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Point Pelee National Park of Canada

Middle Island Fact Sheet

Dowload printable version of Middle Island Fact Sheet (PDF - 429 KB)

Protecting Species at Risk on Middle Island

Middle Island

What is a Species at Risk?

A Species at Risk is a plant or animal that is at risk of no longer being found in Canada. These plants and animals are categorized by level of threat and can be Endangered, Threatened, or Of Special Concern.

Endangered species
A plant or animal that is facing imminent extinction.

Threatened species
A plant or animal that is likely to become endangered if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading to its extinction.

Special concern species
A plant or animal that may become a threatened or an endangered species if current environmental conditions continue.

What Species at Risk are found on Middle Island?

Middle Island, part of Point Pelee National Park, is home to many rare species. Of these species, 9 are nationally recognized Species at Risk.

Endangered
Red Mulberry
Lake Erie Watersnake




Red Mulberry
Red Mulberry
© Parks Canada
Threatened
American Water-Willow
Wild Hyacinth
Kentucky Coffee-Tree
Common Hoptree
Eastern Foxsnake
Wild Hyacinth
Wild Hyacinth
© Parks Canada
Special Concern
Blue Ash
Monarch Butterfly




Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly
© Parks Canada

Why should we care about Species at Risk on Middle Island?

Middle Island is an important resting stopover during bird and butterfly migrations in spring and fall. These birds and butterflies, often called migratory pollinators, need the food and shelter provided on Middle Island to survive their long journey.

Many other species, spread over large areas, depend on migratory pollinators for their own continued health. Protecting the Species at Risk on Middle Island will help maintain biodiversity in our region and preserve an important part of Canada's natural and cultural heritage for future generations.

What is happening to the Species at Risk on Middle Island?

Middle Island has extremely high numbers of nesting double-crested cormorants. These birds physically damage trees through their nesting habits and deposit large amounts of guano on the trees and vegetation below. The nesting habits of this over-abundant nesting colony is destroying Middle Island's ecosystem, making it difficult for the Species at Risk to survive.

Vegetation destroyed on Middle Island
Top: On Middle Island - (left) Commom hop tree covered in guano, (centre) vegetation destroyed at base of Blue ash tree, (right) nesting cormorants physically damage Blue ash tree
Bottom: Aerial photo of Middle Island

© Parks Canada

What is Parks Canada doing to protect Middle Island and its Species at Risk?

The Middle Island Conservation Plan outlines actions taken to protect Species at Risk, and many other plants and animals on Middle Island. Actions include research and monitoring, management and recovery, and public education.

On behalf of Canadians, Parks Canada protects the Species at Risk and their habitats in our national parks. Ongoing research and monitoring allows Parks Canada to make informed decisions about the best way to protect the great diversity of life on Middle Island.

Soil collection, nest counts and research on Middle Island
On Middle Island - (left) Collecting soil samples, (centre) nest counts, (right) research team
© Parks Canada

Parks Canada's goal on Middle Island is to work towards establishing a healthy ecosystem where the rich biodiversity of plants and animals – including Species at Risk- is in balance and maintained for future generations.

Species at Risk on Middle Island
Inset photos: Giant Swallowtail butterfly, Miami Mist, Hackberry butterfly
© Parks Canada


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