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Iconic Cape Breton coastal lands being targeted for protection by Nova Scotia Nature Trust

The Mabou Highlands in Nova Scotia is seen in this undated handout photo.
The Mabou Highlands in Nova Scotia is seen in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Len Wagg, Nova Scotia Nature Trust

Iconic coastal lands in Cape Breton and an island stopover for migratory birds are among the privately owned lands being targeted for protection by the Nova Scotia Nature Trust in a multimillion-dollar campaign launched today.

The trust says it was recently chosen by Ottawa to receive a grant of up to $1.45 million through a program under the Canada Nature Fund.

READ MORE: Urban wilderness area near Halifax now protected after anonymous donation

In response, the trust is launching a campaign titled Lasting Landscapes, aimed at protecting 15 of the highest priority areas in Nova Scotia.

About $500,000 has been raised to date, but to meet federal requirements, the trust must raise another $250,000 in public support by March 31.

The areas the trust aims to protect include four new properties along the St. Mary’s River, a major land assemblage in the Mabou Highlands in Cape Breton, and vast forest and freshwater wilderness in the Cobequid Hills.

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WATCH: NS Nature Trust announces protection of new urban wildlands in Halifax

Click to play video 'NS Nature Trust announces protection of new urban wildlands in Halifax' NS Nature Trust announces protection of new urban wildlands in Halifax
NS Nature Trust announces protection of new urban wildlands in Halifax – Aug 21, 2018

The trust says 65 per cent of the province is privately owned, and protecting nature on private lands is key to biodiversity conservation.