top of page

Ecologist says 17 rare species found in West Mabou park a red flag for golf development

Francis Campbell Saltwire - Nov.1, 2022

Full article published here

The West Mabou Beach provincial park in western Cape Breton. - Alain Belliveau photo

The executive director of the Nova Scotia chapter of a national parks and wilderness society has come up with 17 sound reasons to dismiss the idea of a private golf course on the West Mabou Beach provincial park property.

“We anticipated that the golf course developers would take another run at West Mabou Beach provincial park, so we pre-emptively did some field work there to document the biodiversity,” said Chris Miller, a Halifax ecologist who works with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

“We found 17 rare species, including four that are listed under the (provincial) Endangered Species Act,” Miller said. “This is a large number of rarities for such a small geographic area and clearly demonstrates the conservation importance of this park.”

... “The reason why there is such a high concentration of rare species for such a small geographic area is that there is an unusual combination of ecosystem types at this location," Miller said. "It has really extensive dune systems and behind those dune systems are a series of sinkholes and karst topography, landscapes that are not common in the broader geographic area but packed into this small place.”

Karst topography is formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite and gypsum and is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves.

“Wherever you have different ecosystems in close proximity, you are going to get a rare species and an interesting combination of species that are interacting,” Miller said.

All the ecosystems in the park, including beaches, coastal forests and peatlands are inter-connected and highly susceptible to development and other activities, Miller said.

“We’re really concerned about the golf course proposal.”

Read the full article here.

bottom of page