Race is on to protect the heart of the last intact forest corridor in eastern Ontario
Nature Conservancy of Canada looks to conserve internationally significant wildlife corridor
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is working to protect 120 acres (49 hectares), including 2.5 kilometres of historic Rideau Waterway shoreline on Whitefish Lake. At only 15 kilometres wide in some areas, this collection of towering granite ridges, rich forests and pristine shoreline sits at the heart of a key wildlife corridor that connects Algonquin Park to the Adirondack Mountains.
Part of the Frontenac Arch, Whitefish Lake is critical to a wide variety of plant and animal life, including waterfowl, such as mallard, ring-necked duck and wood duck. It also forms an important corridor between north and south, allowing wide-ranging animals like bear, moose and wolf to have the space they need to thrive.
NCC has a time-sensitive opportunity to acquire this important piece of the local conservation puzzle. The private land conservation organization needs to raise the remaining $142,000 by December 2017. By conserving Whitefish Lake, NCC hopes to maintain the critical forest habitat connection across the Frontenac Arch to the Adirondack Mountains. It is this slender thread that holds together the last intact north-south forest corridor in eastern North America.
A UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, the Frontenac Arch is a unique area of overlap between the northern Canadian Shield and southern Appalachian forests, supporting a great richness of plant and animal species — making this one of the most diverse regions in Canada and a place of great beauty. The Arch serves as a highway for migrating birds, bats and insects, and mammals with large home ranges, such as fisher, black bear and bobcat.
“Large, intact properties like this are just the kind that the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is looking to acquire and conserve in the Frontenac Arch. By acquiring this property, and others like it in the area, we are helping to protect a wilderness corridor that is essential for numerous species.” James Duncan, Nature Conservancy of Canada Vice-president, Ontario Region
- Whitefish Lake includes 2.5 kilometres of shoreline on the Rideau Waterway – a Canadian heritage river.
- With little light pollution, Frontenac Arch is visible from space.
- The property features trees more commonly found in the Appalachian Mountains to the south, such as pitch pine, shagbark hickory, rock elm and black maple.
- NCC is already 90 per cent towards their fundraising goal.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation's leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped protect 2.8 million acres (more than 1.1 million hectares), coast to coast, with more than 184,000 acres (74,000 hectares) in Ontario.
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