Expansion of Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area Complete
July 21, 2022 – Gatineau, Quebec
Biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented rate in Canada and around the world. It is threatening the foundations of our economy, food security, health, and quality of life. Canada’s network of protected areas plays a vital role in conserving and restoring healthy, resilient ecosystems, which helps halt and reverse biodiversity loss, and contributes to the recovery of species at risk.
Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced the successful expansion of the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area (NWA) along the shores of Lake Ontario.
The narrow strip of 33 hectares (ha) that once divided this ecologically sensitive area has officially been designated as part of the NWA. The expansion includes a connecting portion of wetland system with high biodiversity value, swamp and meadow marsh, as well as marshland and open water. The full wetland system will now be protected, improving connectivity for wildlife populations and allowing wildlife to move more freely in this area.
This officially completes the first of many NWA expansion projects under Canada’s Nature Legacy. The Government of Canada will continue to expand the protected areas network in pursuit of conserving 25 percent of lands and inland waters in Canada by 2025, and working toward 30 percent of each by 2030. This is one important way the Government of Canada is working to address the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.
“Expanding natural areas is one of the most important ways we can help curb the ongoing loss of nature and biodiversity. This inaugural expansion project under Canada’s Nature Legacy is crucial for the many species at risk and migratory birds that call Prince Edward Point NWA home, and it’s another step in the right direction for biodiversity in Southern Ontario.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Prince Edward Point NWA now consists of 546.3 ha of forest, grassland, and wetland habitats. It was first designated as an NWA in 1978.
This ecologically sensitive area is home to more than 30 federally-listed species in the Species at Risk Act, including the Monarch, Western Chorus Frog and Barn Swallow. Prince Edward Point NWA also contains critical habitat for species at risk, and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is expecting to identify more critical habitat in the area.
By adding this strip of land to the NWA, ECCC is reducing the potential for edge effects. Edge effects occur when an area transitions abruptly from one landscape to another, which can isolate wildlife, reduce reproductive success, and increase inbreeding.
Prince Edward Point NWA is one of ten NWAs across Canada identified in the Connecting Canadians to Nature initiative, where visiting by the general public is encouraged.
The Government of Canada is committed to conserving 25 percent of lands and inland waters in Canada by 2025, and working toward 30 percent of each by 2030.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
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