Ontario Nature Blog
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© Lora Denis
As we watch the devastating wildfires in California rage on, it’s hard to believe that I’m writing a blog about how we started a fire on purpose. But that’s exactly what we did this past September on Ontario Nature’s Stone Road Alvar Nature Reserve.
Our Stone Road Alvar Nature Reserve is a very special property that is home to a truly outstanding array of rare habitats and species. Located on Pelee Island, the reserve is a 42-hectare property comprised of important, rare grassland alvar habitat that supports several species at risk in Ontario and all of Canada.
As the name suggests, the Stone Road Alvar Nature Reserve protects a large amount of alvar habitat, specifically grassland and savannah alvar that consist of mainly grasses with few trees.
We have developed comprehensive management plans for each of our 26 nature reserves in order to effectively and responsibly manage each property. A controlled burn was a key part of our management plan for Stone Road Alvar Nature Reserve.
Grassland and savannah alvars require little to no canopy and depend on naturally occurring fire cycles in order to thrive. By reintroducing fire through a controlled burn, we’re trying to help restore the alvar habitat and benefit the rare flora and fauna that reside on the nature reserve.
Ontario Nature has partnered with academic institutions and other conservation organizations to monitor the following populations of organisms and evaluate their responses to the prescribed burn.
Thank you to the Governments of Ontario and Canada, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and the Helen McCrea Peacock Foundation for making this project possible.