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      Biosphere Reserve Information
     

Canada

NIAGARA ESCARPMENT


Photo: Willy Waterton
 
       
  General Description   The Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve in Ontario stretches 725 km from Lake Ontario (near Niagara Falls) to the tip of the Bruce Peninsula (between Georgian Bay and Lake Huron). The Escarpment corridor crosses two major biomes: boreal needle leaf forests in the north and temperate broadleaf forest in the south. It also includes wetland complexes, cliff faces, slopes and aquatic ecosystems.
The biosphere reserve includes the provincial Niagara Escarpment Plan Area and two national parks. There is a backbone of strictly protected lands at and near the cliff face. The biosphere reserve is managed according to a series of land use designations with decreasing levels of various protection corresponding to core, buffer and co-operation (transition) zones.
About 120,000 people live in the area, including 1,000 First Nations. The number rises to 1,090,000 when including the population of the urbanized areas straddling the biosphere reserve limits (2002). Main occupations vary, from wine production, tourism and tender and mixed fruit farming in the south to cattle farming and adventure tourism in the north.
A web site, printed materials and a monitoring and habitat enhancement program help raise public awareness about the aims of the biosphere reserve.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate broadleaf forests or woodlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Mixed forests with sugar maple (Acer saccharum), red maple (A. rubrum), beech (Fagus grandifolia) and red oak (Quercus rubra); escarpment rim woodland includes eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) and white birch (Betula papyrifera) along with ferns and bryophytes; lake shores characterized by Thuja occidentalis, willow (Salix spp.) and Physocarpus opulifolius; shallow lake vegetation with Salix spp., Cornus sp., Scirpus sp. and Typha latifolia; bog complex supporting Larix laricina, Thuja occidentalis and Rhamnus alnifolia; limestone cliffs, crevices and talus slopes with ferns; caves; agroecosystems with maize, mixed grains, fruits etc.; forestry systems with sugar maple (Acer saccharum), oaks (Quercus rubra and Q. alba) and pines (Pinus strobus, P. sylvestris and P. resinosa)
  Location   4310' to 4515N; 7903' to 8140'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   190,270
  Core area(s)   ~ 26,300
  Buffer zone(s)   93,340
  Transition area(s) when given   ~ 87,600
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   -90 to +560
  Year designated   1990
  Administrative authorities   Niagara Escarpment Commission


Last updated: 2/26/2007

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