AUZINS NATURE SANCTUARY (MIDDLESEX COUNTY) – DONATION
Straddling the boundary between the City of London and the Municipality of Middlesex Centre, this 55-acre property consists of both wetlands and woodlands including a floodplain swamp along the Dingman Creek. The wetland areas are part of the provincially significant Brigham Road Wetland and are within a candidate City of London Environmentally Significant Area (ESA). This property is part of a wildlife corridor along Dingman Creek extending from the Dorchester Swamp to the Thames River at Delaware. Dingman Creek provides habitat for over 50 species of fish and mussels. The floodplain and upland forests protect water quality and provide habitat for a diversity of birds.
MUD LAKE NATURE RESERVE (SOUTH- WEST OXFORD) – DONATION
This 104-acre Oxford County property protects most of the extensive Mud Lake Marsh, an important refuge for birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Choruses of frogs announce the arrival of spring and summer is filled with bird song. This Provincially Significant Wetland is home to species such as Sandhill Crane, Carolina Wren, Great Horned Owl and at-risk turtles. In addition, this wetland provides invaluable ecosystem services involving water filtration, flood prevention, and carbon sequestration.
GILLIES NATURE TRACT (SOUTHWEST MIDDLESEX) - DONATION
The Gillies Nature Tract is an 84-acre portion of the 390-acre Knapdale Woods, a locally significant Area of Natural and Scientific Interest. The extensive woodland provides home to a number of area sensitive forest breeding birds including several species-at-risk. The uplands support a diverse deciduous forest containing American Beech, Silver Maple, Eastern Cottonwood, and several species of oak. The wetland marshes and ponds are home to many amphibians and reptiles and colourful plants such as Swamp Milkweed.
BEBENSEE TRACT EXTENSION (SOUTHWEST MIDDLESEX) - PURCHASE
Located in the Skunk’s Misery complex, this 75-acre property is part of one of the largest remaining forest blocks in the Carolinian region of southwestern Ontario. Extensive tracts of unfragmented forest are vital for the Cerulean Warbler and other area-sensitive birds. The forest contains an array of Carolinian trees such as Black Oak, Swamp White Oak, Sassafras, and the endangered Eastern Flowering Dogwood. This property is adjacent to the Trust’s existing 64-acre nature reserve. Enlarging the area under protection will better ensure the ecological integrity of the area.
SITLER WOODS (SOUTHWEST MIDDLESEX) - PURCHASE
This 50-acre site near Newbury has long been recognized by the Trust as a top priority for acquisition. Situated within the extensive Skunk’s Misery Natural Area, this parcel links two woodlands that are in county ownership. The Skunk’s Misery complex is home to many rare species that require large tracts of interior woodland to thrive. Thames Talbot Land Trust already owns other parcels within the complex, as do others including the County of Middlesex, Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, and many private landowners. Protection of this property ensures that unbroken forest cover will be maintained at this location. The property features many mature trees and older growth characteristics that distinguish it from the majority of woodlots in southwestern Ontario, where logging occurs regularly. This remarkable forest community is home to many at-risk birds.
LUSTY FAMILY WOODS EXTENSION (WEST ELGIN) - PURCHASE
A rich mixture of upland woods and swamp forest, this 75-acre parcel in West Lorne Woods provides habitat for an array of forest birds, including several species- at-risk. Purchase of this parcel has increased the extent of protected land in the West Lorne Woods, a complex that totals 600 acres in all. Among Carolinian special- ties here are Sassafras and Tulip-tree. The ponds and swamps are home to an array of aquatic wildlife and a provincially rare wetland habitat, buttonbush swamp. From this wetland, Sixteen Mile Creek flows to Lake Erie. The swamps play a vital role in maintaining the health of downstream water bodies. When combined with the adjacent 53-acre reserve, this new acquisition more than doubles the size of the Lusty Family Woods and ensures the ecological integrity of the area.
MEADOWWOODS (WEST ELGIN) - DONATION
This 105-acre parcel is located in the southwest corner of Elgin County. It lies within a large coastal wildlife corridor formed by a chain of steep wooded ravines and valleys stretching along 100km of Lake Erie shoreline in Elgin County. This property is home to a great diversity of native flora and fauna, including 200 species of migrant and resident birds. Many rare species are found here. Among these are birds, dragonflies, reptiles and amphibians. Although some of the land was previously farmed, it has been restored to native meadows and wetlands. These early successional habitats greatly enhance the species diversity of the vegetation communities present.