Central to protecting natural biodiversity, is the maintenance of habitats, refugia and natural processes over the long term. About 437,400 hectares (6.0%) of land and fresh water are protected across the New Brunswick landscape to maintain our natural diversity for today and for future generations. In these areas, we may encounter old growth forests, pristine waterways, rugged peaks, and purifying wetlands. The protected areas on provincial and federal Crown lands include Protected Natural Areas (PNAs), parks and National Wildlife Areas. New Brunswick is committed to increasing the amount of protected area to 10%. Work towards this goal is well underway through the Nature Legacy Initiative, with the first new protected areas established in the spring of 2022 and more planned for the coming year.
Our knowledge describing New Brunswick’s biodiversity is far from perfect. Striving to maintain all biodiversity components is difficult when many species are still being added to New Brunswick’s known species list each year. The presence of protected areas helps overcome this disadvantage