Habitat Retention

Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife

Allisary Creek at Mount Stewart, Prince Edward Island/
©Ducks Unlimited Canada

Habitat retention is the protection, or preservation, of functional waterfowl habitat and the protection of suitable habitat for other bird species in perpetuity. It is one of the main ways that Eastern Habitat Joint Venture partners protect wetland and associated upland habitats for the benefit of waterfowl and other migratory species. The EHJV relies on the following activities to retain critical migratory bird habitat within its boundaries.

Purchase (Fee Simple Acquisitions)

Purchase of habitat by a partner agency resulting in a transfer of ownership. This activity can be relatively expensive and is therefore usually focused on wetland habitats with the highest risk of loss and the greatest benefit to waterfowl and other migratory bird species.

Conservation Encumbrance (Servitudes, Easements, Covenants, Agreements)

EHJV partners obtain an easement for a specific amount of time that restricts activity on the land. This approach is often more cost effective than outright purchase. Establishing encumbrances does however result in the ongoing obligation to monitor lands to ensure that the terms of the easement or agreement
are honoured.

Crown Designation

The title and right to manage a parcel of property is passed from one government department to another. This legal designation results in enhanced protection of Crown Land and often protects the land from resource extraction activities.


EHJV partner agencies rent the use of the land thereby providing conservation protection.

Stewardship and Extension

Stewardship and extension programs directly involve land managers and landowners in conservation by encouraging and helping to implement wildlife-friendly management techniques on their properties. Essentially, the land manager and/or landowner becomes a caretaker of the landscape, and by extension, educates and motivates other landowners to implement land-use practises to conserve the wildlife value of their land while enhancing production and economic benefits. The role of EHJV partners is to provide expertise and guidance for undertaking and sustaining these collective landscape-approach programs which are critical to healthy habitat and wildlife populations.

Examples of Stewardship and Extension Programs


Agriculture Biodiversity Programs

Farmers and agricultural practitioners are becoming increasingly aware of habitat conservation and biodiversity-related issues. This has, in part, been due to federal, incentive-based programs that are aimed at positioning Canada as a world leader in food safety, innovation and environmentally responsible agricultural production. Agriculture Biodiversity Programs promote environmental stewardship to farmers and provide access to technical and financial assistance for them to implement best management practices on
their lands.

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