Smith Property, ON (Photo by NCC)

Smith Property, ON (Photo by NCC)

Backus Woods Addition

Acadian flycatcher (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Acadian flycatcher (Photo by Bill Hubick)

This property consists of mature deciduous forest of the Carolinian forest type, including both upland sand plain forest and forested swamp. Located within an Important Bird Area and Provincial Area of Natural and Scientific Interest, the property also contains provincially significant wetland.

Since the property has not been logged in more than 65 years, its habitat is in excellent condition. Situated adjacent to NCC's Backus Woods, it is part of a large and richly diverse forest, which sustains numerous rare species such as:

  • prothonotary warbler
  • Louisiana waterthrush
  • Acadian flycatcher
  • eastern hognosed snake
  • eastern foxsnake
  • Blanding’s turtle
  • Jefferson salamander
  • and others

These species are all very likely to exist on the property given the proximity and similar conditions to Backus Woods.

Ecological significance

The Southern Norfolk Sand Plain Natural Area contains more than 494, 200 acres (200,000 hectares) of rolling hills and shoreline. Here, the habitat features sand plain forests, an array of wetlands, sand spits and coastal sand dunes. The area also encompasses a significant portion of nearshore Lake Erie and Long Point Bay. 

The Norfolk area is characterized by the highest level of forest cover in southwestern Ontario and the world famous wetlands of Long Point peninsula. Located within the Carolinian life zone, the area is one of the most biologically diverse regions in Canada and is one of two areas supporting the highest densities of species at risk in the country. The Norfolk area supports 60 species considered at risk nationally under the Species at Risk Act, as well as 221 provincially rare species.    

A natural partnership

Most of the lands in the Southern Norfolk Sand Plain Natural Area are private. NCC currently owns about 5,000 acres (2,020 hectares) in this area. And now, thanks in part to funding through the TD Forests program, NCC has protected an additional 43 acres (17 hectares) adjacent to Backus Woods.

The TD Forests program will increase the amount of forested lands protected and cared for by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Over five years, the program will conserve an average of more than two football fields a day. TD and NCC are also engaging more Canadians in the mission to conserve our forests, which will safeguard not just the trees, but all the living things that rely on forested habitats.

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