunswick, is the only way that the animals can enter or leave the province, and is vital for the sustainability of the species.
It is hoped that enhancing accessibility between the provinces through the Project will augment the dwindling gene pool in Nova Scotia. According to the NCC, the preservation of this land not only ensures the future of the moose for the region, but across eastern Canada and the United States as well.
“I’m not an expert on moose sex or moose anything, but I think the understanding is that if they can preserve the corridor with things like this … then I think there’s a good chance the Nova Scotia population will be replenished,” Derek Burney told the CBC. That was of course, after having a good laugh over the name of the project.
“When you conjure it up, you can only smile at the imagery,” he said.
Burney had originally purchased the land from a close friend two decades ago. For years, he and his family enjoyed the plot and its rustic surroundings. According to Paula Noel, the NCC’s New Brunswick program director, the donation was a monumental leap in the organization’s efforts to obtain land in the area.
“It’s tripled the land on the New Brunswick side,” she said. “It’s really accelerated our work on the isthmus.”
The land is also home to other endangered and threatened species, like the Canadian lynx.
A video of the border moose can be seen below: