In addition to the six types of provincial protected areas, federal governments and agencies are responsible for seven additional types of protected areas:
Parks Canada defines national parks as "a countrywide system of representative natural areas of Canadian significance. They are protected for public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment, while being maintained in an unimpaired state for future generations."
National Parks have existed in Canada for more than a century. This province has two: Terra Nova National Park, on Bonavista Bay, and Gros Morne National Park, on the Island's west coast. Two more-the Torngat Mountains and Mealy Mountains national parks-are proposed for Labrador. In Nain, Labrador, on January 22, 2005, representatives of the Province, the Government of Canada, and the Labrador Inuit Association signed the Land Transfer Agreement and the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, which provides for the establishment of the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve. This future park will be 9700 km2-and become Canada's 42nd national park. The Feasibility Study for the proposed Mealy Mountains National Park, in south-central Labrador, is ongoing and is expected to be completed in March, 2006.
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National Historic Sites are created for historical commemoration. They generally recognize nationally significant places, persons, and events. The designations are made by the Minister of the Environment on the advice of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
Parks Canada administers seven National Historic Sites in Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition to their purpose of preserving and celebrating built heritage and cultural features, they also provide protection to their natural settings. Port-aux-Choix and Lanse-aux-Meadows National Historic Sites are both important protected areas due to their size, and the presence of rare plants in Port-aux-Choix.
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National Marine Conservation Areas (NMCAs) are marine areas that are managed for sustainable use, which contain smaller zones that give much higher protection. The protected area includes the seabed, the water above it, and any species that occur. They may also take in wetlands, estuaries, islands, and other coastal lands.
There are currently no NMCAs in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Learn more about Canada's National Marine Conservation Areas
Canada and the United States signed the Migratory Birds Convention Act in 1916, which obliges both countries to protect migratory bird species and their habitat. After the passing of the Migratory Birds Convention Act in 1917, Canada established Last Mountain Lake in Saskatchewan as the first Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS).
The Migratory Birds Convention Act provides regulations that prohibit the taking, injuring, destruction, or molestation of migratory birds, their nests, or eggs within established sanctuaries. Hunting of listed species is not permitted in any MBS.
Today, there are 92 sanctuaries across Canada protecting more than 11 million hectares of migratory bird habitat. Environment Canada is the agency responsible for MBSs, but the actual properties can be owned federally, provincially, or privately. There are three sanctuaries in Newfoundland and Labrador: Shepherd Island (13 hectares), Ile aux Canes (150 hectares), and Terra Nova (870 hectares).
Learn more about Canada's Migratory Bird Sanctuaries
The Canada Wildlife Act, passed in 1973, was designed to protect wildlife-especially migratory wildlife and species at risk-and its habitat. The Act authorizes the establishment of National Wildlife Areas (NWAs).
There are 51 NWAs across Canada-protecting more than 529,000 hectares-but none in Newfoundland and Labrador. In these protected areas you can find relatively undisturbed ecosystems with nationally significant aquatic and/or terrestrial habitats necessary for animals or plants to survive.
NWAs are created and managed for the purposes of wildlife research, conservation, and interpretation. Regulated hunting is permitted in some locations. Environment Canada's Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) uses an ecosystem approach to manage and plan for NWAs. This approach requires the cooperation of public and private institutions to manage landscapes with a common goal of habitat protection.
Learn more about Canada's National Wildlife Areas
The Canada Wildlife Act was amended in 1994 to address coastal and offshore conservation issues. The amendments extended provisions for National Wildlife Areas-to be identified as Marine Wildlife Areas (MWAs)-beyond the 12 nautical mile territorial sea limit out to the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone limit.
There are several candidate sites now under study. The Scott Islands archipelago in British Columbia will probably be the first MWA officially established in Canada. It will protect the more than two million seabirds that nest there each year, including 55 percent of the world's population of Cassin's Auklets.
Environment Canada invites partnerships in conservation, research, and education aimed at protecting marine wildlife and their habitats.
Learn more about Canada's Marine Wildlife Areas
As established under Canada's Oceans Act, Marine Protected Areas are created to conserve and protect:
The areas give Canada additional tools to prevent environmental degradation, and to give marine resources and their various habitats opportunities to recover their health.
Learn more about Canada's Marine Protected Areas