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Lake Erie North Shore Watershed Plan - Niagara Peninsula ...

Lake Erie North Shore Watershed Plan - Niagara Peninsula ...

LAKE ERIE NORTH SHORE

LAKE ERIE NORTH SHORE WATERSHED PLAN Fowler‟s Toad The Fowler‟s toad was designated as a threatened Species at Risk in 1999 by COSEWIC. With only 3 known habitats left in Canada, all which are along the north shore of Lake Erie, this species is at risk of becoming endangered in Canada. The Lake Erie North Shore watershed is one of the locations that the Fowler‟s toad can be found. The sandy beaches and dunes along Lake Erie are important habitats for this species, along with nearby shoreline feeding areas and breeding sites of shallow open rocky pools, ponds, wetlands and stream mouths (Fowler‟s Toad Recovery Team No Date). The Fowler‟s toad utilizes different habitat types during different times of the year. During winter hibernation and daily shelter during spring, summer and fall the Fowler‟s toad seeks sandy beaches that are in close proximity to sand dunes. During spring and early summer breeding and tadpole development, shallow, open rocky pools, ponds, streams, river mouths and backshore wetlands are used; and shoreline areas are used for nightly hydration and feeding during the spring, summer and fall (Yagi et al. 2007). Therefore protection of all these habitat types is integral to the survival of the Fowler‟s toad. The Fowler‟s toad habitat is threatened by construction of shoreline break walls, piers and other structures that threaten the natural processes of dune formation. In addition, destruction of backshore wetlands, development, intensive beach grooming and the use of vehicles on the beach is also devastating the habitat of the threatened Fowler‟s toad. Stewardship projects are being conducted by the MNR, NPCA and numerous volunteers along the shoreline from Long Beach to the Niagara River. Projects include population surveys and a dune enhancement and pond creation at Morgan‟s Point Conservation Area and the former East Seal Camp Lakewood property. In addition to the listed endangered, threatened and species of special concern, numerous provincially rare species have also been documented by the OMNR and NPCA within the Lake Erie North Shore Watershed Plan study area (Table 4). 78

LAKE ERIE NORTH SHORE WATERSHED PLAN Table 4: Provincially Rare Species in Lake Erie North Shore Watershed Common Name Scientific Name American Beachgrass Ammophila breviligulata Beach Dune Tiger Beetle Cicindela hirticollis Bugseed Corispermum hookeri Citrine Forktail Ischnura hastata Dwarf Umbrella-sedge Fuirena pumila Few-flowered Sedge Carex oligocarpa Fogg‟s Goosefoot Chenopodium foggii Goose-foot Corn-salad Valerianella chenopodiifolia Grass-leaved Water-plantain Alisma gramineum Many-fruit False-loosestrife Ludwigia polycarpa Pin Oak Quercus palustris Pumpkin Ash Fraxinus profunda Purple Cudweed Gnaphalium purpureum Red-root Flatsedge Cyperus erythrorhizos Schweinitz‟s Flatsedge Cyperus schweinitzii Sedge Carex seorsa Sharp-fruit Rush Juncus acuminatus Small-flower Groovebur Agrimonia parviflora Smith‟s Club-rush Schoenoplectus smithii Spring Avens Geum vernum Southern Tickseed Bidens coronata Tufted Titmouse Baeolophus bicolor Torrey‟s Manna Grass Torreyochloa pallida Toadflax Linaria canadensis Weak Stellate Sedge Carex seorsa Wild Bean Strophostyles helvula Yellow Corydalis Corydalis flavula Aquatic Habitat In Canada, the Fisheries Act (Department of Fisheries and Oceans R.S. 1985, c. F-14) was established to protect and manage Canada‟s fisheries resources. The Act applies to all fishing zones; territorial and inland waters. As federal legislation, should a conflict arise between the Fisheries Act and provincial legislation, the Fisheries Act takes precedence. Although management of fish habitat falls under the authority of the federal government, the federal government has “essentially no control over the use of inland waters, beds of watercourses or shorelines which fall under provincial jurisdiction. Alternatively, the provinces cannot make regulatory decisions concerning fish habitat”(DFO No Date). Section 35 of the Fisheries Act is the prime focus of the Fisheries Act. This section is a “general prohibition of harmful alteration, disruption or destruction (HADD) of fish habitat”. Therefore, any project, work or undertaking that results in a HADD situation would result in a breach of this section of the Act and could result in a fine up to one million dollars, imprisonment or both. 79

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