Through the Lens of a Wildlife Camera

Learn about Wildlife at Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area

Last year, we started observing wildlife at the highly anticipated Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area (JTLCA). We strategically placed wildlife cameras throughout the conservation area to provide a unique perspective on frequent visitors that are now calling JTLCA home.

JTLCA is currently under construction to become a 26-hectare greenspace for local residents, and will feature ecosystems, such as coastal wetlands, diverse forest communities and meadows and streams. Credit Valley Conservation, Region of Peel, and Toronto and Region Conservation began working in 2016 to design and implement ecological restoration at this future park.

Terrestrial Animals We Have Spotted

We placed the cameras at key habitat features for a unique and captivating perspective on how animals are already interacting with these new habitats.

Over the last 12 months, we have seen a wide range of species. Coyotes, deer and foxes have been spotted roaming through the wet forests at dusk and dawn, while mink and muskrats swim through the wetlands.

Coyote walking through bushes.
As urban sprawl has increased, coyotes have learned to adapt very well to life in the city.

Birds We Have Spotted

Birds of all sorts rest on habitat structures and perch poles made from wood, especially near the coastal wetlands. We’ve seen fascinating species foraging for prey, like the great blue heron, great egret, belted kingfisher as well as other species flying through or stopping for a rest like bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, northern flickers and tree swallows.

Bird in flight above pond.
Great egrets do not feed at night like some other heron species.

We captured a great blue heron on the wildlife cameras almost daily in the summer in JTLCA’s wetlands. The cameras have caught this species thriving in the wetlands, wading through the waters, hunting prey and resting on perch poles.

Bird perched on wooden log with wings spread open.
The wingspan of a great blue heron can be up to seven feet!

Monitoring and Data Collection

While, we love seeing wildlife making JTLCA home, the cameras are not just about capturing beautiful photos. Wildlife cameras help us in our monitoring efforts and enable us to collect data on species frequency and habitat use and help our ecologists determine if the project is meeting its restoration goals and targets.

Bird perched on a long.
A red tailed hawk at Serson Creek Wetland East.

So far, we have noted 102 species on site including:

  • 60 birds
  • 15 mammals
  • 27 fish
  • Seven reptiles and amphibians

With these cameras in place and our long-term monitoring program, we will continue to learn about the species that call JTLCA home. Learn more about Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area.

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By Jessie Spasov, Aquatic Restoration Technician

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