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Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has been conducting landscape scale securement, restoration, and succession management in Southwestern Ontario, Canada since 2005. NCC is working with species at risk biologists on potential reintroduction plans for locally extirpated species in these restored areas. NCC is Canada’s leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization. NCC focuses its work in areas of high conservation priority across Canada, one of which is the Southern Norfolk Sand Plain (SNSP) in Ontario. SNSP is part of the Carolinian Life Zone, which contains temperate forests, grasslands, and wetlands, and has 25% of Canada’s human population as well as 25% of Canada’s species at risk. SNSP has a history of intensive agricultural use and land clearing, however forest cover is 25%, the highest found in southwestern Ontario. NCC began strategically acquiring land in SNSP in 2005 and restoring agricultural land on these properties. NCC has acquired over 2,300 ha and restored over 650 ha in SNSP to date. Restoration includes altering topography to re-create sand dunes and wetlands and installing the seeds from over 100 native plants. As the restored areas mature, NCC is managing habitat succession at a landscape scale. This is being done to support species at risk with restrictive habitat requirements, while still benefiting species with more general habitat requirements. A recovery team for at risk butterflies has identified restoration sites as prime potential habitat for locally extirpated species. NCC is working with this team to inform management and create reintroduction plans for these butterflies.
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Society for Ecological Restoration