Cabot Head shoreline, Northern Bruce Peninsula, ON (Photo by Kas Stone)

Cabot Head shoreline, Northern Bruce Peninsula, ON (Photo by Kas Stone)

Saugeen Bruce Peninsula Natural Area

Sunset at Hay Bay, Ontario (Photo by Ethan Meleg)

Sunset at Hay Bay, Ontario (Photo by Ethan Meleg)

An ecological gem

World-renowned for its diversity of orchids and ferns, the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula is one of the best hot spots for biodiversity in the Great Lakes.


The peninsula supports an abundance of species diversity. This includes 11 globally rare species such as:


Rare habitat is also found here, including alvars, sand beaches, fens and meadow marshes. Thirteen per cent of the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula is classified as wetland habitat.

Cabot Head, on the northeastern Saugeen Bruce Peninsula, is an important stopover site for migratory birds. Many species gather here in globally significant concentrations during their spring and fall migrations. In the spring, red-necked grebes also congregate in the area. This appears to be their most significant gathering point on the Great Lakes.

Conservation status 

The Saugeen Bruce Peninsula is one of the most intact natural landscapes in Ontario south of the Canadian Shield. It presents a rare opportunity to conserve a large, functional ecosystem in southern Ontario. This in turn benefits wide-ranging mammals such as fisher.

 The Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory is a not-for-profit organization created to promote and foster the study, appreciation and conservation of birds and their habitats on the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula.

NCC also works with Parks Canada to buffer and secure additional lands for Bruce Peninsula National Park.

Working with Indigenous communities

NCC has been working with Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) since 2014, comprising of both Saugeen First Nation and the Chippewas of Nawash Unceeded First Nation.

Some projects NCC and SON have worked on together include:

  • Monitoring for species at risk (SAR), including surveys for massasauga rattlesnakes, Hill’s thistle and queen snake
  • Collaboration on staff training to increase knowledge about SAR, invasive species, plants, birds and Traditional Knowledge of the area
  • Working together to map invasive phragmites across the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula
  • Complete inventories of culturally significant plants in the area, both on and off of NCC land
  • Working together to fundraise for and complete priority stewardship work 
  • Joint presentations to schools and within the communities about SAR and the significance of the area

A priority for conservation

Please consider a gift to help protect and care for the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula Natural Area.

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Funding provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada