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Wildlife conservation lands expand in eastern Ontario: 'When nature thrives, we all thrive'

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Wildlife, including songbirds, snakes, turtles and waterfowl have more space now to feed, nest, breed, move and thrive in the Frontenac Arch region in Ontario.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) announced the addition of two new nature reserves -- Blue Lake and Hawkridge -- Sunday to celebrate World Wildlife Day.

"The 111 hectares that are now permanently protected are within a vast natural corridor that supports the survival and resiliency of many plants and animals," NCC in a news release on Sunday.

The nature reserves are each located next to existing conservation lands near Sydenham and Elgin in Ontario, northwest of Kingston, reads the release.

“Blue Lake nature reserve, adjacent to the Gould Lake Conservation Area and near Frontenac Provincial Park, is a picturesque 35-hectare site with over 1.4 kilometres of shoreline on Gould and Blue lakes. It features intact deciduous forests, wetlands and the pristine Blue Lake,” read the release.

“Meanwhile, NCC’s Hawkridge Nature Reserve, near Elgin, has been expanded through the protection of an additional 76 hectares immediately north of the property.”

'When nature thrives, we all thrive': NCC

NCC notes that this announcement comes as we navigate through climate change, stressing the importance of nature conservation, as “When nature thrives, we all thrive.”

“In the face of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change, nature is our ally,” read the release.

The expanded sites will support an incredible array of biodiversity, says Rob McRae, program director – eastern Ontario, NCC.

“They provide us with a chance to mitigate some of the threats that these species face, such as habitat fragmentation and pressure from development,” McRae said.

Ontario's Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Andrea Khanjin, adds the investment in the Frontenac Arch is important to protect the province’s biodiversity.

“The conservation of forest will expand a wildlife corridor while helping to protect species at risk and a provincially significant wetland,” said Khanjin.

The land purchases were made possible in part by the governments of Canada and Ontario.

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