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WELCOME
TO
KOMOKA
PROVINCIAL PARK


Location and Background Information
History
Uses
Landscape
ANSI (Area of Natural and Scientific Interest)
Rare Species
Habitats
Forest
Aquatic
Grassland
Butterfly Checklist
Dragonfly Checklist
Visiting a Natural Area
PDF format of this document for printing
PDF format of the checklists in this document
PDF format of visiting a natural area section of this document

Sources
Some of the following information was obtained from:

Ian Seddon Planning Services. 2002. Komoka Provincial Park, Background Information, Issues and Concepts. Queens Printer for Ontario. Ontario, Canada.

Ambrose, J., Waldron, G., Rodger, L., Martin D., 2002. An Update Survey and Evaluation of the Life Science Resources of Komoka Provincial Park and Selected Adjacent Areas. Ministry of Natural Resources. London Regional Office.

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KOMOKA PROVINCIAL PARK BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Komoka Provincial Park is located within the Thames River valley, west of the City of London.
There are two main entrances to the Park. The entrance on the south side of the park is located off of Gideon Drive. If traveling from London, follow Commissioners Rd. west of Byron. About 2-3 km out of Byron, turn left onto Gideon Drive (County Rd # 3 ) and travel about 5 km. At the intersection with Brigham Road, where the Versa Care Nursing Home is located, turn right onto a lane way to the parks parking area. There are signs marking the major trails.

There is a north entrance close to Kilworth. It is located off of Commissioners Rd., west of Byron 5 kilometres. Just before Kilworth Bridge on the uplands look for a small white house with a parking area beside it. There are trails that run along the river heights or in the river valley.

The Thames River is the most significant landscape feature within the park. Komoka Provincial Park lies within the Eastern Deciduous Forest Region and within the northern extent of the Southern Deciduous Forest Region that is also known as the Carolinian Life Zone. The park was created as a result of the increased need for recreational wilderness areas. The original plan was to have a wilderness core in the Park with a recreational land use (including picnic and camping areas) surrounding the core. The growing urbanization and expansion increased the desire for a Wilderness Park in Middlesex County.

In response to the shifting recreation demand a near-urban park was established by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR).

Komoka Park is in a wonderful location, being easily accessible to both a large urban and rural population. This park opportunity helps to raise public awareness of environmental diversity and to prevent future urban development.

Today the park covers 198 hectares or 489 acres of wooded land along both sides of the Thames River between Kilworth and Komoka within urbanized Southern Ontario. It is considered unique because it is not located in the northern part of Ontario.

Much of the park is located on former agricultural land that is presently succeeding to meadows. The river portion of the park is located within Mature Forested areas.
When visiting Komoka Provincial Park be on the lookout for poison ivy. In some areas in the park poison ivy grows close to the dirt trails. Remember to stay on the trails, wear long pants, and stay away from leaflets three, which will almost always indicate poison ivy.

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HISTORY OF KOMOKA PROVINCIAL PARK

