Point Abino Woods
Point Abino Woods, ON (Photo by NCC)
Located in the Niagara region along the north shore of Lake Erie, this 30-acre (12-hectare) property at Point Abino Woods protects and expands species at risk habitat in a highly significant natural area. The property is comprised of 13 acres (five hectares) of mature Carolinian woodland and 17 acres (seven hectares) of semi-retired farmland. The conservation of this property prevents future residential development and alteration of existing mature woodland.
The Point Abino Woods Natural Area is a small yet highly significant hotspot of natural habitat located on the north shore of Lake Erie in the Niagara region. The area has been designated a Carolinian Canada site and a national Important Bird Area. The shoreline has becoming increasingly threatened by development encroachment from both the east and west. The land is largely in private ownership and much of the adjacent area has been developed for seasonal recreation. The remaining natural area consists of a highly diverse mixture of significant beach and dunes, Provincially Significant Wetland, mature woodland, scrubland and unique alvar features.
Point Abino Woods has been identified federally as an area of global conservation concern and as an area of important diversity for priority forest birds. High quality habitat along the north shore is particularly important for migrating birds to rest and feed. Rare birds documented in the area include red-headed woodpecker, cerulean warbler, Acadian flycatcher, and hooded warbler. Point Abino is also known for its reptiles, with rare turtles such as blanding’s turtle observed here as well as milksnake and eastern hognosed snake.
Now that the property has been acquired, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is developing a plan to restore the farmland to forest and maintain and enhance the forest for species at risk with an emphasis on rare forest birds known to inhabit the immediate area. Planting the farmland with a variety of native tree species will result in an enlarged forest area as well as buffering the existing forest from nearby development. The planted field will provide immediate meadow habitat and will succeed over time to diverse woodland.
While most of the land in the Point Abino Woods Natural Area is privately owned, several properties at Point Abino have been secured by NCC and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority over the last few years. The long-term goal is to create a connected area of conservation lands to protect the diverse habitats and rare species in this small but highly significant natural area. The conservation of this mature woodland and farmland is an important step in achieving the larger goal of landscape-level conservation. The property will be managed and enhanced over the long term, ensuring the future of rare birds, reptiles and amphibians that live here.
A natural partnership
Thanks in part to generous funding from TD Bank Group (TD) through the TD Forests program, this property has now been protected in perpetuity.
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.