News categorized Land securement
August 1, 2011
EALT Expands Ministik Sanctuary Protected Area
EALT is absolutely delighted to announce a new land acquisition adjacent to Ministik Sanctuary, which can be seen as an island of green on the map.
Ministik was designated the first Provincial Game Bird Sanctuary in 1911, and has a minimum of 5,000 ducks visiting seasonally, and up to 51,000 at its peak in 1985 – this represents globally significant bird concentrations. Ministik is located about 20 minutes east of Edmonton, and it conserves over 7,000 square hectares of land. Lakes in the area are saline, with alkaline shorelines, wet meadows and shallow marshes, and there is a diversity of upland habitats.
Glimpse of a moose on our first visit to the property
EALT has secured a quarter section which is actually nearer Joseph and Oliver Lakes, yet is adjacent to the Ministik Sanctuary boundary, which further expands the Sanctuary’s “island” of protected area. EALT’s land is typical knob and kettle topography, and consists of upland forest, interspersed with small lakes, ponds and wetlands. A variety of ungulates use this habitat – e.g., moose and white-tailed deer. There are also a variety of songbirds and waterfowl, which breed, stage and migrate here. There is habitat for dabbling ducks, and the whole Ministik Sanctuary area is important for spring and fall Tundra Swan staging, and is considered an International Bird Area.
While we know that the area has White Pelicans, California Gulls, Double-crested Cormorants, loons and other important species, EALT is only beginning a Baseline Inventory for our newly-secured lands. As we conduct this research over the next year, we will be able to identify all the species we host. We welcome all volunteers interested in this work.
EALT’s Ministik property was obtained via the federal Ecological Gifts program, through the generosity of an anonymous donor. This means that the land was certified as ecologically valuable by Environment Canada, and thus the donor was eligible for various financial benefits. Companies or individuals who are considering an eco-gift (whether donating land or a conservation easement, or buying land to donate to us) can find out more at the Alberta office of Environment Canada (780–951-8600), or contact EALT at 780–483-7578.