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Nature Conservancy protects 75 hectares of land north of Kingston

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KINGSTON- The Nature Conservancy of Canada added nearly 75 hectares of forest, provincially significant wetlands and granite ridges to the protected land in Frontenac Arch.

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The lands are to be added NCC’s Conservation Area in the Loughborough Wilderness Block and is increasing in size 1,636 hectares

“The recent 75-hectare expansion in the Loughborough Wilderness connects with several other protected areas and creates a large block of protected land,” said Rob McRae, Nature Conservancy of Canada program director for Eastern Ontario. “Frontenac Arch is a site of outstanding beauty and biodiversity; Taking care of it today will help ensure its protection for the future.”

Thursday’s announcement was made for marking World Wetlands Day, and the purchase was funded by individual donors and support from Environment and Climate Change Canada, Ontario Greenlands Conservation Partnership and United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

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The newly protected land north of Kingston provides habitat for more than 200 species of birds and other animals.

The Frontenac Arch includes the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization designated Biosphere Reserve, a region covering approximately 2,700 square kilometers stretching from Brockville in the west past Gananoque in the north to Athens, Westport and the Rideau Canal extends , covering most of Leeds and the Thousand Islands Township and part of South Frontenac Township north of Kingston.

With more than 72 percent forest cover, the Frontenac Arch provides a corridor connecting the northern hardwood and mixed forests of the Algonquin Highlands with the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, part of the Appalachian mountain range of eastern North America.

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According to the NCC, less than Today, 30 percent of Ontario’s original wetlands remain in southern Ontario, and in some areas the figure is less than 20 percent.

“Canada is fortunate to host 24 percent of the world’s wetlands, 25 percent of its temperate rainforests and 28 percent of its remaining boreal forests,” said Steven Guilbeault, Secretary of the Environment and Climate Change. “These ecosystems are of global importance as they absorb carbon, mitigate the effects of climate change and protect biodiversity.”

“The Frontenac Arch is a unique and vital habitat for a variety of wildlife, including several endangered species, making investment in conservation projects like this important to Ontario’s future biodiversity,” he added David Piccini, Ontario Secretary of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

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