Bulletin Board


Society News: Fall 2011
by Elizabeth Asbury


Biodiversity of Mount Royal

Volunteers from our Zoological Society could help Les Amis de la Montagne protect and improve the biodiversity of Mount Royal. To counter the effects of fragmentation of habitat, caused by clearings, roads and parking lots, volunteers are needed to plant trees, shrubs and flowers so that a continuous green corridor can be created within which animals could move and spread. A habitat must provide for all the survival needs of animals, so that they can feed, drink, den, meet, breed, brood, hide, play and explore. Because of the encroaching concrete city, animals cannot now safely move on or off the mountain. Therefore space, to provide a healthy lifestyle for them and prevent inbreeding, is of prime importance.

Volunteers can help rid the mountain of invasive species of plants and insects, which can destroy the variety of plant life needed for biodiversity, and to plant new seedlings and vegetation in their place that can overcome or resist invasive species. Volunteers can look for birds, insects and other wildlife and report their findings to the office as a guide to the habitat. Volunteers can monitor the moisture requirements of the mountain, to help preserve underground springs and creeks and marshes so that not all the Spring runoff escapes into drains. These wet areas are where the most abundant biodiversity exists, and where frogs and salamanders lay their eggs.

Volunteers can help keep the mountain clean by ensuring the placement of secure recycling and garbage bins so that racoons and rats do not over-populate the territory. However, all habitats do require some scavengers to clean up waste and fertilize the ground. It is interesting how balance is necessary for biodiversity. The beautiful Indigo bunting bird is now attracted to our mountain because it prefers to live at the edges of woods. Thus, the mountain roads and paths provide more wood margins for them, while at the same time fragmenting the habitats. That means, for sustainability of biodiversity, man and animals, which both use the mountain, must live in harmony without excess.


Walking Stick insect

Photo courtesy of Le Centre de la Montagne

Mount Royal is the only place where the walking stick insect has been found in Quebec.


Blue Spotted Salamander

Photo courtesy of Le Centre de la Montagne

Only one of two salamander species remaining on the mountain. Frogs have vanished. Not a good sign.



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