A $3M plan for the biodiversity of Mount Royal

A $3M plan for the biodiversity of Mount Royal

Mount Royal.

A $3M plan was unveiled on Tuesday by the organization Les Amis de la montagne to ensure the conservation of Mount Royal's ecological network.

The five-year plan targets 423 hectares of the mountain, which are divided between the city and different lands of private organizations, such as the various university campuses, cemeteries, Saint Joseph’s Oratory and the Royal Victoria Hospital.

Thanks to this plan, “Mount Royal will become a living laboratory of collective innovation,” hopes the executive director of Les Amis de la montagne, Hélène Panaïoti.

Some 63 actions are planned in order to achieve 23 defined objectives. These include the eradication of invasive species, the development of monitoring tools over time and a reversal of the trend in biodiversity.

The human impact on the mountain

Human activity is one of the factors affecting the health of green space. In addition to the problems caused by pollution and the heat islands created by urban development, visitors have their role to play.

During the pandemic, the city’s large parks recorded a 130% increase in traffic. The Friends of the Mountain estimate that this figure for Mount Royal Park is even higher, considering the notoriety of the place. A City study is currently being conducted to quantify the number of visitors to Mount Royal, both in the park and on private land.

In order to reduce the overcrowding of the site, the organization is in consultation with other green spaces, such as Frédéric Back and Jean Drapeau parks, in order to increase the facilities to redirect some of the visitors there. of the mountain.

“We don't want to put the mountain under a glass bell,” explains Ms. Panaïoti. If the park cannot be closed, she believes that other parks can be developed in such a way as to attract Montrealers and lessen the weight on the shoulders of Mount Royal.

A change in behavior

Certain visitor behaviors are also targeted by the plan, such as leaving formal paths, which cuts the connection between the different sections of nature and harms its development.< /p>

Walking your dog without a leash would also have a negative impact. Nearly 200 species of birds and 400 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles inhabit the territory of the mountain. Animals walking without a leash create great stress on certain species, which would affect their ability to reproduce and thus ensure good biodiversity.

The action plan is part of an approach by the Coalition des Montérégiennes, aimed at preserving the hills of Montérégie. Ms. Panaïoti points out that these represent the backyard of half of Quebecers.

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