GO WILD

This is the place to visit for information about the flora and fauna of Muskoka and to discover where our local "hotspots" are.

Muskoka encompasses an area of more than 6,000 square kilometres in central Ontario and lies at the southern edge of the Canadian Shield. One of the interesting features of Muskoka is that it includes a number of different biophysical or ecological zones, each characterized by relatively uniform landforms and vegetation associations. As a result, these zones support an amazing diversity of plants and animals.

The links to the right take you to dedicated pages on each of the different animal and plant groups. Some of these links are active while others are currently under construction. Check back frequently as we add checklists, species information, photographs, field guide recommendations, and links to other online resources. The Hotspots page will eventually include descriptions and directions to over 50 natural areas that you can visit to experience all that Muskoka has to offer.








UNIQUE ECOLOGICAL ZONES
The higher elevations and cooler temperatures of the Algonquin Highlands in the northeastern part of Muskoka support species with a distinct northern flavour, and spruce conifer swamps and meadow marshes become more common.

The coastal climate of the low elevation bedrock barrens and pine-capped ridges along the Georgian Bay shore on the west side of Muskoka support the highest diversity of reptiles and amphibians in the province.

The Severn River corridor in southwest Muskoka is part of the "Land in Between", the contact zone between the Shield region and the northern edge of the limestone bedrock characteristic of southern Ontario, and contains one of the richest diversities of aquatic plants in Canada.

The dry sand plains and Pine-Oak barrens interspersed with abundant wetlands, characteristic of the Torrance Barrens and portions of southeast Muskoka, host a number of plant and animal species with a definite southern affinity.

The thin soils of the rocky shores, bays, and islands of the three major lakes that characterize the central portions of Muskoka support upland deciduous and mixed forests.

To the north and east of this area is the former shoreline of the glacial Lake Algonquin, with extensive and sometimes deep deposits of sand, gravel, and clay, and large areas cleared for agriculture.

For more detailed information about these unique biophysical zones, read the Natural Heritage Areas Evaluation Report, prepared as part of the Muskoka Heritage Areas Program, available at  Muskoka Water Web.


HOTSPOTS

BIRDS

BUTTERFLIES

MOTHS

DRAGONFLIES/
DAMSELFLIES


OTHER INSECTS

SPIDERS

REPTILES

AMPHIBIANS

MAMMALS

FISH

PLANTS

TREES

FERNS

FUNGI



Muskoka Field Naturalists