|Carolinian Species & Habitats
though Carolinian Canada is quite small compared with other
Canadian vegetation zones, making up only 1% of Canada's total
land area, it boasts a greater number of both flora and fauna
species than any other ecosystem in Canada. It is estimated that
some 2,200 species of herbaceous plants are found here, including
64 species of ferns, at least 110 species of grasses, and over 130
different sedge species. There are 70 species of trees alone.
Click here for a list
of Representative Carolinian Species
Numerous species of reptiles and
amphibians make their home primarily or entirely in this southern
portion of Ontario, including the Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle,
the Eastern Fox Snake, the Hognose Snake, the Queen Snake, and
Fowler's Toad. Close to 400 bird species have been recorded
representing over half of the species in all of Canada. Several
butterflies, such as the Karner Blue and the Frosted Elfin are
restricted to this region. As well several mammals such as the
Badger, the Gray fox, and the Virginia Opossum are primarily
restricted to the Carolinian forest.
Carolinian zone is the province's most threatened ecological
region. Over 125 species
in Carolinian Canada are considered vulnerable, species of
special concern, threatened or endangered by either the federal or
provincial government. Over
400 species in Carolinian Canada are considered rare by
the Natural Heritage Information Centre.
The Carolinian zone habitats and
ecosystems include forests, tallgrass prairies and savannas,
wetlands, streams, shorelines and other aquatic habitats. Fifty-eight
of these ecosystem types is considered rare. Each of these
ecosystems have a distinctive set of species.