MUSQUODOBOIT HARBOUR, N.S. -- The Nature Conservancy of Canada says it is protecting five offshore islands on Nova Scotia's eastern shore.

Known as Mike's Islands the 16-hectares of land sits in the upper reaches of Musquodoboit Harbour and the outer estuary Ramsar site.

The area is home for migratory waterfowl including the American black duck and for shorebirds including the semipalmated sandpiper.

The Ramsar site includes the Martinique Game Sanctuary and Martinique Provincial Park which are important feeding and breeding habitat for the endangered piping plover.

The latest additions means the nature conservancy is protecting 10 islands in the area totalling 546 hectares.

They are named after Captain Mike Williams and his wife Ellen Williams, whose family owned the islands.