of Quebec Forillon National Park obtains funds to conserve, restore and enhance its beaver pond sector.
Funded by Parks Canada’s Conservation and Restoration Program, this $4.3 million (US$3.3 million) project will restore the ecological connectivity of forest and waterways near an ancient stretch of Highway. 132 by 2026.
“Habitats connected by natural corridors support a greater variety of plant and animal species,” Parks Canada said in a statement. “Ecological connectivity therefore contributes to the protection of biodiversity, making us more resilient to climate change.
This project will highlight the importance of the beaver, an “ecosystem engineer who creates wetland habitats for other species, improves water quality, influences forest succession and promotes biodiversity”.
The works include the removal of asphalt and guardrails and the reforestation of 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles) of the old road. Watercourses and soils will be redeveloped and restored, encouraging the movement of animals and the dispersal of flora. Approximately 15,000 native trees will be planted.
Three portions of trails of various types will be developed and will lead to the Information and Discovery Center, the beaver ponds and the sectors of the Cap-des-Rosiers stream and the La Chute trail.
“Forillon National Park is a jewel of the Gaspé Peninsula,” said Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, in a press release. “By investing $4.3 million in the park’s biodiversity, the Government of Canada is demonstrating that the conservation of natural environments is at the forefront of efforts to fight climate change and stimulate the tourism industry, a sector essential to the economy of Gaspésie.
At the end of the project, Parks Canada will have restored 133,000 square meters (1.4 million square feet) of area and will have connected six watercourses whose banks will have been rehabilitated, facilitating the passage of fish and amphibians.
Forillon is recognized for its efforts in the fight against climate change. He received the 2020 Award of Excellence from the Canadian Parks Council awarded to an agency for his project to restore the Cap-des-Rosiers beach.
Parks Canada is one of the few national park systems to have a system-wide ecological integrity monitoring and reporting program. It is based on approximately 600 scientific measures that support the priorities of each park and guide restoration actions.