1964 Professor Osmond Langtvet recommended that the wilderness area around the Thames River between Kilworth and Komoka Bridges become a wilderness park. It was turned down because the area was too close to London.
1971 The Ministry of Natural Resources established a near-urban parks policy.
1972 The area was re-examined because parks were now seen to provide outdoor recreation opportunities close to urban centres.
1973 JG Nelson and S Scott claimed Komoka Park to be a prime location for outdoor education in the London area, based on a study they conducted.
1974 The Minister of Natural Resources, Leo Bernier announced a Komoka Park proposal. It became the second urban oriented Provincial Park, including 1300 acres of valleys and meadows. It would also be the first inland Provincial Park.
1974 75 Land acquisition began for the Provincial Park properties and 300 acres were bought.
mid-1970s MNR relocated the first Kilworth post office building to the south park site to be used as an MNR office. It was used as a field office from 1978-1997. A 1998 inventory of heritage resources, prepared by Londons Advisory Committee on Heritage, identifies that this building was built around 1880, and assigns it priority 1, meaning it is one of Londons important heritage structures, worthy of protection, because of its architectural style (a side-hall plan cottage) and historical value (first post office at Kilworth).
1975 Three properties were rented for agricultural use.
1976 Funding problems forced the MNR to develop a phase-in of parkland.
1977 A thesis by Kevin Hawthorne stated that the goal of a near-urban park should be for landscape protection with an outdoor education and recreation theme.
1978 Livestock grazing was discontinued within the area.
**Prior to 1981 the area was used for grazing, horse pasture and forest management.
1981 The area was designated as an ANSI, an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest.
1984-85 Two more properties were acquired adding 250 acres.
1985 The area north of the Thames River was leased to South Winds Sand and Gravel until 1993.
1985 A thesis was written by Brian Klinkenberg called, A Reconnaissance Life Science Inventory of the Komoka Park Preserve and Komoka Park Reserve Area of Natural and Scientific Interest.
1988 The Ministry of Natural Resources states that 53 new parks, including Komoka Park, will be regulated within the next year.
1989
On June 10, the land became a Provincial Park.
1991 The Komoka Provincial Park is presently used for light recreational purposes.
2000 Thames River declared a Canadian Heritage River.
2001 In July, the MNR advised the public that management planning was beginning.
2001-2002 Management Plan for Komoka Provincial Park begins with compilation of Background Information Issues and Concepts

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USES
Prior to becoming a park the area was used for gravel extraction, pasturing, crop growing (such as corn and tobacco), forest management and horseback riding. Once it became a park recreation became the dominant use. Available activities include; hunting, fishing, hiking, bird watching, outdoor education, skiing, canoeing, and camping. These recreational opportunities help to integrate urban citizens into the great wilderness experience of Southern Ontario.

There are about eight kilometres of trails in Komoka Provincial Park with some signage to guide the use of the park.

Today, the park provides free day-use and is predominantly used by bird watchers, hikers, anglers and horseback riders. Keep in mind when visiting the park that there are no visitor facilities located at the park. For more information contact:

Port Burwell Provincial Park
P.O. Box 9
Port Burwell, Ontario
NOJ 1TO
(519) 874-4691

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LANDSCAPE
The Komoka Park consists of a beautiful river valley with steep slopes and wooded sides, including exposed cliff-like banks. The landscape is higher in the southeast than the north offering a different view from each side of the Thames River. When looking south you can see a magnificent forested wall, and looking north you can witness the beauty of the land. This view offers a feeling of great height.

The unique landscape is mainly the result of the land being covered by a Great Lake earlier in history. The south became land while the north became a delta formed by the Thames River.

There are three major geological formations found here:

  • The Devonian limestones
  • The Hamilton group grey shales that overlay the limestones
  • The Dundee limestone formation

The area is covered by glacial drift deposited during the Wisconsin glaciation. The Thames River has exposed some limestone and shale. Much of the Park occupies deltaic deposits formed 14,800-12,500 years ago. This happened during the retreat of the Wisconsin ice sheet. The Proglacial Lake Maumee II covered the park area. At this time the Thames River was forming large sand and gravel deltas.

The Thames River is a significant landscape feature in Komoka Provincial Park. It has a long and rich cultural heritage and was declared a Canadian Heritage River in 2000. The Thames River is 273 km long and drains about 5,825 km2 of land. This makes it the second largest watershed in Southwestern Ontario. The Komoka portion of the watershed has been managed by the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) since 1947. The water quality of the river is fairly poor and the Ministry of Environment recommends restrictions on eating fish caught in the river (for example, a restriction of four meals per month of average sized Walleye).

ANSI
Komoka Provincial Park is an area of ANSI (Area of Natural and Scientific Interest) due to its unique environmental features. In 1985 a study determined that Komoka Park has 12 rare vascular plant species and 5 plant species that were new to Middlesex County. The study also discovered three species of fauna, which are considered rare or threatened in Canada.

Komoka Park is the best example of a terraced forested river corridor in the southwestern region. It offers a wide diversity of vegetation types and the presence of rare species of flora and fauna. The biological and landform diversity is very uncommon in Southwestern Ontario.

