1. Introduction (DP)
Whats there?
– 2. Homework (DP)
– 3. Overview of Environmental Factors (DP)
– 4. JP-Crowberry Barrens & Fire Mgmt (DP)
– 5. Forest Birds (JBD)
– 6. Specialist Birds (FL)
– 7. Some Conservation Perspectives (KM)
– 8. Discussion
—-> 8. Highlights (This Page)
– 9. Threats & Challenges


1. Geology – Lots of spectacular vistas, sites


– Exposures of Plutonic Rocks of the South Mt Batholith (350 mya)
– Exposures the Metamorphosed & Uplifted  Sedimentary Rocks of the Meguma Supergroup (originsin deep sea 500 mya)
– Contact zone between the two rock types in Williams Lake Backlands

More recent Glacial Features 
(Glaciations 500,000 years to present; last one ended circa 12000 ya)

– erratics
– whalebacks
– boulder fields
– rocky ridges outcrops (e.g. Piggy Mt)
– glacially sculpted lakes
– NW/SE orientation

2. Mosaic of Plant Communities/Habitat Types 
All of the major natural landscape cover types are well represented in the Backlands

Major Landscape Cover Types
Natural Forest. +++
Shrub/heathland. +++
Sparsely Vegetated. +++
Wetlands. +++
Water: Lakes, ponds +++
Water: Flowing Waters/Riparian +++

Managed Agriculture
Managed Forest

3. Nationally Unique/Globally Rare Plant Community

Jack Pine/Broom Crowberry Barrens (fire dependent/fire conducive); provide habitat for rare plant species (Mt. Avens, Golden Heather, Burnt Sedge)

4. Diverse Bird Habitat and Nesting Species by the coast
Including habitat occupied currently or in the recent past by all 3 Goatsuckers – one of only two areas in Canada, including the Common Nighthawk, a Species-at Risk in NS


  • X kilometers of walking trails
  • World renown Mt Biking Trails
  • 10 lakes 1 ha and larger, 8 completely unsettled
  • Significant cultural history: quarries, industrial railway, Prisoner’s Cave…
  • Local  Recreation: the Backlands are located between two major well settled roads and close to peninsular Halifax
  • High Eco-Tourism Potential: the Backlands are close to Halifax Harbour/cruise ships