Local volunteer conducted plant and animal inventory turns up endangered Butternut tree

Goderich, ON – The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC) latest Conservation Volunteers event held this past weekend recorded Redback Salamanders and endangered Butternut trees among other interesting species. The biological inventory event took place at a newly protected conservation reserve within the Lower Maitland River Valley Natural Area. Ten participants with local naturalist expertise, including members from the Maitland Trail Association and the Huron Fringe Field Naturalists, spent the day recording plant, animal and insect species.

“Biological inventories are a first step in the long-term management planning process,” said John Gerrath, NCC’s Midwestern Ontario Science and Stewardship Coordinator. “Knowing what rare or at-risk species are on our property, as well as what invasive species are present, will help us identify the management actions that need to be carried out to protect native biodiversity. The local volunteers have been really helpful in accomplishing a big and important job in much less time than staff alone could have done.“

This latest reserve includes almost 174 acres (70 hectares) of forested land and over 1 km of river shoreline. Located near Holmesville and containing a portion of the Maitland Trail, very little was known about what animals and plants inhabited the site’s forest and wetland systems. Forest birds including Wood Thrush, Philadelphia Vireo and Pileated Woodpecker have also been confirmed on the reserve. Inventory work will carry on throughout the summer and fall with some of this weekend’s volunteers continuing to help document species on the reserve.

NCC’s Conservation Volunteers program engages people in the protection of Canada’s biodiversity while providing a meaningful, hands-on educational experience in ecologically significant natural areas. Carefully designed projects ensure that volunteers’ time is dedicated to critical conservation action. To find out more about how to become involved with NCC’s volunteer events, please visit the Conservation Volunteers website at www.conservationvolunteers.ca.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is Canada’s leading land conservation organization. Since 1962, NCC has helped to protect more than 2 million acres (800,000 hectares) of ecologically significant land nationwide.

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Contact:

John Gerrath   
Midwestern Ontario Science and Stewardship Coordinator
1-877-343-3532 ext. 230
john.gerrath@natureconservancy.ca

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