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RARE FAUNAL SPECIES FOUND IN KOMOKA
A) Amphibians and Reptiles
Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle
Status: Threatened
Canadian Range: Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec
Threats: Habitat loss, pollution, and human disturbance
Critical Habitat: Thames River

Within Ontario, the spiny softshell turtle is protected under the Ontario Game and Fish Act; it is prohibited to hunt, possess, sell, purchase or take the spiny softshell. This turtle inhabits aquatic environments where the bottom is sandy, has some aquatic vegetation, and sandbars or mud flats. These turtles have been found in a variety of environments including; marshy creeks, swift-flowing rivers, lakes, impoundments, bays, marshy lagoons, ditches or ponds near rivers.

Queen Snake
Status: Threatened
Threats: Habitat changes, toxins, human disturbance
Critical Habitat: Thames River, rocky shallow water and shorelines
These snakes prefer to live in lowlands by streams, small rivers or creeks.
Other species are the Eastern Hognose Snake (rare), the Bullfrog (rare), and the Common Map Turtle (uncommon).

B) Mammals

American Badger
Status: Vulnerable
Critical Habitat: Sandy knolls throughout the site
Because of declining habitat, the badger is listed as a Species of Special Concern.
The Southern Flying Squirrel is another mammal of special interest that may be a rare sighting within the park.

C) Butterflies

Meadow Habitat Species
Variegated Fritillary- rare
Aphrodite Fritillary- rare
Silver-bordered Fritillary- rare
Tawny Crescent- rare
Baltimore Checkerspot- rare
Common Buckeye- rare
Southern Cloudywing- rare
Northern Cloudywing- rare
Wild Indigo Duskywing- very rare
Woodland Habitat Species
Giant Swallowtail- Prickly Ash -rare
Spicebush Swallowtail- rare
Hackberry- Hackberry- rare
Tawny Emperor- Hackberry- rare
Northern Pearly-Eye- rare
Tawny-edged Skipper- rare
Dun Skipper- rare
Monarch- common
Conifer Plantations
Eastern Pine Elfin- very rare

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D) Birds
There are some rare and significant birds that have been sited in Komoka Provincial Park.

  • Least Bittern- a rare migrant, marsh habitat
  • Bald Eagle- a rare migrant and winter visitor, river habitat
  • Red-shouldered Hawk- a rare migrant occasional winter visitor and former breeder, woodland habitat
  • Golden Eagle- very rare migrant
  • Peregrine Falcon- very rare breeder, rare migrant
  • Northern Bobwhite- very rare breeder, likely extirpated
  • Black Tern- very rare migrant, pond habitat
  • Red-headed Woodpecker- declining migrant and breeder, woodland habitat
  • Cerulean Warbler- rare migrant, very rare breeder, woodland habitat
  • Louisiana Waterthrush- very rare migrant, woodland habitat

E) Fish

  • Greenside Darter- common
  • Golden Redhorse- common
  • Striped Shiner- common
  • Central Stoneroller- common
  • Eastern Sand Darter- Uncommon
  • Silver Shiner- Uncommon
  • Pugnose Minnow- Rare
  • Brook Silverside- Rare

The Rare Vascular Plants in Komoka Provincial Park

  • Purple milkweed
  • Narrow- leaved Spleenwort
  • Ebony Spleenwort
  • Downy wood mint
  • Blue ash
  • Sharp-leaved Goldenrod
  • Tall Love Grass
  • Elliptic Spike-rush
  • Water Star-grass
  • Wood Lily
  • Stemless Ladys Slipper
  • Water-hemp
  • Swamp Dewberry
  • Northern St.Johns wort
  • Soapberry
  • Squawroot
  • Canada Hawkweed

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Habitats in Komoka Provincial Park
Komoka Provincial Park provides a variety of diverse habitat for native butterflies, insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals. There are many different communities in the park area. There are several swamps, varied upland forests and two plantations. The Thames River provides aquatic habitat and there are large areas of meadow grassland.

Forest Habitat
Woodland areas are important habitat for a variety of species including birds, reptiles, insects, amphibians and mammals. A habitat is where all plants and animals live; it is their home area.

