Great Canadian Parks / Ontario

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The Parks / Ontario / Bruce Peninsula National Park





Commonly seen wildlife on the Bruce includes chipmunk, squirrel, raccoon, porcupine, snowshoe hare, skunk, white-tailed deer, snakes and frogs. The Upper Bruce Peninsula ecosystem has one of the very few forests large enough and sufficiently free of roads and farms to support typical interior forest species such as the black bear, fisher, long-eared bats, northern flying squirrel, fox, martin, Massasauga rattlesnake, red-shouldered hawk, barred owl, hermit thrush, black-throated blue warbler, scarlet tanager and yellow-spotted salamander. Countless caves and crevices in the barren cliff face provide homes for ravens, turkey vultures, swallows and bats. Black bears, whose population is currently being monitored by the park to determine their number, size, habitat use and overall health, create problems only when they have been foolishly encouraged to interact with humans who feed them or leave garbage behind. Black bears are smaller than their grizzly and polar cousins weighing anywhere from 100 to over 250 kilograms. They eat literally anything that is available. Solitary by nature, they mate briefly and the female raises the young alone. Bears reach maturity at age three and a half. The Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake, now an endangered species, was once found throughout southern Ontario. They are poisonous, but avoid encounters with humans and rarely present a danger. Other species include garter, ring-necked, De Kay’s, ribbon, smooth green, red- bellied, milk and water snakes.

 

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