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Springwater Conservation Area (ON028)

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Springwater Conservation Area (ON028)

Aylmer, Ontario

Latitude 42.741°N
Longitude 81.022°W
Altitude 230 - 235m
Area 12.92km²

Site Description

Springwater Conservation Area is located in southwestern Ontario, about 5 km southwest of Aylmer. The Springwater Forest is one of the largest mature forests remaining in Elgin County. The portion sometimes referred to as White's Bush has old-growth characteristics. It is comprised primarily of American Beech and Sugar Maple with abundant Red Oak, White Oak, Black Cherry and White Ash, and scattered White Pine and Eastern Hemlock. Three small cold water streams flow through the forest creating deep ravines (favoured by Acadian Flycatchers). These streams empty into Springwater Pond, a small artificial lake. Extensive pine plantations (at least 60 years old) are located on the north side of Springwater Pond. An equal-sized adjoining woodlot on the south side of the old-growth area (known as the Jaffa Tract) has been logged in the last 25 years. To the west, Springwater Campground has been carved out of the forest. Much of the adjoining and nearby private land still remains forested.

Birds

he Springwater forest provides habitat for both Acadian Flycatchers (nationally endangered), and Hooded Warblers (nationally threatened). Over the last 15 years, the site has regularly supported one to two pairs of Acadian Flycatchers. The Canadian Acadian Flycatcher population is less than 100 pairs (probably less than 50 pairs); this site provides high quality habitat that is consistently used. This site also has a long history of usage by Hooded Warblers. The first documented evidence of nesting Hooded Warblers in Canada was recorded at this site in 1949. As many as 10 pairs were present at this site in the early 1950s. In 1997, two territorial Hooded Warblers were observed (about 1 % of the estimated Canadian population). In 1998, only one territorial bird was present. Other more common breeding birds at this site include Scarlet Tanager, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Red-eyed Vireo, Wood Thrush and Great Crested Flycatcher.

Conservation Issues

There are no major threats identified for this site. The areas favoured by Acadian Flycatchers are well protected and the majority of the local community is opposed to the logging of any areas in the Springwater Forest. However, Hooded Warblers prefer to breed in open clearings within forested areas. At this site, this type of habitat is only available occasionally when a canopy tree is blown down. Thus, it is unlikely that a large population of Hooded Warblers will occur at this site in the near future. On adjacent private lands, where small-scale, selective logging has taken place, Hooded Warblers are likely to be present from two to ten years after the logging event.

IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
Acadian Flycatcher
Number Year Season
12004Summer
01997Summer
21996Summer
11995Summer
21991Summer
21990Summer
11989Summer
2 - 41988Summer