Managing the Scatarie Island Wilderness Area: Introduction to Issues for an Island Protected Area
Cameron, Robert P.
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Scatarie Island is a 1500 ha island off the coast of Cape Breton which contains a variety of habitats and a diversity of plants and animals. Over the last 300 years the island has seen human settlement, use by fishermen and management as a Wildlife Management Area. In 1998 the island was designated as a Wilderness Area under the Wilderness Areas Protection Act. The island’s designation recognizes both its significant ecological values and wilderness recreation potential. Suitable management strategies for Scatarie Island Wilderness Area must give proper consideration to protecting those ecological values for which the island was originally designated. Current visitors to the island include all-terrain vehicle drivers and sea kayakers, both of which offer different management challenges. Climate change and possible effects of air pollution from adjacent industrial areas are other issues for the management of the protected area. In order to better understand the biota of the island and provide an adequate information base for the management of the protected area, a 4 day bioblitz consisting of 15 scientists and students was conducted in 2005. This bioblitz consisted of a biological survey in a variety of disciplines over the 4 days. More than 180 species were documented during this survey and at least 8 species had not been reported previously for Nova Scotia.