Ojibway Prairie Complex RECEIVES NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR Importance TO CANADIAN amphibians and reptiles
Media Release

July 11th 2016, Windsor, ON
For Immediate Release

The Canadian Herpetological Society, Wildlife Preservation Canada, and their partners, are pleased to announce that the Ojibway Prairie Complex and Greater Park Ecosystem has recently been designated as an ‘Important Amphibian and Reptile Area’ in Canada.

The ‘Important Amphibian and Reptile Area’  (IMPARA) designation recognizes the key role  of specific natural areas in providing habitats for some of Canada’s most endangered wildlife: reptiles and amphibians. Although the designation carries no regulatory authority on its own, it is meant to raise awareness and generate additional stewardship and protection efforts for IMPARA sites.  A large proportion of snake, turtle, lizard, frog and salamander species in Canada are considered ‘at risk’ of disappearing from our country, and are therefore afforded protection by federal and/or provincial laws. Regardless, habitat loss and fragmentation remain serious threats to most protected species.

The Ojibway Prairie Complex and Greater Park Ecosystem (OPCGPE) will be the 11th IMPARA site in Canada.  This 23.5 km2 site is bordered roughly by the Herb-Gray Parkway to the north and east, the Detroit River to the west and the Turkey Creek sub-watershed boundary to the south. The OPCGPE consists of numerous parcels of natural habitats including over 425 ha of protected lands within the City of Windsor and the Town of LaSalle, predominantly within the Ojibway Prairie Complex. This IMPARA site is vitally important because it contains large remnants of globally imperiled tallgrass prairie and oak savanna habitat. The OPCGPE was designated as an IMPARA because it supports  herpetofaunal species of conservation concern (8 species at risk, including significant numbers of Butler’s Gartersnakes, Eastern Foxsnakes and Eastern Massasaugas), contains a high diversity of reptiles and amphibians (18-22 species), and contains some of the last breeding and hibernation habitat for Massasaugas in Carolinian Canada.

A short talk on the IMPARA progamme and reptile and amphibian conservation in Canada, as well as an award presentation will occur on World Snake Day, July 16th  2016, at 11am at the Ojibway Nature Centre, 5200 Matchette Rd., Windsor.  All are welcome.

For all inquiries about the IMPARA programme or the CHS please contact: Dr. Stephen Hecnar, Professor, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON, (807) 343-8250, shecnar@lakeheadu.ca.


About Wildlife Preservation Canada
Established in 1985, Wildlife Preservation Canada is a national charity devoted to saving endangered animal species facing imminent extinction in Canada – species whose numbers in the wild are so low that habitat protection alone is not enough. It is currently working with over twenty mammal, reptile, amphibian, bird, and insect species in projects ranging from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island, making it the only organization in Canada to provide hands-on care to multiple species in multiple recovery efforts across the country. For more information, please visit https://wildlifepreservation.ca

About the Canadian Herpetological Society
The Canadian Herpetological Society (CHS) is a registered Canadian charity that advances reptile and amphibian research and conservation in Canada. CHS is made up of researchers, conservation practitioners, naturalists, educators, and other individuals with an interest in Canada’s reptiles and amphibians. For more information about the CHS, please visit http://www.canadianherpetology.ca