Habitat loss is the greatest threat to Canada's native plants and animals. Preventing the loss or degradation of significant habitat is the principal focus of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). This page is your gateway to a representative sample of NCC's priority areas in Ontario.
From the lush, older-growth forests on the west end of the Oak Ridges Moraine near Toronto, to the rare tallgrass prairies on the eastern end near Peterborough, Central Ontario contains a vast array of incredible habitats. The Happy Valley Forest is home to salamanders aplenty, while Napanee Plain and Rice Lake Plains to the east are a haven for declining grassland birds.
In Eastern Ontario, forest corridors connect the Algonquin Highlands to New York's Adirondack Mountains, mixing northern species typical of the Canadian Shield with southern ones.
Elsewhere in the region, sand dunes and coastal wetlands provide habitat for an incredible diversity of plants and wildlife. The Frontenac Arch is a unique natural area within this landscape, and is where we focus our conservation efforts in eastern Ontario.
Georgian Bay - Huronia
Stunning shoreline vistas reminiscent of paintings by the Group of Seven along the Eastern Georgian Bay coast; internationally recognized Minesing Wetlands, where first discoveries are made; globally rare habitat at Carden Alvar, blazing with colourful wildflowers. Small but incredibly varied, the Georgian Bay–Huronia region offers all of these exquisite sights and more.
Water connects all of the priority areas in the Midwestern region of Ontario. From the southern coast of the world's largest freshwater island — Manitoulin — down along the Northern Bruce Peninsula, and along the coast of Lake Huron to the Lower Maitland River Valley, our conservation work flows over sand dunes, alvars, cliffs, wetlands and forests.
Waves crash on Lake Superior's northwestern shore, creating a moderated climate more temperate than northern. Here, moist mixed forests from the south transition to the north's drier boreal forests. Meanwhile, the Rainy Lake–Lake of the Woods area is perched on the edge of three different ecosystems. The unique circumstances in both areas results in distinctive communities and uncommon meetings of species.
As the most southerly part of all of Canada, many of the species found in Southwestern Ontario are found nowhere else in Canada. In fact, this small area is home to 25 percent of Canada's species at risk. Southwestern Ontario is a migratory stopover hotspot for everything from birds to butterflies, including the Western Lake Erie islands, the largest of which is Pelee Island, and the Southern Norfolk Sand Plain,