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Salmon breeding habitat protected by Island Nature Trust acquisition

‘Those riparian margins are incredibly important’

A key area for salmon, brook trout and songbirds in central P.E.I. will be protected thanks to a donation to the Island Nature Trust.

The 12 hectares at the headwaters of the Vernon River were donated by the Schellen family.

The area is mostly forested, which helps keep the water in the stream cold, which is ideal for young trout and salmon. The abundant water in the area also produces insects, a high-energy food source for songbirds during breeding time.

“Those riparian margins are incredibly important for some of our migratory songbirds when they return to nest in the spring,” said Megan Harris, director of conservation for the Island Nature Trust.

“It’s an area that we know from past surveys has a set of reaches that Atlantic salmon used to spawn every year. It has really high quality habitat and we know that those eggs are hatching and they have a fairly good rate of hatch and production,”

There is an open field on the land that the trust will return to forest. It will also work to diversify the species in the existing forest, and make it more resistant to climate change.