Conservation Strategy
and Natural Corridors

Our Conservation Strategy: An Innovative Scientific Approach
Thanks to Appalachian Corridor and its partners, over 12,700 ha of natural areas on private land are protected in perpetuity in the Appalachian region of Southern Québec.

The Appalachian Corridor’s conservation strategy is based on the design of protected areas and the most up-to-date principles in the field of conservation science with regard to the management of natural areas.

This design includes

Conservation Cores

large enough to ensure the survival of all representative species of the natural region and protect all its ecosystems.

Buffer Zones

around these cores also contribute to the conservation of natural areas while allowing numerous uses that do not compromise the ecological integrity of these areas (e.g. sustainable forestry activities)

Biodiversity Hotspots

wetlands, fragile habitats, or habitats used by species at risk, located inside or outside conservation cores.

Corridors

that link these core areas are also an integral part of the conservation strategy, since they help maintain connectivity, an essential function for the dispersion of plant species and viability of animal populations since they enable species movements and facilitate genetic diversity.

The day-to-day application of scientific principles

Appalachian Corridor’s transborder conservation strategy is based on scientific principles fed by knowledge acquisition projects.

 

Surveys of natural areas allow us to confirm the presence of species at risk and identify key habitats to protect in priority. Plants, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals surveys allow us to collect data used for specific conservation measures development on species listed in areas identified by Appalachian Corridor and its partners.

This scientific analysis through a Geographic Information System (GIS) helps us identify priority areas for conservation within the territory of action and takes into account methodologies and results from national and international strategies aimed at preserving biodiversity.

 

At the request of conservation organizations and landowners, Appalachian Corridor’s biologists conduct ecological valuations on properties targeted for conservation actions. The resulting data allow biologists to determine the exceptional value of given properties. This information is integrated into conservation plans aimed to determine specific zones to be protected and the uses allowed within each zone. These plans allow landowners to choose the appropriate conservation tools.

Ecological Network Map

Conciliating conservation and forestry

Maintaining forest cover on private land in Southern Quebec

Private forests of Southern Quebec are naturally rich and represent an exceptional biodiversity. These forests, hardwood for the vast majority, are habitat to most of the plant and wildlife species at risk in the province.

However, hardwood forests are significantly under-represented within Quebec’s network of protected areas; there is increasing pressure to convert them to other land use (agriculture, urban and recreational development, etc); the forestry sector is going through a profound crisis; and the lack of interest in forest management expressed by a growing number of woodlot owners raises concerns. These issues affecting both sectors call for an urgent need to conciliate conservation and forestry, in order to maintain forest cover on private land and perpetuate their forestry-oriented use.

A NETWORK OF MODEL FORESTS

Appalachian Corridor initiated a new model to conciliate conservation and forestry. The foundations of this model were designed with the support of forestry producers. They committed to respect the most sensitive elements of biodiversity in the management of their woodlots over a five-year trial period. According to this model, in the Forest Management Plans of their land, prescriptions made by forest engineers comply with protection measures for species as risk and sensitive habitats identified on the ground by biologists. This type model forests established by Appalachian Corridor on individual properties throughout its territory of action should be applicable to any private woodland in Quebec and ought to be accompanied by specific incentives.

Working
with Municipalities

One our main goal is to make sure that biodiversity is taken into account in land-use planning. We want to promote the integration of the ecological network into land-use plans as well as in urban plans. We tie and maintain close links with town administration of our territory of action. We advise and support them to make sure they make room for wildlife.

Cohabiter avec la nature ! A transboundary brochure!

Appalachian Corridor partnered with WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) on developing a landowner tool to protect habitats. The guidebook “Cohabiter avec la nature!” was developed in French to provide guidance on wildlife-friendly residential development and land-use planning in the Appalachians of Southern Quebec, thus extending the reach of the original brochure northwards into Canada. Original illustrations by Jason W. Smith.

We introduced the guide to various audiences

Mayors councils
Municipalities administrations
in events, conferences, conventions and workshops

Species Monitoring

Acquiring knowledge is at the heart of the Appalachian Corridor initiative. An experienced team of Biologists, along with Bio-ecology Technicians, complete ecological surveys and monitoring of species at risk. The GIS department supports this work and conducts analyses to target intervention priorities.

SPECIES AT RISK MONITORING

COUGAR
PEREGRINE FALCON
BICKNELL’S THRUSH

Credit photo:

Serge Beaudette

CHIMNEY SWIFT
WOOD TURTLE
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER

Climate Change

CONSERVATION TO THE RESCUE
It’s no surprise and the scientific community has been saying  it loud and clear for some time: the effects of climate change over the next decades will experiment climate change happen at a much faster pace than what the planet has known to date. Just like us, animal and plant species, as well as natural and semi-natural ecosystems, will have to adapt.

By protecting the most fragile and strategic natural areas, the conservation community intitiated an important work a long time ago. Conserving natural areas contributes to absorb and stock carbon, save typical samples of biodiversity and landscapes, protect exceptional or vulnerable habitats and enable species migration to more suitable habitats.

Adaptation to climate change is well underway: it starts with more intensive conservation efforts. Act now for tomorrow’s change!