Introducing the Long Point Walsingham Forest Priority Place

Ontario’s Priority Place for Species at Risk conservation In August 2017, Long Point Walsingham Forest (LPWF) was selected by the federal government as Ontario’s priority place for species at risk conservation. Located entirely within Norfolk County, LPWF is 86,715 hectares large and includes the longest freshwater sand spit in the world, Long Point. Long Point is an internationally recognized Ramsar site (wetlands of international importance), an international Monarch Butterfly Reserve, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, and the first globally significant Important Bird Area in Canada. LPWF also includes the Norfolk Forest Complex, which is also recognized as an Important Bird

Read More

What is a “Priority Place” anyway?

In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada invested a historic $1.35 billion to support work with other governments, Indigenous groups, non-profit organizations, and others in nature conservation. This funding will support Canada in reaching its biodiversity goals, which are to protect a quarter of its lands and a quarter of its oceans by 2025, to create healthier habitats for species at risk, and to improve its natural environment. The federal government, in collaboration with the provinces and territories, has agreed to implement the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada. This new approach will shift from a

Read More

The Long Point Walsingham Forest Priority Place Collaborative

The LPWF Collaborative is a partnership of over twenty non-government and government organizations that are committed to improve biodiversity conservation in LPWF through the coordinated identification and implementation of priority conservation actions. The Collaborative has developed an Integrated Conservation Action Plan (ICAP) which identifies the highest priority actions for improving ecosystem health and conserving species at risk.  The knowledge and expertise of the Collaborative is integral to fulfilling the vision of the LPWF ICAP, which is to create healthy, resilient and connected ecosystems that support biodiversity, productive landscapes and a thriving community. Within the Collaborative, there are five subset committees

Read More

The importance of biodiversity and protecting Species at Risk in the Priority Place

Although we might not always recognize it, plants and animals play a huge role in keeping our environment healthy and balanced. Biodiversity is a term used broadly to describe the enormous variety and variability of life on Earth. It can also be used more specifically to refer to all of the species in one region or ecosystem. The term “ecosystem” refers to groups or plants, animals, and other organisms that are found in the same area and interact with each other. These interactions form the environments we know and recognize, such as the different forests, wetlands, and other ecosystems around

Read More

Your good driving habits can help protect Species at Risk

The network of roads that crisscross Southern Ontario is constantly growing as development expands. While these roads are important in our daily lives, they alter the landscape and have a significant impact on biodiversity. “Roads are a primary threat for many species,” says Mandy Karch, Executive Director of the Ontario Road Ecology Group (OREG) and chair of the Road Ecology Working Group. Apart from mortality due to collisions, roads fragment and alter the habitats they cut through and cause pollution from things like exhaust, chemicals, and road salt, as well as light and noise pollution. Wildlife such as turtles and

Read More

One structure, two purposes: How well-planned infrastructure can address both biodiversity protection and climate change adaptation goals

Road ecology, the study of the interactions between the environment and roads, offers important land-use planning tools which can help adapt to the effects of climate change. Climate change is a global issue, which often makes it feel like actions taken locally or individually are insignificant. In reality, we are experiencing the effects on a global and local scale. Even local or small-scale mitigation techniques and technologies can have a cumulative impact. The climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis are connected. Biodiversity loss – for example, loss of forested land or wetlands – results in emissions of greenhouse gases. Healthy

Read More

Be a citizen scientist in the Priority Place

Driving down roads can provide good opportunities to see wildlife. Unfortunately, these sightings sometimes occur as roadkill. Some species may be attracted to roads to feed, bask, or nest, which puts animals, especially slow-moving animals such as turtles and snakes, at risk of a collision. The Priority Place is home to many Species at Risk whose populations are decreasing as a result of these collisions. No single agency is able to monitor the vast road network found in Norfolk County, and this is where the public can play an important part by reporting wildlife or wildlife-vehicle collisions. “When the public

Read More

Success in invasive Phragmites control requires a collaborative approach

Phragmites australis is a tall grass species with origins in Europe believed to be introduced to Canada in the late 1800s. In Ontario, there is also a native species of Phragmites found in similar habitats however it grows in balance with other native vegetation and must be protected as part of any management plans. The aggressive invasive Phragmites began being monitored by biologists in the wetlands of Long Point over 20 years ago. Since then, the growth and spread of this species at Long Point has been exponential. Phragmites is an aggressive invader, growing up to 6 metres in height,

Read More

Private landowners can help manage invasive species

The Phragmites management program was initiated in the wetlands of Long Point but has since spread into the upper watersheds. In 2019, a subcommittee of the LPPAA developed an implementation plan for the entire Big Creek Watershed focused on engaging landowners and helping to provide them with control services for their properties. The Big Creek Watershed Control Implementation Plan divides the watershed into 8 sections or “phases”. Since it’s inception it has been well received, enrolling over 200 parcels and completing control work on over 75 parcels of land with no sign of slowing down. “Landowners are an important part

Read More

Innovation in Phragmites control

Organizations in the Long Point area have adopted an integrated approach to Phragmites management involving a wide range of methods, each one required to deal with special circumstances, in an effort to eradicate Phragmites and protect our wetlands. “An aquatic herbicide is used in the Long Point region under a special permission from Health Canada; this unique tool is not available anywhere else in Canada. Long Point was chosen to pilot this method due to the imminent impacts to wildlife, in particular Species at Risk. An urgent response was required, and aquatic herbicide were chosen because it is the most

Read More
Scroll to Top