In Ontario and Canada there is a plethora of funding opportunities for protecting species at risk. Grants from the Federal, Provinical governments and NGOs assist organizations in protecting species at risk across a wide range of habitat types. Turtles are among some of the most threatened species in the province, and the Northumberland Land Trust is working to protect them. Unfortunately we don’t know what turtle species are out there on our properties.
Location: Jack’s Marsh
Date: October 21st 2017
Weather: Sunny, hot
Notes: Wellies are mandatory at this point.
Fall is in full swing and Lake Ontario’s water levels have dropped to normal levels. This year I had intended to install a pressure transducer in the wetland to monitor fluctuations in water level over the course of the year. The abnormally high water levels of lake Ontario had other plans.
However I was not disappointed, I have been worried about the growth of cattails in the marsh since the land trust acquired the property so it was a pleasant surprise to see them knocked back a little bit when I arrived there this fall.
I was also interested to see if the absence of the barrier beach over the course of the year has allowed any carp to enter the wetland. As far as I can tell, there aren’t any fish that are apparent, but it will be something to keep an eye on.
Something that I worried about was that the majority of turtle nesting habitat may have washed away with the wave action. Much to my delight, it appears that habitat ripe for turtle nesting has increased, how delightful!
The only major issue that needs to be addressed is access. The high water levels in the wetland have washed away part of the road allowance that allowed us to walk down to the lakeshore. In the spring we may need to come up with a solution to getting over one of the ancient culverts that remain in the heart of the forest. I would also like to install a deer stand adjacent to the wetland to monitor birds and potential turtle basking habitat throughout the summer, all projects for next spring.
All is well at Jacks Marsh, and I hope to keep it that way.