We receive government funding for a variety of species-at-risk research projects, aimed at addressing the knowledge gaps and objectives described in their respective Recovery Strategies. These projects are often conducted in collaboration with our partners in industry and academia.
Fowler's toads are endangered in Canada, only existing in three remnant populations along the Lake Erie shoreline. Niagara is home to several productive sub-populations of Fowler's toads, but the level of human activity on beaches is the greatest compared to the other two populations (Long Point and Rondeau). We investigated the impact of human activity (cars and people) on Nickel Beach in Port Colborne, Ontario, on the dispersal behaviour and survival of the Fowler's toads from 2018 to 2020.
Massasauga's live in an isolated and degraded bog ecosystem in south Niagara. Due to the dynamic hydrology of this wetland, where some seasons have high water levels and others have low, depending on both weather and human dam-removal activities, the snakes experience inconsistent habitat quality over several years. We investigated the underground, overwintering habitat of these snakes over several seasons to determine areas of low- and high-quality habitat. Next steps include translocation of individuals into good-quality habitat.
Gray ratsnakes and Eastern foxsnakes are listed as endangered in Ontario. We set out to investigate presence of these rare species across the Niagara region via our Citizen Science Coverboard Project, and have been working to characterize their potential hibernation habitat such as caves and karst formations found along the Niagara Escarpment.