Animal homes in the forest can be large old hollow trees known as den trees, or standing dead trees called snag trees. These trees are very important within the forest ecosystem because animals like raccoons and flying squirrels make their nests in den trees, while birds such as woodpeckers nest in snag trees.
Many nut producing trees (mast trees) such as oak, beech and hickory supply food for the woodland creatures. Without these trees in the forest the animals would either starve or move to another forest that contained these trees.

Coniferous trees or evergreens are important because they are used as shelter and cover from the snow, wind and rain by many forest animals.

Even dead trees have a place in the forest since all of the dead logs and leaves on the forest floor provide habitat for insects and amphibians, which in turn are food for other animals.

At Komoka Provincial Park there is a variety of forested habitat. Along both sides of the Thames River there is a forested corridor that has been identified as the provincially significant Komoka Park Reserve. There are two plantations. They are areas that have been planted by humans. The trees in the plantation are usually the same species and the same height. A plantation is similar to a crop of trees. One plantation at Komoka is white pine, the other is a black walnut-white pine mixed plantation. There is a large area of upland forest that includes species such as, sugar maple, white ash, oak, hickory and white cedar. There are forest species in the Komoka park that represent the Carolinian Life Zone.

THE CAROLINIAN FOREST LIFEZONE:
Carolinian Canada is one of Canadas most significant landscapes. Often known as the banana belt, this area supports an amazing diversity of wildlife and natural habitats. The area has a relatively warm climate, providing suitable habitat for many species that are not found anywhere else in Canada. The area has the warmest average temperatures and the longest frost-free seasons in Ontario. This results in relatively mild winters compared to the rest of Ontario. The Carolinian forest reaches its northern most limit in Southern Ontario.

Much of Ontarios rare and endangered species can be found nestled away in the last remaining acres of the Carolinian Forest. Species that can be seen here include trees such as Sassafras, the Tulip Tree, Blue Ash, Flowering Dogwood, Chestnut, Hop Tree, Paw Paw, Black Gum, Cucumber Tree and the Kentucky Coffee Tree. The Green Dragon, the Creeping Fragile Fern, Swamp Rose Mallow, Lizards Tail, Yellow Mandarin, Virginia Bluebells and Oswego Tea are a few of Canadas rare plants existing now only within the Carolinian Zone. Bird species, such as, the Acadian Flycatcher, Summer Tanager, Carolina Wren and the Prothonotary Warbler can be found here. Some mammals are restricted to this area, these include the Badger, Eastern Mole, the Southern Flying Squirrel and the Opossum.

Unfortunately this life zone is one of the most threatened landscapes in Ontario, covering less than 1% of Canada, but yet it is home to more rare plants and animals than any other region in the country. This is mainly because the species found here are at the northern most point of their habitat. As well, these species live in developed and settled landscapes, resulting in a minimum amount of habitat remaining. It is found within an extremely busy corridor between Windsor and Toronto. Urbanization, agriculture and industry have destroyed a large portion of this beautiful forest. Because of this the Canadian Carolinian Forest has been a focus for conservation and stewardship.

If you would like to learn more about the Carolinian Life Zone, or have any questions please do not hesitate to contact:

CAROLINIAN CANADA
TELE: 519-873-4631
www.carolinian.org

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LIFE IN A FOREST

Here are some wildlife species you might see in a forest habitat in our area:

BIRDS
American Woodcock
Downy Woodpecker
Eastern Kingbird
Chickadee
American Crow
Cedar Waxwing
American Goldfinch
Various Sparrow species
Eastern Screech Owl
Hairy Woodpecker
�Purple Martin
�Junco
�Nuthatch
European Starling
Common Grackle
Various Warbler species
Great Horned Owl
Pileated Woodpecker
�Blue Jay
American Robin
Wood Thrush
Ruffed Grouse
Rose-breasted� Grosbeak
Ovenbird
Scarlet Tanager
 
Mourning Dove
Flicker
Cardinal
Gray Catbird
Wild Turkey
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-headed Woodpecker
Veery
American Redstart���
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MAMMALS
Eastern Cottontail Rabbit
Various Bat species
Red Fox
Raccoon
Gray Squirrel
Coyote
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White-tailed Deer
Red Squirrel
Opossum
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Skunk
Groundhog
American Badger
 
AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES American Toad
Wood Frog
Tree Frog
 
Eastern Redback������� Salamander
Blue-spotted Salamander
Milk Snake
�Little Brown Snake
 
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Forest
Species
INSECTS
Mosquitoes
Yellow Jackets
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Ants
Termites
Eastern Pine Elfin�
 
Millipedes
Wasps
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Centipedes
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PLANTS
May-apple
Bloodroot
Jack-in-the-Pulpit
Canada Anemone
Trout Lily
Wild Columbine
Canada Violet
Solomon�s Seal
Wild Bergamot
White Trillium
Red Trillium
�False Solomon�s Seal�
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Ostrich Fern
Christmas Fern
Maidenhair Fern
Lady�s Fern
Poison Ivy
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Honeysuckle
Witch Hazel
Common Elder
Hawthorn
Wild Grape
Spicebush
Nannyberry
Serviceberry
Staghorn Sumac��
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Sugar Maple
Silver Maple
Red Maple
Red Oak
White Oak
Black Cherry
White Ash
Black Ash
Bitternut Hickory
Shagbark Hickory
Eastern Cottonwood
Black Walnut
American Beech
Trembling Aspen
White Birch
White Cedar
Ironwood
White Elm
Basswood
Eastern White Pine
Blue Beech
Tulip
Hackberry
 

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GRASSLAND HABITAT
Grasslands are open areas where few or no trees grow. A true grassland is sometimes called a prairie. A prairie is a long-lived grassland that is dominated by native grasses. In comparison, the grasses that you may see growing along the side of the road are called meadows, they are not true prairies or grasslands.

A meadow is an open, treeless area covered by grasses and is usually the result of a disturbance. Meadows are the first stage of forest regeneration. These areas have hundreds of different species of grasses and wildflowers.

Grasses make up between 50-75% of all plants found in tall grass prairies. The most common grasses found within a Tall grass Prairie includes: Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Indian Grass and Switch grass. Some plants that can be found within this habitat include Wild Lupine, Gray-headed Coneflower, Prairie Smoke, Wild Bergamot, Butterfly Milkweed, Blazing Asters, Goldenrods and Sunflowers.

Before European Settlement tall grass prairies were abundant in Southern Ontario. Now, they are endangered. Less than 3% of the original tall grass prairies still exist in Ontario today. The prairies were converted into agricultural fields and pastures. However, restoration projects are underway in Southern Ontario to help save the prairie.

Unfortunately, along with the loss of habitat comes the loss of species. Of the plant species considered rare in Ontario, approximately 20% are associated with prairie ecosystems.

At the present time Komoka Provincial Park does not have a managed tall grass prairie habitat area. There is a large area of open meadow. This area has grown into meadow from agricultural fields and gravel pits that have been left to naturalize. This meadow area combined with the upland forest provides a diverse habitat for many wildlife species. Old fields provide a very important habitat but are declining due to development, agriculture or reverting back to forest. Certain bird species use old field habitat for nesting on or near the ground.

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LIFE IN A GRASSLAND

BIRDS
Red-tailed Hawk
Brown-headed Cowbird
Killdeer
Field Sparrow
Rock Dove������
Barn Owl *at risk
Eastern Meadowlark
Barn Swallow
Turkey Vulture
Song Sparrow
�Short-eared Owl *at risk����
Eastern Bluebird
American Goldfinch
Pheasant
Northern Harrier
American Kestrel
Loggerhead Shrike� *at risk
 
Wild Turkey
Bobolink
Horned Lark
Snow Bunting
Northern Bobwhite *at risk����
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MAMMALS
Deer Mouse
Field Mouse
Short-tailed Shrew
Common Shrew
Eastern Cottontail Rabbit
Red Fox
Smoky Shrew
 
Meadow Vole
White-tailed Deer
Skunk��
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Groundhog
Star-nosed Mole
�American Badger *at risk�����
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INSECTS
Dragonflies
Crickets
Preying Mantis
Various Species of Flies
�Various Species of� Spiders (not insects)����
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Damselflies
Grasshoppers
Ants
Bees and Wasps
Ladybird Beetles
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Monarch Butterfly
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly������
Red Admiral�����
American Painted Lady Butterfly
Cabbage White Butterfly
�Summer Azure����
�Clouded Sulpher�����
��Orange Sulpher������
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Grassland Species

