three types of wetlands, marshes
seem to have more animal life. It is easy to find muskrats (Ondatra
zibethicus), Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) and Painted
Turtles (Chrysemys picta) in these very productive habitats.
Blue Heron standing on Muskrat House. Photo by Barry Cherriere.
is usually defined as the amount of biomass,or living tissue,
that an ecosystem produces over a period of time.
are particularly important habitats for amphibians and water-dwelling
reptiles because they contain both open water and vegetated areas.
The Blue-spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale), Mudpuppy
(Necturus maculosus), Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens),
Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica) and Northern Watersnake
(Nerodia sipedon sipedon) all benefit from marsh homes.
Turtle. Photo by Barry Cherriere.
Frog. Photo by Barry Cherriere.
insects also thrive in this habitat, including the Giant Water Bug,
also known as the Toe-biter (Lethocerus americanus), the
Brown Water Scorpion (Ranatra fusca), mosquitoes (Aedes
spp.), dragonflies and damselflies (Order Odonata) and midges
(Family Chironomidae, which look a bit like mosquitoes but do not
abundance of insects, amphibians and plants is like a meal waiting
to happen for birds, which is one reason why birds are so populous
Heron catches Dragonfly. Photo by Barry Cherriere.
are the herons, such as the Green Heron above (Butorides virescens)
and their relatives the American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)
and the rare Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis). Rails (e.g.
Virginia Rail, Rallus limicola), and coots (e.g. American
Coot, Fulica Americana) are on the rise in places like Cootes
Paradise in Hamilton.
Wren. Photo by Barry Cherriere.
birds are there too, like the Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris)
and the rare Blue-grey Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea).
are also an important part of the marsh fauna. Northern Pike (Esox
lucius), Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens), Largemouth
Bass (Micropterus salmoides), Pumpkinseeds (Lepomis gibbosus)
and many minnow species are found in Cootes Paradise, with help
from the fish barrier that keeps out invasive species like Carp
and allows these native fish to survive and reproduce. During the
open water seasons, you can watch the barrier in action as RBG staff
remove the undesirable fish from the trap in the barrier.
Sketch for Fish & Wildlife Habitat Restoration
Project in Cootes Paradise.
are also important habitat for birds, especially those that require
cover and close proximity to wet areas.
Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea) and the Northern
Waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis) are just two of the
many species that call the swamp their home. There is a nesting
colony of Great Blue Herons in the Beverly Swamp area and these
huge birds can be seen travelling down to nearby marshes to feed
in the day and back again at night to roost and nest.
Photo by Barry Cherriere.
can also find many of the same birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals
that you would in nearby Carolinian forests and marshes because
swamp habitats have some of the features of both forest and marsh.
Beaver (Castor canadensis), muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus),
mink (Mustela vison) and White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus
virginianus) are easy to find here.
are less populated with animals than the other wetland types. Amphibians
such as salamanders, and reptiles like ribbon snakes, can be found
here in smaller numbers. Muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) and
beaver (Castor canadensis) are quite common.
Photo by Barry Cherriere.
are more likely to occur where there is a central open pool area
where aquatic insects provide food, but some Odonata (dragonflies
and damselflies) live exclusively in peatlands.