Over 2,000 hectares within the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Region are now ‘Protected Areas’ 

Blandings Turtles at Rock Dunder. Photo by Michael Rousseau via FABN.

Over 2,000 hectares of land within the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Region (FABR) are now ‘Protected Areas’ as per the pan-Canadian standards.

These recently protected lands fall within the jurisdiction of two key partners, Cataraqui Conservation and Rideau Waterway Land Trust. Eight properties representing 1,982 hectares of environmentally significant lands owned by Cataraqui Conservation and located throughout the Cataraqui watershed on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabek peoples, and 13 properties representing over 143 hectares of wildlife habitat within the 200 km long Rideau Corridor were recently assessed and found to meet the pan-Canadian standards as Protected Areas.

In a media release, Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network (FABN) shared details on the newly protected areas:

Cataraqui Conservation:

The newly recognized Protected Areas include publicly accessible areas: Gould Lake Conservation Area, Lyn Valley Conservation Area, and Mac Johnson Wildlife Area, and five ecological properties that are not publicly accessible.

In the release, Cataraqui Conservation said it is pleased to see its valued and long-standing partnership with the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network come to such an important result.

“The recognition of these properties as Protected Areas is the result of hard work and co-operation from both organizations, municipalities and community stakeholders” said Tom Beaubiah, Manager, Conservation Lands for Cataraqui Conservation.

According to the release, Protected Areas within the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Region provide critical support to a variety of species at risk of extinction. This is vital habitat for Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentine), Blanding’s Turtles (Emydoidea blandingii), Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina), Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Black Ash (Fraxinus nigra), Eastern Pondmussel (Ligumia nasuta), and many others.

“For decades, Cataraqui Conservation has been doing critical work to protect waters and vulnerable habitats in the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Region. We are very pleased that these contributions to biodiversity conservation have now achieved the international recognition they deserve,” said Christine Grossutti, Conservation Project Manager at FABN.

Rideau Waterway Land Trust:

The newly recognized Protected Areas include: Covington Cottage, Kate’s Island, Jack’s Island, Warren, Island 296, Mosquito Lake Islands, Islands in the Bog, MacDonald’s Wetland, Lady Kingsmill, Sherwood Bay, Edward’s Wetlands, Island 8, and Van Niel Woodlands. These Protected Areas are situated on the shared territory of the Haudenosaunee and Algonquin Anishinaabeg.

“Rideau Waterway Land Trust aims to protect the Rideau Corridor’s biodiversity and ecological heritage, so achieving federal recognition for these properties is significant! We are grateful for our partnership with FABN because collaboration is pivotal for protecting our region’s natural landscape and wildlife. We are
working toward our collective goal of meeting Canada’s 30×30 target,” said Caroline Spang, Land Stewardship Manager, RWLT.

FABN noted that land and water protection measures in the Rideau Corridor are essential not only for the enjoyment of area residents and visitors, but for the Northern Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica), Eastern Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus), Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor), Gray Ratsnake (Pantherophis spiloides), and Butternut (Juglans cinera) – which are all species at risk of extinction. Additionally, the preservation of these lands contribute to greater habitat connectivity for migratory species.

“RWLT should be commended for the care and attention they give to the lands entrusted to them. It’s been a pleasure working with them to achieve international recognition for their contributions to conserving our region’s biodiversity,” Grossutti stated.

According to the release, expanding the network of lands with Protected Area status would not be possible without the invaluable partnership and collaboration between RWLT and FABN, Cataraqui Conservation and FABN, as well as generous funding support from Kawartha Credit Union and the City of Brockville. In 2022, FABN received funds from Environment and Climate Change Canada to work with local conservation groups to assess and report areas meeting the pan-Canadian standards to count towards Canada’s biodiversity targets. The most recent targets include the international commitment to protect 30 per cent of land and water by 2030 in Canada, or “30×30”.

All 21 new Protected Area locations are located within the UNESCO Frontenac Arch Biosphere Region, which is recognized globally for its exceptional natural and cultural value.

FABN is currently seeking new areas to assess, such as lands owned by municipalities that benefit wildlife in the long term. Municipalities and other organizations are encouraged to contact FABN if they have sites that they feel would be eligible for assessment. A full list of all Canadian Protected and Conserved Areas can be seen in the online map.

2 thoughts on “Over 2,000 hectares within the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Region are now ‘Protected Areas’ 

    • Hi there,

      FABR refers to the “Frontenac Arch Biosphere Region,” while FABN refers to the “Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network,” which is the organization as opposed to the area.

      Hope that helps,

      Tori Stafford

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