Island biogeography

Fathom Five National Marine Park

The islands of Fathom Five have become worlds apart because of their isolation from the mainland and from each other. Each has its own unique combination of plants and animals.

Cove Island is the largest island, and is close to the other islands and the mainland. Because of this, it has the greatest variety of island wildlife, including deer, bears and rattlesnakes.

On the other hand, Flowerpot Island, which is smaller and more remote, has fewer species. It has no rattlesnakes or bears, for instance. It you visit Flowerpot Island, which is the only island in the park with trails, washrooms, a picnic shelter and camping, you will see a lot of garter snakes, because most of the predators that eat them haven’t managed to get across to the island. You’ll also see red squirrels, but no chipmunks, because chipmunks are hibernators, and are never awake when the ice bridge forms between the mainland and Flowerpot. Red squirrels are active in winter and cross on the ice. They're the cute little fellows that will try to steal your lunch. Please don't feed them as this causes more harm than good (it's also illegal).

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