Manchester Bird Sanctuary
The Manchester Bird Sanctuary is an urban green space located in Saint John, New Brunswick. It was donated for preservation by private benefactor to the City of Saint John in June of 1975. Since that time, the land has seen very little ecosystem management or planning, leaving the sanctuary's function often misunderstood and under-appreciated within the community. In past studies, there were 48 species of birds identified as utilizing habitat in the Manchester Bird Sanctuary, a stunning diversity representative of the availability of distinctly different habitats within the area.
ACAP has been working with the City of Saint John to revisit the only previous field survey and management plan of the sanctuary (ACAP Saint John, 2003) and build upon its research with in-depth long-term management recommendations along with public education initiatives. These will include the design and installation of interpretive signage at select public vantage points along the perimeter of the site and clean-ups of human debris from of the edges of the property to maintain a more pristine appearance, and to foster civic pride in the area.
In 2015, a number of tree plantings and staking events took place with the help of volunteers. “Living bird feeders” were planted in the sanctuary. These plants produce berries for the birds and other wildlife and provide ground cover for the forest ecosystem, increasing biodiversity in the sanctuary.
A key focus of this initiative is to identify and delineate sensitive habitats that can be conserved as integral elements to a functional urban bird sanctuary. The three primary habitats of concern include old growth nesting habitat, wetlands, rearing habitats for migratory birds, and dense vegetation to serve as protective cover to conserve wildlife corridor integrity. This project will actively engage adjacent landowners to participate in enabling the conservation of these critical habitats.