Flora & Fauna FABULOUS & FRAGILE
Elgin County’s outdoor enthusiasts and naturalists, finding themselves right in the centre of the Carolinian Canada Life Zone, have long appreciated the vast diversity of flora and fauna to be discovered in the exploration of habitat from woodlands to wetlands, tallgrass prairie, lakes, streams and shoreline.
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / epantha
The Carolinian Canada Life Zone stretches from Toronto to Windsor. The surrounding Great Lakes bestow upon the area a milder climate than the rest of Ontario, hence the nickname “the banana belt” and the occurrence of more southern species than elsewhere in Canada. Although it makes up only 1% of Canada’s total land area “it boasts a greater number of both flora and fauna species than any other ecosystem in Canada. It is estimated that some 2,200 species of herbaceous plants are found here including 64 species of ferns, at least 110 species of grasses, and over 130 different sedge species. There are 70 species of trees alone.” Alongside this richness of nature, Carolinian Canada also has 73% of its landscape in highly productive agriculture and is densely populated—25% of Canada’s population lives here. With less than 2% of the landscape in public ownership, forest cover reduced from 80% to 11.3% and wetlands reduced from 28.3% to 5.1% “the Carolinian Life Zone is one of the most unique and fragile in North America.” The info above is from www.carolinianiancanada.ca. Find out more about the Carolinian Life Zone and the work of the Carolinian Canada Coalition to advance a strategic ‘Big Picture’ vision for healthy landscapes and a green future in Canada’s Deep South on the website.
Top to bottom: Monarch butterfly at Port Bruce; a Northern Bobwhite, a rare species of the prairie remnants; tulip tree at the Buttermilk Bog
RELISH ELGIN FALL 2015
Relish Elgin promotes the people, places, businesses and events that make Elgin County and St. Thomas, Ontario unique.