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Acquisition of more than 13 hectares in Montérégie for the protection of the Western Chorus Frog

La version francophone est disponible ici.

 

Longueuil, May 31, 2024. As part of the Allies for Biodiversity campaign, Nature-Action Québec (NAQ) and its partners, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), are proud to receive $8.2 million in funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada for activities to protect and restore the habitat of the Western Chorus Frog in the Montérégie and Outaouais regions. In 2024, $3.3 million of this funding enabled NAQ and its partners to acquire over 13 hectares of natural environments in the Montérégie region, to be protected in perpetuity in Boucherville, La Prairie and Longueuil’s Boisé Fonrouge. The acquisition, carried out in partnership with Boucherville, was also made possible by $3.1 million in financial assistance, provided in equal parts by the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), the Ville de Boucherville, and the Government of Quebec, as part of Greater Montreal’s “Trame verte et bleue” network. These conservation actions will increase the protection of Western Chorus Frog habitats and promote its recovery..

 

Recent gains to protect Western Chorus Frog habitats

The ninety-seven (97) newly-protected lots are located in the heart of heavily urbanized areas facing strong pushes for development. Experts estimate that over 15% of Montérégie’s chorus frog breeding sites were destroyed between 2004 and 2009 alone. In the Montérégie region, only 10% of the Western Chorus Frog’s historic range is still occupied by this small amphibian, and most of these areas are on private land. These acquisitions were made possible thanks to the commitment of many players, including the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, partner conservation organizations, the cities of Boucherville, Longueuil and La Prairie, and private landowners.

 

Boucherville

Thanks to the collaboration of the City of Boucherville, Nature-Action Québec (NAQ) and the CMM, sixty (60) lots were acquired. An additional 3.71 hectares of Western Chorus Frog habitat in Boucherville will be protected in perpetuity. Consisting mainly of wet meadows, this major acquisition extends the protected areas of Parc de la Futaie. This park strengthens the ecological corridor between other natural environments owned by the city (Harmonie and Le Terroir sectors, Pierre-Dansereau woodland), including 17.34 hectares protected by a conservation easement in the name of Nature-Action Québec. This corridor reinforces the connection between these environments, providing a continuous habitat for Western Chorus Frogs.

 

Boisé Fonrouge (Longueuil)

Thirty-six (36) lots with a total surface area of 2.54 hectares of natural environments, including numerous forests, marshes and swamps, have been protected in the Boisé Fonrouge woodland, adding to the 26 properties already protected by NAQ, for a total of 5.31 hectares of protected surface area in this woodland. Since 2020, through donations and acquisitions, NAQ has been able to expand its efforts to consolidate the protection of this area, which is a significant breeding ground for the Western Chorus Frog. This ecologically valuable urban woodland is home to one of the largest populations of this threatened species. This project will ensure the protection of this habitat from the various pressures that weaken its ecological integrity.

 

La Prairie

The property covers 7.27 hectares and is characterized by several wooded areas and various wetlands, including swamps and peat bogs. The presence of more than a dozen species at risk, including the Western Chorus Frog, testifies to the great ecological value of the property. Since 2010, NAQ has been working closely with the City of Brossard in the area to protect these natural environments. This new acquisition will enable NAQ to increase the size of the Bois-de-Brossard nature reserve to 408 hectares.

 

These acquisitions contribute to the protection in perpetuity and improve the ecological connectivity of Western Chorus Frog habitats in Montérégie. In addition, the planning of targeted actions to create new breeding ponds, control invasive exotic plant species, and manage the hydrology of the restored sites will also help the species recover. This investment also aims to raise awareness among various stakeholder groups of the tools available to them to help maintain and restore the Western Chorus Frog in the region.

 

A symbol of biodiversity protection in Quebec

The Western Chorus Frog is designated threatened under Quebec’s Act respecting threatened or vulnerable species (ARTVS) and Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA). It is considered a “bellwether » species, meaning that it is seen as an indicator of the pressures on biodiversity, as it has similar needs to several other species. Thus, by protecting the habitat of the Western Chorus Frog, we ensure the protection of many other plant and animal species found there. In addition, rich ecosystems such as wetlands can be maintained and many of the ecosystem services they provide, such as filtering and conserving water resources and capturing carbon, can be perpetuated.

 

Acknowledgements

This conservation success was made possible thanks to several financial partners:

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada, for its financial contribution through the Nature Conservancy of Canada. To date, $8,237,403 has been awarded to Nature-Action Québec and its partners for the years 2022-2023 and 2023-2024.
  • The Government of Quebec, for over $53 million in financial assistance for fiscal years 2019-2020 to 2022-2023 granted to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) for its Partnership Project for Natural Environments, as well as over $144 million in financial assistance for fiscal years 2023-2024 to 2027-2028 granted to NCC for the Accelerating Conservation in Southern Quebec project.
  • The Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal and the Ville de Boucherville, for their financial contribution of $3.1 million, through the “Trame verte et bleue” network of Greater Montréal.

