The amazing Carolinian Life Zone in southwestern Ontario boasts a greater variety of wildlife than any other ecosystem in Canada. This smorgasbord of habitats includes tall-grass prairies, sand dunes, marshes, and southern-type deciduous forests, but only 10 percent of the original unspoiled area remains. The rest has been swallowed up by cities and farmland. It's no surprise that more than 40 percent of the species designated as vulnerable, threatened, or endangered in Canada live in this region. The Carolinian Life Zone is literally overflowing with wildlife.
In fact, many species of plants and animals native to the area can be found nowhere else in the country. The prairie white fringed orchis, which is threatened worldwide, blooms here. The Karner blue butterfly flutters, the Cooper's hawk soars, the black rat snake slithers, and the orangespotted sunfish splashes here too. All of these species are in peril. Today, conservationists, landowners, and government and private agencies are trying to ensure that what remains of this precious habitat will be protected for all time.
If you live in the Carolinian Life Zone, here's your chance to learn a lot about the wonderful wildlife around you. At the same time, you'll be helping one of our richest habitats stay healthy.
• Invite a local expert to talk to your community about the Carolinian area and why it's so special.
• Learn about all the wildlife species that can be found in this zone and nowhere else in the country.
• Identify a species that lives or grows in your area - especially one that may not be found anywhere else in Canada. Find out how to help this species by consulting with experts and learning as much about it as you can.
• Organize a short presentation on the Carolinian Life Zone and its wildlife for your workplace, service club, parent-teacher association, or local council.
• Share with family, friends, and neighbours all you find out about this fascinating area and why it's important to protect it.
• Use the habitat projects in this guide to provide direct benefits to the wildlife species around you.