The Huronia Survey and Stewardship Project has come to an end! The pilot project began in 2014-2015 as a small-scale project with a focus on observing breeding birds. In 2017, HLC began a 3-year grant; this allowed us to grow our pilot project by not only collecting bird data but including vegetation data as well and allowing us to survey all areas in North Simcoe. Over those five years we have visited just over 12,000 acres (4,800 hectares) of land in Tiny, Tay, Springwater, and Oro-Medonte Townships and the Towns of Midland, Penetanguishene, and Wasaga Beach.
Our survey observed 154 bird species. The study areas ranged from upland to lowland woodlands to wetlands to grasslands to open fields. This list also includes 11 Species at Risk (SAR) birds – Canada Warbler, Eastern Wood Peewee, Golden-winged Warbler, Wood Thrush, Bank Swallow, Barn Swallow, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, Grasshopper Sparrow, Bald Eagle, and Chimney Swift. It continues to be encouraging to see that the SAR Eastern Wood Peewee and Wood Thrush birds were commonly observed throughout North Simcoe, indicating our local forests are relatively undisturbed and of good quality.
Over 850 vegetation species were observed with close to 220 ecological communities noted in the study areas. Each property that had a vegetation survey will receive a map of their property showing how the vegetation and geology of the land is classified.
A big thank you to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for your financial support of our work and to Takla Foundation for providing us additional funding in our final year of the project.
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