Nature Conservancy increases protected land in the Pontiac

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Deborah Powell

PONTIAC – At a press conference in Gatineau on July 14, the Nature Conservancy of Canada announced new land acquisitions in the Pontiac.

Deborah Powell

PONTIAC – At a press conference in Gatineau on July 14, the Nature Conservancy of Canada announced new land acquisitions in the Pontiac.
Thirty-four hectares (84 acres) of habitat with high ecological value in the Grand Marais de Bristol area are being added to the 1,000 already protected, helping to maintain the habitats of  67 at-risk species recorded in the area, notably the Blanding’s turtle.
Two hectares (5 acres) of shoreline forest swamp at the mouth of the Breckenridge stream watershed is being added to the 296 hectares of Nature Conservancy property in that area. A significant population of Western Chorus Frogs, a threatened species in Canada, is present there.
A new area for protection has also been added:
14 hectares (34.6 acres) of unique ecosystems along the shore of the Ottawa River, southeast of Isle-aux-Allumettes. Habitats and species of interest include the Allumettes alvar, and a large population of map turtles, another at-risk species.
“Protecting these 50 hectares of rich habitat helps maintain the population of a dozen at-risk species of vascular plants, notably the ram’s head lady’s slipper and the royal lady’s slipper, as well as four species of turtle,” stated Caroline Gagné, project manager for the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Quebec.
“The Pontiac region has long been noted for its natural beauty and ecological diversity. With this investment, many species-at-risk here are protected and given a chance to thrive,” said Pontiac MP Will Amos. “This is also a direct
investment in the conservation economy that can help build the eco-tourism sector in our region,” he added, referring to the $200,000 federal contribution to the land purchases.
In addition to the federal government, the Nature Conservancy recognized the contribution of the Fondation de la faune du Québec, the Quebec Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, as well as Mr. Luc Cayer for donating the Breckenridge property through the Ecological Gifts Program.