Lower Maitland River Valley Natural Area
Maitland River, ON (Photo by NCC)
A rare refuge for endangered species
The Lower Maitland River Valley Natural Area is part of the Eastern Great Lakes Lowland Forests region, which occurs as a narrow band stretching from the central shores of Lake Huron in Ontario, across the north shore of Lake Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River corridor into Quebec and northern New York State. The conservation status of this entire region has been identified as critical due to habitat loss, fragmentation and pollution.
The Lower Maitland River Valley is influenced by the Great Lakes coast, and as a result has a high number of rare species and ecosystems. A large mature forest complex and cliffs comprise the important habitats of the Lower Maitland River Valley. The Maitland River also serves as a high-quality aquatic system. Watch the video at the bottom of this page and see the Maitland River as viewed from the shore.
Significant animals in both the terrestrial and aquatic habitats include rare snakes, turtles and fish. The Lower Maitland River Valley is a rare stronghold for many species in southern Ontario, particularly for the nationally threatened queensnake, whose population in this valley is likely the most viable for this species in southern Ontario.
Both Native peoples and European settlers have a long history in the Lower Maitland River Valley Natural Area, which is an important area for protecting terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity in the Great Lakes basin.
NCC is working with conservation partners, including the Maitland River Conservation Authority and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to ensure that this ecologically significant area is protected.