REPTILES
Eastern Garter Snake
Eastern Milk Snake
 
Eastern Hognose Snake
Fox Snake *at risk
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Smooth Green Snake
Eastern Ribbon Snake
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PLANTS
Tall Fescue
Big Bluestem
Little Bluestem
Indian Grass
Red Fescue
Canada Wild Rye
Switch Grass
Wool Grass
Quack/Twitch
Grass������
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Canada Tick-
Trefoil
Black-eyed
Susan
New England
Aster
Virginia Mountain
Mint
Blazingstar
New Jersey Tea
Tall Sunflower
Canada Thistle
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Goldenrod
Wild Bergamot
Gray-headed Coneflower
Purple Coneflower
Prairie Dock
Smooth Beardtongue
Common Dandelion
Joe-Pye-Weed
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Wild Carrot
Common
Milkweed
Swamp Milkweed
Butterfly Weed
Common Plantain
Meadowrue
Common Burdock
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WETLANDS

A wetland is an area that has standing water at or near the surface for most of the year. Wetlands may be located along shorelines and riverbanks or can often be found in isolated depressions or hollows. Wetlands are very important within nature for the following reasons:

A. Wetlands provide habitat (food, water, shelter and space) for mammals, reptiles, amphibians and many bird species.
B. Wetlands act like a giant sponge, holding water that reduces flooding.
C. Wetlands release water slowly, supplying water to other communities.
D. Wetlands help to control erosion.
E. Wetlands act like water filters.

There are four types of wetlands found in Ontario; marshes, swamps, bogs and fens.

MARSHES
These are found along the edges of rivers, streams, ponds and lakes. They support many plants that are rooted in the soil and grow out of the water called emergent plants. Cattails and Arrowheads are two examples of emergent plants. Marshes receive their water from the body of water next to them, groundwater, rain or snow. As a result of this the water levels can vary from a few centimetres up to two metres.

SWAMPS
Swamps can be either isolated or found along rivers, streams and lakes. They are formed as a result of flooding during the spring snow melt. They are covered with water for most of the year, although they do not flood as deeply as marshes and can dry up during periods of drought.
Some of the trees that can be seen in a swamp include Eastern White Cedar, Balsam Poplar, Red Maple, Silver Maple, Black Ash, Tamarack and Spruce. A variety of shrubs are located here: Alder, Willow, Button Bush, Winterberry and Dogwood. The ground is carpeted with mosses, ferns and wildflowers including Marsh Marigold, Skunk Cabbage and Orchids.

BOGS
Bogs are commonly found in the northern parts of the province. They are located in deep, bowl-like depressions and are filled with layers of peat (slowly decaying plant material). The water becomes covered with floating and decaying vegetation. The dominant vegetation here is sphagnum moss. Some tree species found here are Black Spruce, Tamarack and White Cedar. Plants include Leatherleaf, Labrador Tea, Bog Rosemary, Blueberries, Cranberries, Three-leaved-Solomons Seal, Sundew and Pitcher Plants.

FENS
These are areas that are usually located in low-lying areas of Northern Ontario. Within Fens water slowly flows in and out of the peat layers. However, fens may dry up in the warmer months. They are one of the most interesting wildflower and insect habitats and are a great place to find Orchids and other rare plants.
Fens are dominated by grasses, rushes, and sedges. Other plant life consists of: Horsetails, Brown Moss, Tamarack, Black Spruce and Birch. Wildlife in a Fen might include shrews, mice, voles, lemmings, coyote, muskrat, raccoon, beaver and weasels.

At Komoka Provincial Park there are several wetland areas. There is a white cedar coniferous swamp, and a deciduous swamp.

