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Norfolk Forest Complex (ON009)

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Norfolk Forest Complex (ON009)

Walsingham, Ontario

Latitude 42,688°N
Longitude 80,505°O
Altitude 180 - 212m
Superficie 314,18km²

Description du site

The Norfolk Forest Complex site includes a number of forested areas that are in close proximity to each other or connected via natural corridors. The forests included here are the Walsh Carolinian Forest, South Walsingham Sand Ridge and Big Creek Floodplain, Cultus Forest, Venison Creek, Backus Woods, Deer Creek Valley, St. Williams Forest, Turkey Point Forest, and Ungers Corner. These forests are all located in Haldimand-Norfolk County, within eight kilometres of the north shore of Lake Erie along a 20 kilometre east-west stretch. The forest blocks cover an area of undulating sand plain, with some areas having deeply incised ravines. The habitats are primarily deciduous in nature but some stands of eastern hemlock and areas of conifer plantation (mainly Red and White Pine) are present. Uplands are dominated by Red Oak, American Beech, Red Maple, White Oak, and swamp woodlands are dominated by Silver Maple, Black Ash and in some areas, Black Gum. Interesting fauna found in the site include the nationally vulnerable Spotted Turtle and the provincially threatened Eastern Hognose Snake.

Oiseaux

This area supports one of southern Ontarios richest breeding bird communities. Over 100 species have been confirmed as breeders within these forests, including many species that are at risk nationally: Acadian Flycatcher (endangered), Hooded Warbler (threatened), Prothonotary Warbler (endangered), Cerulean Warbler (vulnerable), Louisiana Waterthursh (vulnerable), and Red-shouldered Hawk (vulnerable).

Acadian Flycatchers breed in these forests - at least three nesting pairs present in 2000, representing over 1% of the Canadian population of this species. The forests also supports Canadas largest population of Hooded Warblers. In 1998, it was estimated that at least 70 pairs were present in these forests, which is over half of the total Canadian population. In 2000, at least 56 pairs were breeding in St. Williams and South Walsingham alone (the other forests were not searched). Since 1995, between three to five pairs of Prothonotary Warblers have nested annually in Backus Woods. This is about a third of the current (2000), declining Canadian population of the species. Outside of Rondeau Provincial Park, this is the largest concentration of this species in Canada. Cerulean Warblers nest in most of these forest areas; although exact numbers are not known, they definitely exceed the national significance threshold of ten pairs. Finally, Louisiana Waterthrush nest along streams in many of these areas - at least ten pairs are present annually (5% of Canadian population).

An estimated three to five pairs (perhaps as many as ten pairs) of Red-shouldered Hawks (nationally vulnerable) are present within the forest complex; this population does not exceed national thresholds, however.

In addition to threatened species, the forests supports a rich forest bird community. Species that nest within the forests include: Broad-winged Hawk, American Woodcock, Black-billed Cuckoo, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Eastern Wood-Peewee, Veery, Wood Thrush, Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-winged Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Pine Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The presence of numerous species more characteristic of the northern forests are also noteworthy (e.g., Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Winter Wren, Magnolia Warber, Black-throated Green Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler and Canada Warbler, among others).

Enjeux de conservation

From an ecological perspective, the Norfolk Forest Complex site has some of the most significant blocks of deciduous forest that remain in Canada. In addition to being significant for birds, it contains many species of vascular plants that are considered nationally or provincially rare, and a nationally rare community type (Tulip Tree - Eastern Hemlock).

Large parts of the area are privately owned, while some forests are managed by various naturalists groups (e.g. 25% of South Walsingham Forest is managed by such groups) and ecological restoration programs are underway. Many areas are owned by the Long Point Region Conservation Authority, who have undertaken and plan to continue forestry practices within the blocks. Other parts are within conservation areas (e.g. Backus Woods Conservation Area) or provincial parks (e.g. Turkey Point Forest). St. Williams Forest is largely leased by Aquanorth, a forestry company.

Hooded and Prothonotary warbler studies, as well as Red-shouldered Hawk surveys, are ongoing in several areas. A large study is currently being completed in the South Walsingham Forest to determine the habitat associations of rare forest birds and forest interior species within this block. Subsequently, a model will be developed for forestry product extraction while at the same time protecting the forests rich biodiversity. This study is a joint initiative with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Long Point Region Conservation Authority, the Norfolk Land Stewardship Council and MacMillan Bloedel Limited.

Catégories ZICO Habitats Usages Menaces Potencielles ou Existantes Status de Protection
Quiscale rouilleux
Nombre Année Saison
252017Printemps
262016Hiver
1002016Automne
1562016Printemps
422015Printemps
24 - 252015Hiver
452014Automne
29 - 402014Printemps
552013Printemps
252012Automne
25 - 4002012Printemps
302011Printemps
1002010Automne
292007Hiver
Mouette pygmée
Nombre Année Saison
52013Printemps
202012Printemps
52010Printemps
31990Automne
Cygne siffleur
Nombre Année Saison
1 700 - 2 2002014Printemps
1 5002013Printemps
Moucherolle vert
Nombre Année Saison
22017Été
1 - 22017Printemps
32016Automne
2 - 72016Été
12016Printemps
12015Été
12015Printemps
12014Automne
32014Été
22014Printemps
2 - 32013Été
12013Printemps
2 - 42012Été
12012Printemps
22011Automne
1 - 22011Été
12011Printemps
52010Été
1 - 32010Printemps
32009Automne
12009Été
22007Automne
12007Été
12006Printemps
1 - 22005Été
12005Printemps
12004Été
12004Printemps
22003Été
1 - 22003Printemps
1 - 22002Été
12002Printemps
1 - 22001Été
2 - 62000Été
1 - 121998Été
11994Été
21992Été
11991Été
Paruline orangée
Nombre Année Saison
4 - 62017Été
3 - 42017Printemps
12016Été
1 - 32016Printemps
32015Été
1 - 22015Printemps
2 - 32014Été
22014Printemps
12013Automne
3 - 42013Été
12013Printemps
2 - 42012Été
1 - 22012Printemps
12011Printemps
12010Printemps
22007Été
12007Printemps
12006Été
12006Printemps
12002Été
22001Été
12001Printemps
12000Été
11999Été
11998Printemps
11997Été
61995Été
Paruline hochequeue
Nombre Année Saison
42015Été
4 - 52013Été
42012Été
72012Printemps
202000Été
51993Printemps
Paruline azurée
Nombre Année Saison
201995Été
Bruant de Henslow
Nombre Année Saison
12005Printemps
Ictérie polyglotte
Nombre Année Saison
11994Printemps
11992Printemps
Pie-grièche migratrice
Nombre Année Saison
11992Automne
Fuligule à dos blanc
Nombre Année Saison
5 0002012Printemps