Cockburn Island, Ontario
The Nature Conservancy of Canada – 2019
589 hectares (1457 acres)
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), a non-profit, private land conservation organization, has conserved over 60 per cent of the Great Lakes’ seventh largest island, and an incredible 48 kilometres of undeveloped shoreline.
Containing one of the largest protected, intact hardwood forest ecosystems in southern Ontario, Cockburn Island (17,139 hectares/42,350 acres) is located between Manitoulin Island to the east and Drummond Island (Michigan) to the west in northern Lake Huron.
A binational study led by NCC and U.S.-based The Nature Conservancy ranked Cockburn Island eighth out of 32,000 islands in the Great Lakes for its conservation importance. The island contains vast forests, wetlands and inland lakes, providing habitat for many globally significant plants and animals.
As a vital breeding area and stopover site for migratory songbirds and waterfowl, the island is visited by the chestnut-sided warbler, wood thrush and the Canada warbler, designated as a threatened species under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. Cockburn Island is home to wide-ranging mammals, including American black bear, white-tailed deer, gray wolf and coyote. The rivers and creeks support both resident and migratory fish, while economically important species, including lake trout and whitefish, spawn on shoals along the coast.
“Having lived in proximity of the Great Lakes for many years, we have become increasingly aware of their uniqueness and splendour, as well as their fragility. We are thrilled to be working in partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Government of Canada and other donors towards the acquisition of the MapleCross Tract, 1457 acres of environmentally sensitive land on Cockburn Island in Lake Huron. Together, we are committed to restoring and preserving the integrity of our land for our community and for all Canadians.” – Dr. Jan Oudenes and Dr. Isobel Ralston, MapleCross; “Investing in Canada – Investing in Nature”
Content and property pictures courtesy of: The Nature Conservancy of Canada at natureconservancy.ca