Nature Reserve of the Month: Nottawasaga (May, 2022)

May 31, 2022

This wilderness preserve is 143.53 acres located in Township of Essa, County of Simcoe. It has important forest and wetland habitats. EBC is looking into preserving an additional 8.5 acres to extend this area in the near future. The addition of the 8.5-acres will connect the interior forest to the riparian and wetland areas next to Nottawasaga River, which is part of the Provincial Area of Natural Scientific Interest (ANSI) as well.
Significant features:
The mixed forest and treed swamp provide habitat for interior birds such as Bank Swallow and Wood Thrush, species which have been reported to Natural Heritage Information Center (NHIC). The Nottawasaga River also houses aquatic species and shoreline vegetation. These water features contribute to the provisions of ecosystem services such as water purification and water quality. The northern wetland of the property, part of the Provincial ANSI also provides habitat conditions for reptiles such as Snapping turtle which has been observed downstream of Nottawasaga River.
The treed swamp habitat in the northern portion of the property, has been identified as a Highly Vulnerable Significant Groundwater Recharge Area and a Highly Vulnerable Aquifer. Because the surrounding area is heavily urbanized and farmed, the preservation of the interior forests is critical for the area's water security.