Eastern Lake St. Clair IBA
Eastern Lake St. Clair IBA is under pressure from urban and agricultural expansion that threatens staging waterfowl, endangered species, and rare prairie and oak savannah habitats.
Eastern Lake St. Clair’s shallow waters and extensive marshlands comprise one of Ontario’s most significant waterfowl, shorebird and waterbird staging areas. From congregating Canvasbacks and Black-bellied Plovers, to breeding Black and Forster’s Terns, thousands of birds rely on this IBA year-round. Especially significant are Walpole Island’s remnants of tallgrass prairie, oak savannah, and Carolinian forest—rare habitats home to almost 50 species at risk, including Canada’s largest self-sustaining populations of endangered Northern Bobwhites and King Rails.
Eastern Lake St. Clair is downstream from Sarnia’s chemical plants, downwind from Detroit and Windsor, and close to busy shipping lanes. Although a portion of the site is a National Wildlife Area (NWA), and Walpole Island is stewarded by the Walpole Island First Nation Heritage Centre, the entire site is under intense pressure from urban and agricultural expansion. To help counter these threats, Nature Canada is seeking support for local site restoration, natural heritage surveys, and community outreach, while nationally promoting strengthened habitat protection within and around the NWA.
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