Forillon Corridor, Gaspé Peninsula, QC (Photo by Parcs Canada – R. St-Laurent)

Forillon Corridor, Gaspé Peninsula, QC (Photo by Parcs Canada – R. St-Laurent)

The Nature Conservancy of Canada improves the movement of species in the Forillon ecological corridor.

January 26, 2021
Gaspé

 

Expansion of key conservation area in the Gaspé Peninsula.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is pleased to announce it has improved a vital area for wildlife and plants in Quebec.

The not-for-profit charity has announced the purchase of over 35 hectares (86 acres) of forest near Forillon National Park. It means the group is now protecting a total of 207 hectares (511 acres) here to establish an ecological corridor for plants and wildlife to grow, move and survive.

The announcement was made by NCC staff, together with federal and provincial government representatives and local residents.

Promoting the survival of large mammals

These new properties, located on both sides of Route 197, link Forillon National Park to the east with other public lands to the northwest. Mainly forested, they are home to stands of balsam fir, white spruce and balsam poplar that are characteristic of the region.

“Through these acquisitions, NCC intends to consolidate an extensive ecological corridor in the region. To do so, the organization is preserving forest and aquatic environments that link large natural areas together. This strategic way of conserving natural environments allows wildlife to move around and plants to spread, helping the survival of many species,” says Camille Bolduc, project manager at NCC.

Many of the mammals that use the Forillon Corridor properties, such as Canada lynx, American marten and fisher, have large home ranges, which means they must cover vast territories to meet their needs. Canada lynx, for example, must have access to an area of at least 70 square kilometres to ensure its survival, which it cannot find solely within the limits of Forillon Park. It must, therefore, be able to move toward forested environments further west.

NCC therefore hopes that the preservation of natural links between the habitats of these species will lead to their long-term protection.

Conservation and local communities

These recent acquisitions are the result of a collaboration between NCC and local residents. They agreed to entrust their sites in support of conservation, preserve biodiversity and maintain the natural beauty of these lands forever.

“There was a point when I decided to sell my land, which had been part of the family estate for over 30 years, since I no longer had the time or resources to take care of it. I thought I would sell it to another individual, but after considering the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s proposal to preserve it for the benefit of future generations, I saw nothing but advantages. I now have all the peace of mind I could wish for,” says Jérémie Gagné, owner of one of the four lands acquired by NCC.

Acknowledgements

This project was made possible by financial contributions from the Government of Canada, through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP), funded by the Nature Fund of Canada; the Government of Quebec, through the projects Partenariat pour les milieux naturels and Ensemble pour la nature of the Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change; the Echo Foundation and the Fondation de la faune du Québec.

Quotes

“On behalf of my colleague the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, I congratulate the Nature Conservancy of Canada for the protection of 35 hectares of forest habitat near Forillon National Park. We are proud to support this project, which is helping us make progress toward achieving our goal of conserving a quarter of Canada’s land and a quarter of its oceans by 2025.” - The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Member of Parliament for Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Minister of National Revenue

“Biodiversity conservation is a priority for our Ministry. It is important to preserve key environments for Québec flora and fauna, both for their survival and to ensure their movement and dispersal. This is exactly what we want to promote with these acquisitions, which were made possible thanks to the Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels. Now that we have achieved our global targets for protected areas for 2020, we are setting our sights on new goals to protect even more territories” - Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change and Minister responsible for the Laval region

Highlights

  • The protected properties include forest stands that are more than 80 years old.
  • NCC is leading other initiatives in the area, including educating residents on the importance of protecting the Forillon ecological corridor.

About

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is Canada’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 has helped to protect 14 million hectares (35 million acres) coast to coast to coast, including close to 48,000 hectares (118,600 acres) in Quebec.

The Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP) is a unique public-private partnership designed to support the creation of new protected and conserved areas by securing private lands and private interests in lands. The program is administered by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). The federal government’s investment in the program is leveraged by matching contributions raised by NCC and its partners, Ducks Unlimited Canada and Canada’s conservation community. The NHCP replaces the Natural Areas Conservation Program, which expired on March 31, 2019.

The Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels (PPMN) is a three-year, $13 million grant to NCC from the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques. It provides support for initiatives to protect natural areas of interest through financial partnerships with conservation organizations across the province. The PPMN thus aims to develop and consolidate Quebec’s network of protected areas located on private land.

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) is a program administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Media Contact:

Elizabeth Sbaglia
Communications Manager, Quebec Region
Nature Conservancy of Canada
514-876-1606 x6240

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