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Muskoka Conservancy acquires 173-acre nature reserve

The Muskoka Conservancy’s 51st property is a 173-acre nature reserve bordering two sides of the Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park.

The park is located between Gravenhurst and Minden.

The conservancy acquired the property on Jan. 23. It includes 50 acres of wetlands and 825 ft. of shortline.

It’s near the Silver Doe Nature Reserve, which is also protected by the conservancy. In a news release, conservancy officials say they expect to find Blandings Turtles, Eastern Whip-Poor-Will, Whippoorwill, Five-Lined Skink, and a variety of snakes, among others.

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In the spring, conservancy volunteers will visit the reserve for a “complete biological inventory,” according to a news release.

“Features like wetlands and rock barrens are highly biodiverse and provide habitat for many species-at-risk of reptiles and birds,” said Amanda Porter, conservation coordinator. “We are excited to find out more about the species inhabiting the new nature reserve.”

Officials say the land acquisition was made possible thanks to the Ontario Land Trust Alliance’s Nature Smart Climate Solutions program, which is supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada. According to them, the fund goes to “supporting projects that conserve, restore and enhance wetlands, peatlands, and grasslands to store and capture carbon.”

The 51st property acquisition by the conservancy comes less than a month after the 50th. The conservancy now protects 3,915 acres, 60481 ft. of shoreline, and 703 acres of wetland.

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