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Carolinian Canada conservation group appoints new Executive Director

October 29, 2003, London

Carolinian Canada announced today they have retained Michelle Kanter, most recently from the Nature Conservancy of Canada, to guide their activities aimed at conserving the wildlife and ecosystems of Canada's most threatened ecological zone, the Carolinian Life Zone—an ecological zone lying south of a line between Toronto and Grand Bend.

"Carolinian Canada is pleased to retain someone of Michelle's calibre," said Paul Smith, Chair of Carolinian Canada. "Michelle understands the threats to our Carolinian species and ecosystems and the importance of working cooperatively with many people and organizations. She brings a wealth of experience from her Canadian and international work. Michelle will guide our new projects promoting a system of Carolinian natural areas across the zone to conserve our many species-at-risk and improve environmental quality".

Trained as a wildlife biologist, Michelle has extensive experience with conserving Carolinian species and habitats. At the Nature Conservancy of Canada, she worked on acquiring some of the best remaining natural areas in the region including Bickford Oak Woods in Lambton County, Clear Creek Forest in Chatham-Kent and Stone Road Alvar on Pelee Island in Essex, to mention a few. Working with private landowners assisting them in understanding the significance of habitat on their properties has also been part of Michelle's professional work. She was also chair of the City of London's Ecological Policy Advisory Committee in the late 1990s.

No stranger to the region, Michelle grew up on a 10-acre rural home base near Dorchester where she got early exposure to wildlife, wetlands and woodlands. Her conservation work has also taken her far afield to the tropical forests of northern Australia and to Canada's high Arctic tundra in the Northwest Territories.

"It is a privilege to join Carolinian Canada." Michelle Kanter said. "The Carolinian zone is Canada's most threatened ecological region with great pressures on our wildlife. I intend to make a difference and help improve ecological health in the region."

Carolinian Canada is a 20-year-old coalition of 40+ public sector and non-government conservation organizations aimed at conserving the wildlife and habitats of southwest Ontario’s Carolinian zone—an ecological zone lying south of a line between Toronto and Grand Bend. Prickly pear cactus, opossum, sassafras and magnolia trees are among the unusual native species found here, typical of more southern climates of the eastern United States. The region has the greatest diversity of species in Canada—and the greatest number of rare and endangered species. The partnership includes federal and provincial departments and ministries, conservation authorities, naturalists' groups, agricultural groups and stewardship councils.

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For further information contact:

Michelle Kanter
Executive Director
Carolinian Canada

Paul Smith, Chair
Carolinian Canada Coalition
Phone: 519-826-3573

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