CPAWS-NL welcomes creation of Lawn Bay Ecological Reserve


St. John’s – The Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS-NL) welcomes the announcement by the provincial government that the designation process for Lawn Bay Ecological Reserve is now complete.

“This is an important protected area designation”, says Tanya Edwards, Co-Executive Director of CPAWS-NL. “Having grown up in the community of Lawn, I can attest to the ecological significance of these islands and the importance the local community places in conserving them.”

The Lawn Bay Ecological Reserve contains the only known breeding location in North America for the Manx shearwater, a seabird species with individuals who can live over fifty years.

The islands also contain a number of other important bird species, including black guillemots, blacked-legged kittiwakes, common murres, and arctic terns, as well as over ten thousand breeding pairs of Leach’s storm-petrels.

“The Newfoundland and Labrador government is following through on its commitment to protect these ecologically significant islands”, says Chris Miller, National Conservation Biologist for CPAWS. “We look forward to additional protected area designations in the near future, as the province works to formalize the Natural Areas Systems Plan”.

The provincial government has some catching up to do.  At the moment, only about 4.5% of the landmass of Newfoundland and Labrador is designated as legal protected.  This places it second last in Canada for the percentage of land protected, ahead of only Prince Edward Island.  The national average in Canada right now is about 10% protection, and globally it’s 15%.

Additional information about the Lawn Bay Ecological Reserve can be found here.