Sundew

At the pond edge, the presence of Sundews tells us that nutrients such as nitrates are scarce.

Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001 All Rights Reserved.


Pond on Sable Island

Although they shrink in dry seasons, the ponds are an important source of fresh water.

Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001 All Rights Reserved.


Drinking horse

Without this permanent fresh water supply, the horses could not survive.

Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001 All Rights Reserved.


Blue Flag

Life in this sheltered habitat is plentiful and diverse.

Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001 All Rights Reserved.


Water Boatman

Life in this sheltered habitat is plentiful and diverse.

Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001 All Rights Reserved.


Pond cross-section

You may recognize these plants and animals from ponds in your area.

Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001 All Rights Reserved.


Sable Island is not a desert island. Rain and snow seeping into the sand form an underground reservoir. Small ponds appear at a few sites between stabilized dunes. Although they shrink in dry seasons, the ponds are an important source of fresh water.

Freshwater ponds survive on Sable Island only because Marram has stabilized the sand dunes and kept ocean waves from flooding in.
Without this permanent fresh water supply, the horses could not survive.

At the pond edge, the presence of Sundews tells us that nutrients such as nitrates are scarce. The Sundew’s sticky leaf pads capture insects, an extra source of nitrogen.

Life in this sheltered habitat is plentiful and diverse. You may recognize these plants and animals from ponds in your area.

Sable Island is not a desert island. Rain and snow seeping into the sand form an underground reservoir. Small ponds appear at a few sites between stabilized dunes. Although they shrink in dry seasons, the ponds are an important source of fresh water.

Freshwater ponds survive on Sable Island only because Marram has stabilized the sand dunes and kept ocean waves from flooding in.
Without this permanent fresh water supply, the horses could not survive.

At the pond edge, the presence of Sundews tells us that nutrients such as nitrates are scarce. The Sundew’s sticky leaf pads capture insects, an extra source of nitrogen.

Life in this sheltered habitat is plentiful and diverse. You may recognize these plants and animals from ponds in your area.


© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001 All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Describe how freshwater ponds were created on Sable Island.
  • Describe the pond habitat and the plants and animal that survive in the environment.

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