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New Habitat Restoration Project Underway At The Jack Miner Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Thursday May 23rd, 2024, 10:02am

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A new habitat restoration project being undertaken at The Jack Miner Migratory Bird Sanctuary means that migrating birds will have one more feeding and resting stopover in the Essex Region.

This project is being managed by the Essex Region Conservation Authority with funding from Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

“This habitat restoration project has many ecological benefits including increasing biodiversity and natural areas cover in the Essex Region, as well as expanding on and creating a connection with existing Carolinian forest habitat at the site,” said Kate Arthur, Restoration Biologist with Essex Region Conservation. “This will provide habitat for numerous wildlife, including species at risk.”

Arthur cites Scarlet Ammannia, an endangered wetland plant species, Short-eared Owls, Barn Swallows, Bobolinks, Eastern Meadowlark, Blanding’s Turtle, Snapping Turtle, Monarch butterfly and Eastern Foxsnake as just some of the species at risk that will benefit from this project.

Additionally, the project will help to improve water quality by capturing surface water flow from adjacent agricultural lands and filtering it with native wetland plants, while also helping to mitigate the effects of climate change by planting numerous native plants and trees in marginal agricultural land.

The entire project includes a one-acre wetland feature, a surrounding 1.5 acre native prairie grass/wet meadow buffer, and approximately 11.5 acres of afforestation with 8400 native trees and shrubs. Additional project funding has been contributed by Forests Ontario, Ontario Power Generation and the Canadian Wildlife Federation.

“Wetlands are areas rich in biodiversity, providing homes for species at risk, like the Short-eared Owl and Blanding’s Turtle. Wetlands also act as a filter that helps keep our water clean, and stores carbon to mitigate climate change,” said Andrea Khanjin, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Through our ongoing partnerships with organizations like the Essex Region Conservation Authority and Ducks Unlimited Canada, we are working to preserve and improve wetlands for future generations.”

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