Moose that live along the border of two Atlantic Provinces in Canada may have a shot at love thanks to a former top diplomat.
Derek Burney, former Canadian ambassador to the U.S., donated 316 hectares (roughly 780 acres) of private land to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. The donated land sits along the border between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick – an area where the organization was pushing for a corridor of land to help cross-breed moose from the two provinces as part of its “Moose Sex Project,” the Canadian Press reports.
“When you conjure it up, you can only smile at the imagery,” Burney said, chuckling. “I’m not an expert on moose sex or moose anything, but I think the understanding is that if they can preserve the corridor with things like this ... then I think there’s a good chance the Nova Scotia population will be replenished.”
The acreage is located on the Chignecto Isthmus, a narrow strip of land that joins mainland Nova Scotia to New Brunswick.
About 1,000 mainland moose in Nova Scotia have been endangered in the past 10 years, the conservancy's president and CEO John Lounds said. The land features an extensive system of swamps, lakes, marshes and bogs, making it ideal for the largest member of the deer family to roam. The organization hopes the land will help 29,000 New Brunswick moose find Nova Scotia mates.
Burney, who learned about the moose sex project from a friend, said his love of nature led him to make the sizeable donation.
“We really got to enjoy nature in a way that we didn’t in Ottawa and Washington and Tokyo and some of the places where my official life took me and I think that was what sparked the interest,” he told News919.
The Burney family, which owned the land for 20 years, donated 92 percent of the total 342 hectares (845 acres) of land. The two parcels of land Burney donated are just over a mile apart.
"It's tripled the land on the New Brunswick side. It's really accelerated our work on the isthmus," Paula Noel, program director with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, said about the land donation.