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LIFE IN A WETLAND

BIRDS
Tundra Swan
Canada Goose
Mallard Duck
American Black Duck
Wood Duck
Hooded Merganser
Gadwell
Northern Shoveler
Red-winged Blackbird
Sandhill Crane
 
Greater &Lesser Scaup
Common Goldeneye
Bufflehead
Green-winged Teal
Pied-bill Grebe
Horned Grebe
American Bittern
Northern Harrier
Least Bittern
Snow Goose
Green Heron
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Solitary Sandpiper
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Greater &Lesser Yellow Legs
Wilson Phalarope
 
Pectoral Sandpiper
Dowitchers
Common Snipe
Belted Kingfisher
Killdeer
Virginia Rail
Yellow Rail
Sora Rail
Marsh Wren
Sedge Wren
Marsh Hawk
�Spotted Sandpiper��
MAMMALS
Beaver
Mink
Red Fox
Weasel
Coyote
Raccoon
Various Mole Species
Various Vole Species
Various Shrew Species
Skunk
Grey Squirrel
Opossum
White-tailed Deer
Muskrat
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AMPHIBIANS AND
REPTILES
American Toad
Green Frog
Spring Peeper
Wood Frog
Bull Frog
Pickerel Frog��
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Mudpuppy
Red Spotted Newt
Blue Spotted Salamander
Red-backed Salamander
Four-Toed Salamander
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Snapping Turtle
Map Turtle
Painted Turtle
Blandings Turtle
Spotted Turtle
Five-lined Skink
Brown Snake���
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Eastern Garter Snake
Eastern Milk Snake
Ribbon Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake
Smooth Green Snake
Black Rat Snake
INSECTS
 
Dragonflies
Damselflies
Mayfly Nymph�
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Mosquito
Various Species of Flies����
 
 
Various Species of Bees and Wasps��
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PLANTS
 
Cattail
Bulrush
Various Sedge Species
Various Grass Species
Pond Weed
Swamp Milkweed
Jewelweed���
 
Waterfoil
Pickerel Weed
Arrowhead
Blue Flag
Smartweed
Marsh Marigold
Dense Blazingstar
Skunk Cabbage
Choke Cherry
Crab Apple
Hawthorns
Autumn Olive
Red-Osier Dogwood
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White Birch
White Elm
White Ash
White Cedar
Trembling Aspen
Red Maple
Silver Maple
Ironwood
Poplar�����
 

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AQUATIC HABITAT
Aquatic habitats are areas containing permanent water. Ponds, rivers, and lakes are examples of aquatic habitat. Animals such as turtles can be seen basking on logs, frogs can be heard communicating with each other, toads can be seen hopping away, salamanders hiding, birds flying overhead, beaver busily building, muskrats swimming by and much more!

Aquatic habitats provide a home for many different species of plants, insects, birds and mammals. These areas supply much food and water for wildlife. Many mammals come to drink from the aquatic habitat. Some may be looking for food. Next to aquatic systems you can often find wetland vegetation species. Some examples are cattails, reeds, grasses, willows and dogwood.

The Thames River provides an excellent aquatic habitat in Komoka Provincial Park. The river supports many aquatic species. The flood plains also provide habitat for wildlife. The Spiny Softshell Turtle and the Queen Snake are two species that have been found there.

The Thames River has one of the most diverse fish populations in Canada. It provides many habitats, has nutrient-rich waters, a long growing season and is connected to the Great Lakes. The Ministry of Natural Resources lists 98 fish species in the Thames River. Some of the sport fish found in the river are Walleye, Small mouth Bass, Coho, and Pink Salmon.

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AQUATIC HABITAT
Here are some aquatic habitat species that you might find:

BIRDS
Common Loon
Canada Goose
Mallard Duck
Hooded Merganser
American Pipit
Cliff Swallow
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Peregrine Falcon�������
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Double �crested Cormorant
Spotted Sandpiper
Red-winged Blackbird
Northern Pintail
Great Blue Heron
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American Black Duck
Bank Swallow
Wood Duck
Brown-headed Cowbird
Ring-necked Duck
Green Heron
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Killdeer
Belted Kingfisher
Herring Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Ruddy Duck
Red-headed Woodpecker�
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FISH
Common Carp
Catfish
Walleye
Rainbow Trout
Shiners��
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Minnow
Sunfish
Brown Trout
Brook Trout
Coho Salmon����
Pink Salmon
Johnny Darter
Crappy
Chub
Smallmouth Bass
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Bass
Pike
Rock Bass
Perch
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AMPHIBIANS AND
REPTILES
Pickerel Frog
American Toad
Spring Peeper
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Bull Frog
Green Frog
Gray
Tree frog
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Snapping Turtle
Painted Turtle
Map Turtle
Blandings Turtle
Spiny Softshell Turtle��
 
