Protected areas in eastern Ontario’s Frontenac Arch region have expanded to include 111 hectares with two new projects, says the Nature Conservatory of Canada (NCC).

The projects, Blue Lake and Hawridge nature reserves, contain forests, provincially significant wetlands and marshes, and a lake. They’re also home to some species-at-risk, including the endangered cerulean warbler and some bird and turtle species.

A government partner that seeks to find solutions to biodiversity loss and climate change, NCC said that the protection of these lands will support endangered and threatened species.

“The Frontenac Arch is a critical habitat linkage of forests, wetlands and lakes. … These sites will continue to support an incredible array of biodiversity and provide us with a chance to mitigate some of the threats that these species face, such as habitat fragmentation and pressure from development,” program director Rob McRae said.

Prior to the recent expansion, 11 per cent of the Frontenac Arch, which is north of Kingston, was protected by provincial and federal governments, conservation authorities, and local land trusts.

It is located in Algonquin, and is home to over 200 bird species that have been spotted there, numerous plants, reptiles, insects, and amphibians.

“By collaborating with partners like the Nature Conservatory of Canada, we are working to protect the Frontenac Arch region in Ontario,” Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, Steven Guilbeault, said.

“The conservation of forest and marsh habitats will expand a wildlife corridor while helping to protect species at risk and a provincially significant wetland.”