In 2014, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) began a series of inventories on the territory of Kenauk. This work aims to document the rich biodiversity of this vast and iconic property, to exemplify its value and manage it accordingly (eg., identification of areas with high conservation potential, establishment of forest corridors, etc.). Research conducted in collaboration with botanists, zoologists, ornithologists, forest professionals and ecologists have confirmed the exceptional ecological richness of this site. The presence of 28 species at risk, including Conopholis Americana, the four-toed salamander, and the largest black maple stand listed in the province of Quebec, has been validated. Older forest fragments that foster several bird species such as the Canada warbler and the wood thrush were also identified. Moreover, Kenauk offers a large home range for mammals, such as wolves, coyotes, black bears and moose, whose density on the property is greater than the regional average. In terms of fish, channel darters, an indicator species for the quality of the riparian environment, was also found.
The initial results of this inventory and a review of the scientific literature have allowed NCC to produce a synthesis of knowledge on the flora and fauna of this sector and the needs of each species in terms of habitat. This territory inventory is accompanied by a list of concrete recommendations for land stewardship and the management of its natural resources. This document will serve as a framework for planning target species management and conservation action plans for the entire territory of Kenauk and will guide future inventories which will continue in 2017.
NCC is also prioritizing the preservation of Kenauks’ ecological features to ensure its dynamic role within the landscape-scale ecosystem. Kenauks’ conservation planning will therefor include a larger scale objective to protect a wildlife corridor to the North. The continuous forest cover to the North of Kenauk provides suitable conditions for wildlife movement and migration. Primary species of interest include moose and wolves, and secondary targets include other terrestrial non-game species. Continuous forest is also important for forest interior birds, indigenous plants and amphibians with limited dispersal capacity. The objective is to maintain landscape connectivity for free dispersal of those different target groups.