Rainy Lake to Lake of the Woods
Moose and her calf (Photo courtesy of Wild for Wildlife and Nature)
The Rainy Lake to Lake of the Woods Natural Area is the largest Natural Area in Ontario, spanning approximately 4.5 million acres (1.8 million hectares) and containing more than 16,000 islands. It is situated in the northwest of the province, approximately 300 kilometres from Thunder Bay.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) currently owns eight properties in the area, including several islands.
The forest cover in the area is predominantly boreal. Because it is situated on the edge of three different ecosystems, it contains a diversity of flora and fauna.
Over 500 vascular plants have been inventoried from the Rainy Lake to Lake of the Woods Natural Area. The mainland contains boreal forest, an oak savannah and many transition forests containing large coniferous swamps and peat bogs. Some of the species found in this natural area are:
- black bear
- woodland caribou
- pine marten
- bald eagle
- golden eagle
- peregrine falcon
The freshwater islands are important habitat for many colonial nesting birds, waterfowl and migratory birds. There are open sandy beaches, islands and marshes that provide habitat for:
American white pelican (Photo by Bill Hubick)
- piping plover
- black tern
- yellow rail
- marbled godwit
- yellow-headed blackbird
- American white pelican
This area has a rich history dating back to the early days of the fur trade.
NCC’s current partners include Rainy Lake Conservancy, Lake of the Woods Property Owners Association and the Ministry of Natural Resources.
To learn more about our work in the Rainy Lake to Lake of the Woods Natural Area, or to make a donation to support our work there, please contact 1-800-465-0029 x 2222.