Wildlife biodiversity contributes to building climate change resilience by supporting ecosystems such as wetlands and forests. Biodiversity is detrimentally impacted by climate change through weather phenomena, insect infestations or invasive species, with negative consequences for human well-being. Conserving and sustainably managing biodiversity is critical to addressing climate change.
Since 2007, the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust has maintained a georeferenced database of species at risk observations. The majority of the records consists of species at risk occurrences documented by project biologists and naturalists during field investigations. Other records include community observations that have been verified by a biologist through consultation and/or review of photo-documentation. The database now houses 3,250 species at risk observations distributed throughout the County of Haliburton and is a valuable tool for conservation planning. For a map of our observations in the Highlands Corridor please click here.
Based on a review of the species at risk database it is evident that the Highlands Corridor supports relatively high biodiversity. Representing only 18% of the County of Haliburton, 57% of the species at risk observations are found in the Highlands Corridor, and 25% of the documented species are unique to the Highlands Corridor. It should be noted that the distribution of species within the Highlands Corridor is biased towards the areas of research in the centre west of the corridor, and greater representation of species at risk in the east and far west is anticipated as research expands into these areas.
Species at Risk
The Highlands Corridor supports 39 federal and/or provincial species at risk, 26 provincially significant species and 43 regionally or locally significant species. The Highlands Corridor supports biodiversity through the provision of diverse and natural habitats, and connectivity between Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park, Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park and Silent Lake Provincial Park.
Here is a table of wildlife species at risk in the Highlands Corridor. Preserving these species is a focal point of the Highlands Corridor campaign. To understand the table, here's an explanation of each column:
- Family - refers to the broad classification of these species. The families have been simplified and are not scientifically accurate. For example, plants contain monocotyledons, dicotyledons and pinopsida
- Species - uses the common English name. Each species also has a Latin name.
- Risk Rating - is based on the ratings of two organizations: COSEWIC - Committee on the Status of Wildlife in Canada, and COSSARO - Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario. These organizations rate species as END - endangered (Red), THR - threatened (Orange) and SC - special concern (Yellow). Where the ratings diverged, we used the most conservative rating.
- Provincially Tracked - refers to provincially significant species that are tracked in Ontario by the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF). These species may be just as at risk as those that are categorized by COSSARO or COSEWIC, but their numbers have yet to be analyzed. Or they could be showing disturbing trends and therefore worthy of monitoring. Species are assigned a rarity score. S1 - extremely rare in Ontario (Red), S2 - very rare in Ontario (Orange), and S3 - Rare to uncommon in Ontario (Yellow)
- Rare in the Corridor - are species that were ranked as regionally or locally significant in consultation with NDMNRF ecologists and/or approved references (Skelton & Skelton, 1991).
|Family||Species||Risk Rating||Provincially Tracked||Regionally Rare|
|Western Chorus Frog|
|Northern Rough-winged Swallow||Y|
|Midland Painted Turtle|
|Boreal Bog Sedge||Y|
|Small Purple Fringed Orchid||Y|
|Showy Mountain Ash||Y|
|Tuberous Grass Pink||Y|
|Northern Tubercled Orchid||Y|
|Yellow Marsh Marigold||Y|
|Virginia Chain Fern||Y|
|Short-lined Chocolate Moth||Y|
|Pale-bellied Frost Lichen|
|Eastern Small-footed Myotis|
|Little Brown Myotis|
|Crispy Smoothcap Moss||Y|
|Fairy Plait Moss||Y|
|Common Five-lined Skink|
|Eastern Hog-nosed Snake|