Three large parcels of land on Manitoulin Island have been bought by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) to keep the land in a natural wilderness state for conservation purposes.
The NCC said their project was the purchase of three areas consisting of forest, wetland and alvar sites for conservation on the south shore of Manitoulin.
The three purchases combine for 1,853 acres of land (750 hectares) said a news release from the conservancy. Lands purchased by the NCC are kept for environmental research, for ecosystem restoration, for Indigenous conservation and for the conservation of wildlife in natural habitat.
The conservancy said the purchase of lands on Manitoulin Island was significant.
"This area is home to many species at risk, including the threatened Blanding’s turtles, least bittern (a heron bird that is also threatened) along with other migratory birds and a stunning array of plants. Many wide-ranging mammals, such a black bears, wolves, and fishers, rely on the area for food, water and habitat," said the release.
"The protection of these lands and waters support NCC’s ongoing conservation efforts across Manitoulin Island. When combined with nearby and adjacent conservation lands that NCC and our partners have already conserved, these three projects bring the existing conservation complex on the Manitoulin Island Archipelago close to 15,030 hectares, or larger than the city of Barrie – the largest contiguous protected area south of the Canadian Shield," said the NCC.
Funding for the Nature Conservancy of Canada land purchases is raised from private donors, individuals, and foundations. The federal government contributed more than $2 million from Environment and Climate Change Canada. The Ontario Government also contributed funds from its Greenland Conservation Partnership program, said the release.