Mudpuppy
Northern Water Snake����
Queen Snake������
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Aquatic Species

INSECTS
Dragonflies
Damselflies
Mayfly Nymph��
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Water Strider
Mosquito
Water Beetle
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Water Spider
Water Boatman
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PLANTS
Yellow Water Lily
Common Duckweed
Water Milfoil
Cattails
Water Plantain
Algae
 
Blue Flag
Bulrush
Bladderwort
Arrowhead
Reeds
Bugleweed
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Black Ash
Blue Beech
Various species of Willows
Silver Maple
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Bur Oak
Large-toothed Aspen
Red Maple
Sycamore
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*Many mammals use the aquatic habitat for water, food and shelter. Beaver, muskrats, mink, opossums, and raccoons are some of the mammals you might see in or near an aquatic area. Very often you will be able to find their tracks.

BUTTERFLY CHECKLIST for Komoka Provincial Park

1. Black Swallowtail 31. Red Admiral
2. Giant Swallowtail 32. American Lady
3. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 33. Common Buckeye
4. Spicebush Swallowtail 34. Viceroy
5. Cabbage White 35. Hackberry
6. Clouded Sulphur 36. Tawny Emperor
7. Orange Sulphur 37. Northern Pearly-Eye
8. Harvester 38. Little Wood Satyr
9. American Copper 39. Common Ringlet
10. Coral Hairstreak 40. Common Wood-Nymph
11. Edwards Hairstreak 41. Monarch
12. Banded Hairstreak 42. Silver-spotted Skipper
13. Hickory Hairstreak 43. Southern Cloudywing
14. Eastern Pine Elfin 44. Northern Cloudywing
15. Eastern Tailed Blue 45. Juvenals Duskywing
16. Spring Azure 46. Wild Indigo Duskywing
17. Summer Azure 47. Common Sootywing
18. Variegated Fritillary 48. Least Skipper
19. Great Splangled Fritillary 49. European Skipper
20. Aphrodite Fritillary 50. Pecks Skipper
21. Silver-bordered Fritillary 51. Tawny-edged Skipper
22. Meadow Fritillary 52. Long Dash
23. Silvery Checkerspot 53. Northern Broken Dash
24. Tawny Checkerspot 54. Little Glassywing
25. Pearl Crescent 55. Delaware Skipper
26. Northern Crescent 56. Hobomok Skipper
27. Baltimore Checkerspot 57. Dun Skipper
28. Question Mark
29. Eastern Comma
30. Mourning Cloak

DRAGONFLY CHECKLIST for Komoka Provincial Park

1. Common Green Darner
2. Calico Pennant
3. Halloween Pennant
4. Eastern Pondhawk
5. Dot-tailed Whiteface
6. Widow (Pied) Skimmer
7. Twelve-spotted Skimmer
8. Common Whitetail
9. Eastern Amberwing
10. Black Saddlebags
11. Cherry Meadowhawk
12. Ruby Meadowhawk
13. Ebony Jewelwing

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VISITING A NATURAL AREA

DRESS APPROPRIATELY

You want to enjoy your nature experience

  • long sleeves
  • long pants
  • a hat
  • shoes and socks
  • sun screen and bug spray
RESPECT THE AREA


Many species make this area their home

  • don�t litter

  • take only pictures

  • don�t disturb anything

  • don�t pick flowers

  • if you observe something place it back where you found it
STAY ON TRAILS


�You could trample wildlife and plants

  • �don�t damage vegetation

  • don�t disturb dead wood, it is decaying

  • stay away from leaflets three, it is poison ivy

  • minimize human impact on the area
ENJOY YOUR VISIT!


Your natural area is important to you

  • the quieter you are, the more you will see

  • leave everything in its natural setting

  • come back and visit again

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