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County’s South Shore IBA designated “critically endangered”

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Prince Edward County’s South Shore Important Bird Area has been designated “critically endangered”.

BirdLife International identifies sites of international significance for the conservation of the world’s birds and other nature. These are called Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas. Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (PECSSIBA) was designated globally significant for congregatory species (water fowl) and nationally significant under the threatened species category in 2000.

Birdlife recently reassessed the international sites and identified those that are critically endangered. Prince Edward County South Shore IBA joins three other sites in Canada designated in danger.

“Of course we are aware and very concerned about the imminent danger to our IBA by proposed energy developments,” said Cheryl Anderson, president of the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory. “As caretaker of the IBA, PEPtBO supports the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) appeals of PECFN and APPEC to stop development in the IBA.”

Internationally, 12,000 sites have been designated IBAs in danger. In Canada the four sites designated are: Prince Edward County South Shore, Boundary Bay – Roberts Bank-Sturgeon Bay (Fraser River Estuary), Lancaster Sound Polynya and Mackenzie River Delta.

The BirdLife assessment includes a table with categories “pressure”, “protection level” and “response.” The “pressure” on all sites has been assessed as High. “Protection level” lists the PECSSIBA as “little/none” and under the heading “response” the level for PECSSIBA is “low”.

“This designation, while disappointing, helps to bring attention across Canada to the importance of the South Shore natural habitat and the need to continue fighting to protect it,” said Myrna Wood, president of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists.

A decision on the long-running Ostrander Point Industrial Wind Turbine project ERT appeal is expected this month, as is the decision on the initial appeal of the wpd White Pines turbine project. All nine of the turbines at Ostrander Point and 12 of the wpd turbines are in the IBA.

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