Our staff have been working hard to evaluate the possibility of establishing a new conservation reserve.
Ostrander Crown Land Block and Point Petre Provincial Wildlife Area are two ecologically important areas along the southern coast of Prince Edward County.
They are currently designated as provincial Crown lands, administered by the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry.
These are areas used for waterfowl hunting, hiking, motorized recreational vehicles, bird watching and other recreational activities that all Ontarians can enjoy.
The South Coast is recognized as a unique and Globally important Important Bird and Biodiversity Area and an International Monarch Butterfly Reserve.
Could a conservation reserve designation help protect these uses and values?
The Minister of he Environment, Conservation and Parks proposes that designate the area as a conservation reserve would do help strengthen the long-term protection and health of local wildlife and ecosystems (and invite your comments!).
Evaluation of ecological values
Our journey toward creating a new conservation reserve began with the inspiring conservation efforts of the South Shore Joint Initiative, a nonprofit coalition working to protect the Important Area for Birds and Biodiversity on the south coast of Prince Edward County, and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, which acquired and privately manages protected areas in the region.
Ostrander Crown Land Block
Since then, our staff along with our partners have been working tirelessly to complete a ecological Assessment and evaluation of the site.
Based on everything we know, the sites meet the necessary criteria to be considered candidates for protected areas.
However, our work is just beginning. We continue to work with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to assess both the Ostrander Crown Land Block and the Point Petre Provincial Wildlife Area to gain better information on present values.
So far we know these areas:
- provide habitat for at-risk turtles
- They contain globally rare alvar ecosystems, extremes in which floods are followed by droughts and plants are uniquely adapted to cope with these harsh conditions.
- are part of a network of public and private protected areas in southern Prince Edward County, providing connected habitats for wildlife and approximately 12 km of undeveloped Lake Ontario shoreline.
- contain features of provincial and regional significance not protected elsewhere in the area, including a wetland of provincial significance
- They are part of an internationally recognized Important Migratory Bird Area, which crosses the expanse of Lake Ontario in spring and fall. Several species of at-risk birds are also known to use the area.
- They are global hotspots for monarch butterflies, important for their migration.
What a Conservation Reserve Designation Does
If these areas become regulated as a conservation reserve under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act2006The land would continue to provide opportunities to enjoy its natural beauty, including hiking, fishing, hunting, and bird watching.
Point Petre Provincial Wildlife Area
More importantly, this designation would help strengthen the long-term protection and health of its local wildlife and ecosystems.
As with all Ontario conservation reserves, our goal is providemy protection of its unique characteristics and species and Provide outdoor recreation and other existing uses. for generations to come.
Do you want to share your comments?
Go to the Ontario Environmental Registry and have your say!
Learn more about Ontario conservation reserves.