Lakes species mapped
November 14, 2005
A new database shows rare species and lands around the Great
Lakes, information that will help scientists and governments
to decide which areas most need to be conserved.
The Great Lakes region is the world's largest freshwater
ecosystem. It's home to the highest diversity of plants
and species in Canada, but also to cities, industry and
To map the rare habitats and species, the Nature Conservancy
of Canada and Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources
unveiled a guide to the land and wildlife around the province
"Everything we do comes from nature," said
Dan Kraus of the Nature Conservancy. "We rely on
it for commerce, for recreation, and by protecting diversity
we're protecting our own interests and for future generations."
The map, called a Conservation Blueprint, is a database
of facts, figures and maps available on the web or as
It highlights imperilled species found only in the Great
Lakes basin including the aurora trout and dwarf lake
iris, as well as healthy ecosystems such as sugar maple
forests and coastal wetlands.
The provincial government said it's already using the
guide to devise legislation to protect the environment.
"We're making sure that what we are doing here today
is now in law," said David Ramsay, Ontario's minister
of natural resources.
The conservation group is planning similar conservation
blueprints for all of Canada's southern regions.