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      Biosphere Reserve Information



© Photo: George Pond
  General Description   This biosphere reserve encompasses a rich mosaic of ecological systems associated with the erosion deposit sand spit formations in the Laurentian Great Lakes, as well as some of the largest remaining forest tracts in ‘Carolinian Canada’. The variety of habitats supports a rich flora and fauna, including a waterfowl staging area and migration stop-over area for land birds with a continental importance. This has been recognized by its designation as a Ramsar site and as a globally significant Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. Long Point Bird Observatory and visiting bird watchers are estimated to contribute about 1.5 Canadian dollars annually to the local economy (2001). Established in 1960, it is the oldest continuously operated bird observatory in North America.
Long Point Biosphere Reserve has about 500 permanent residents and at least 3,000 seasonal ones (2001). Human interventions range from coastal wetlands management with restricted access through to intensive cottage and recreation development in the Long Point complex and Inner Bay area of the biosphere reserve. On the mainland, they range from forest management and restoration to conversion of lands into intensive agriculture.
A non-profit charitable organization known as the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation raises its own funds. Given the cross-affiliation of people in the Foundation with some governmental and non-governmental organizations, Long Point Biosphere Reserve has become accepted by the local community and ensures communication and cooperation.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate and sub-polar broadleaf forests or woodlands including lake system
  Major habitats & land cover types   Long Point is an erosion deposit sand spit formation with habitats including woodlands and shrubs, sand dunes and bluffs, marshes and small ponds, lakeshore and beaches. Main species include Populus deltoides, Juniperus virginiana, Larix laricina, Thuja occidentalis etc.; Inner Long Point bay with musk grass (Chara vulgaris), Eurasian milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), wild celery (Vallisneria americana), and naids (Najas flexilis); deciduous forest tracts characterized by wet red maple (Acer rubrum) and silver maple (A. saccharinum) swamps, American beech (Fagus grandifolia) and sugar maple (A. saccharum) uplands, oak (Quercus spp.) uplands, and buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) and dogwood (Cornus spp.) thickets; lake systems
  Location   42°35'N; 80°23'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   40,600
  Core area(s)   6,250
  Buffer zone(s)   34,000
  Transition area(s) when given   350
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +175 to +188
  Year designated   1986
  Administrative authorities   Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada; Long Point Company; a mix of private and public ownerships, notably the Big Creek National Wildlife Area

Last updated: 26/02/2007

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