 

Quotes

 

“Collaboration is key to conservation, and we must work together if we want to ensure the protection and recovery of species at risk like the Western Chorus Frog. Our government is committed to halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030 and putting nature on the path to recovery by 2050. We will continue to work with organizations from across the country to reach these goals.”– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

 

“Protecting these natural environments is excellent news for the Montérégie region and for Quebec as a whole. It's thanks to initiatives like this one that we're able to protect a wide variety of plant and animal species, including the Western Chorus Frog, and their habitats. I'd like to thank all our partners for their support. When we work together, we can preserve our rich natural heritage.”– Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks, and Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region

 

“The concerted efforts and collaboration of all stakeholders are essential if we are to halt the rapid decline in Western Chorus Frog populations. We would like to thank our partners for their vital support, which is enabling us to halt its decline. All the gains we have made for its protection also help to protect the habitat of numerous species of wildlife and plants, and preserve the quality of life of our communities. These are real, nature-based solutions to climate change.”– Romy Bazo, Conservation Director, Nature-Action Québec

 

“This acquisition of sixty (60) lots, contributing to efforts to achieve the protection of protected natural environments on 30% of Boucherville's territory by 2030, demonstrates our determination to preserve local biodiversity and offer residents preserved natural spaces. On behalf of the municipal council, I would like to express our gratitude to all of our financial partners for their support in making this important conservation initiative a reality.”– Jean Martel, Mayor of Boucherville

 

“The protection of the Fonrouge woodland is one of the many actions included in our Plan de protection et de conservation des milieux naturels (PPCMN) to ensure the conservation and perpetuation of our natural environments. We are therefore pleased to support Nature-Action Québec in its efforts to acquire lots in this natural environment, which is essential for protecting the habitat of many species, including the chorus frog.”– Catherine Fournier, Mayor of Longueuil

 

“The city is delighted that Nature-Action Québec has acquired these natural environments. This new protected area, which includes critical habitat for the Western Chorus Frog, will help preserve biodiversity and create a healthy environment for Laprairians and neighbouring communities. On behalf of the municipal council, I would like to thank Nature-Action Québec and its partners for their involvement in this beneficial project.”– Frédéric Galantai, Mayor of La Prairie.

 

 

About us

Nature-Action Québec (NAQ) (NAQ) is a non-profit organization headquartered in Beloeil. For 38 years, its mission has been to guide individuals and organizations in the application of environmental best practices. One of the organization’s main areas of intervention is the conservation of natural environments. Since 2007, NAQ has been involved in the legal protection of nearly 1,900 hectares of natural environments in southern Quebec, including 968 hectares in the Montérégie region. Thus, voluntarily and thanks to NAQ, more than 1,200 landowners are protecting 12,000 ha without any legal commitment. These results are made possible by partnerships with local players, including other conservation organizations, towns and municipalities, and private landowners.

 

The Canada Nature Fund supports the protection of Canada’s biodiversity by creating protected and conserved areas and initiatives that help recover species at risk. The Fund is available to not-for-profit and Indigenous organizations, provinces, territories and others.

 

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature. NCC seeks solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner, NCC works with people, communities, businesses and government to protect and care for our most important natural areas. Since 1962, NCC has brought Canadians together to conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares, including nearly 50,000 hectares in Quebec. NCC is a registered charity. With nature, NCC builds a thriving world. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca

 

The Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels (PPMN) is a four-year grant of more than $53 million from the Government of Quebec to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. It provides support for voluntary conservation initiatives to ensure the protection of natural areas of interest by establishing financial partnerships with conservation organizations in the province. The PPMN thus aims to develop and consolidate Québec’s network of protected areas located on private land.

 

The Accélérer la conservation dans le sud du Québec (ACSQ) project is a co-funding agreement between the gouvernement du Québec and the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), benefiting Quebec conservation organizations. The project aims to protect and conserve natural habitats of ecological interest, notably through the acquisition of private land, for protected and conserved areas and the establishment of ecological corridors. Through this, the ACSQ will promote the development and sound management of the network of protected areas on private land, as well as public access to nature. The gouvernement du Québec invested $144 million in the ACSQ over five years; this must be matched by NCC and its partners with other funds not provided by the gouvernement du Québec.

 

The Trame verte et bleue is a recreational and tourism network that protects and enhances the natural environments, landscapes and built heritage of Greater Montreal, for the benefit of the population. Financed by the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, the Québec government and the municipalities, the many projects of the Trame network promote active and public transportation, and contribute to maintaining biodiversity, mitigating the impacts of climate change, improving the quality of life of citizens, and enhancing the appeal of the metropolitan region.

 

 

 

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Information

Anne-Marie Houde
Communications Manager
Nature-Action Québec
anne-marie.houde@nature-action.qc.ca
450 536-0422, ext. 427

 

Information and interview requests
Olivier Lapierre
olivier.olpr@gmail.com
514 583-3868