Wallace Bay National Wildlife Area

Description | Management | Map of the Area | Summary Table | Contact Information

Common Tern perched on rock.Photo: Andrew Kennedy © Environment and Climate Change Canada. Wallace Bay NWA.

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Wallace Bay National Wildlife Area (NWA) is located 42 km east of Amherst at the upper limit of Wallace Harbour on the Northumberland Strait in northeastern Nova Scotia. It encompasses 783 hectares (ha) of marine and freshwater wetlands, forested uplands and fields. Wallace Bay NWA provides habitat for many species of birds and other wildlife and is particularly important for migrant and nesting waterfowl.

A road and aboiteau across the area divide the wetlands almost equally into marine and freshwater. The marine wetland is comprised of tidal channels and salt marsh. Impounded freshwater wetlands, in collaboration with Ducks Unlimited Canada, have also been developed over a large section of lands that were once drained and dyked for agriculture. Habitat management has resulted in significant increases in waterfowl production. Eight species of waterfowl, including Green-winged Teal, Black Duck, Northern Pintail, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, Ring-necked Duck and Hooded Merganser, regularly breed at the NWA . Wood Duck, Mallard and Redhead broods have also been recorded, but not annually. The first Redhead brood was recorded in 1979 and during three of the next five years broods were observed on the wildlife area.

The shallow wetlands afford nesting habitat for several species of marsh birds including the Pied-billed Grebe, American Bittern, Sora, American Coot and Wilson's Snipe which regularly breed at Wallace Bay NWA . Least Bittern, Virginia Rail, Marsh Wren, Osprey and Common Tern are among other species that have been observed occasionally and are presumably breeding irregularly. A list of 155 other bird species has been recorded as frequenting the NWA with many nesting in the surrounding uplands. Most common land and freshwater mammals of Nova Scotia occur at Wallace Bay NWA . Muskrat are particularly abundant. A pair of Bald Eagles usually can be seen nesting on the site.

More information on Wallace Bay NWA is provided in the summary table below.


NWA are protected and managed according to the Wildlife Area Regulations under the Canada Wildlife Act. The primary purpose of NWAs is the protection and conservation of wildlife and their habitat. For this purpose, and according to the legislation, Environment and Climate Change Canada can prohibit all activities in a NWA that could interfere with the conservation of wildlife. Consequently, most NWAs are not accessible to the public and all activities are prohibited. Nonetheless, Environment and Climate Change Canada has the ability to authorize some activities, whether through public notice or the issuance of permits, as long as these are consistent with the management plan goals for the NWA . For more information, consult the NWAs Management and Activities section.

Access to Wallace Bay NWA is not restricted and activities may be permitted in accordance with the conservation objectives of the NWA management plan. Public notices listing the authorized activities within the wildlife area are posted at access points. Hunting, trapping and fishing are permitted at Wallace Bay NWA in accordance with specified conditions and federal and provincial regulations. Other authorized public activities that are compatible with the objectives of the NWA include wildlife observation, hiking and photography.

More information on access and permitting for Wallace Bay NWA , can be obtained by contacting the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.

Map of the Area

Long description for the Map

Map showing the area near Wallace Bridge and Wallace Bay, Nova Scotia. The boundaries of the Wallace Bay NWA are indicated. The protected area is located to the north of Highways 6 and 368 and covers the western portion of Wallace bay as well as a portion of the surrounding land. The scale on the map is in kilometers (km). Permanent water, intertidal water, roads and highways are all indicated on the map. A small inset national map situates the NWA in Canada.

This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to define legal boundaries. Wallace Bay NWA can also be viewed using Google Maps. Please note that the Google map is a complementary source of information and does not represent the official map or site name.

Summary Table

This table provides summary information for the Wallace Bay NWA
Protected Area designationNWA
Province/territoryNova Scotia
Latitude/longitude45°50' North / 63°34' West
Size783 ha
Reason for creation of protected areaConservation of coastal wetlands (waterfowl and waterbird habitat).
Date created (Gazetted)1980 - Legal description
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Management CategoryVI - Protected area with sustainable use of natural resources.
Additional designationsNone
Keystone or flagship speciesRing-necked Duck, Bald Eagle, Hooded Merganser, Sparrows, Sora, Muskrat.
Main habitat typeWetland (75.5%), Forest (17.1%), Abandoned Farmland (2.4%), Farmland (5.0%)
Listed Species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA)None recorded
Invasive speciesNone recorded
Additional linksBirds: Green-winged Teal, American Black Duck, Northern Pintail, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, Wood Duck, Mallard, Redhead, Pied-billed Grebe, American Bittern, American Coot, Wilson's Snipe, Least Bittern, Virginia Rail, Marsh Wren, Osprey, and Common Tern.
Main threats and challengesIncreasing coastal development and adjacent land use.
Management AgencyEnvironment and Climate Change Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service) in partnership with the Department of Lands and Forests, Nova Scotia, and Ducks Unlimited Canada.
Public access and usageHunting, trapping, fishing, wildlife observation, hiking and photography are permitted as posted at the entrance of the NWA .

Note: If there is a discrepancy between the information presented on this web page and any notice posted at the NWA site, the notice prevails as it is the legal instrument authorizing the activity.

Contact Information

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Atlantic Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas and Stewardship
17 Waterfowl Lane
Sackville, New Brunswick
E4L 4N1
Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
Email: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca
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