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Biodiversity The haunting cry of the loon or the sight of a deer leaping in your woodlot is an experience that can make you love your lake.As our natural lake landscapes are altered through increased development pollution and the spread of invasive species many native species are finding it difficult to cope. Habitat loss can result in population declines for sensitive species. With careful consideration to the needs of the plant and animal communities with which we share our lakefront properties we can make a difference and help conserve Ontarios biodiversity. You can enhance the variety of natural life that your property supports by taking a few simple steps outlined below. Maintain Natural Habitat Consider leaving specific areas around your property untouched. Keep large rocks fallen tree limbs and brush piles where they are to provide habitat for a variety of wildlife. Hawks and owls will keep your rodent populations to a minimum if you leave standing dead trees where safety permits for them to use for cavity nests and hunting perches. Rock piles are perfect habitats for reptiles mammals and amphibians all of which play an important role in Ontarios biodiversity. Dark Skies Light pollution can negatively affect foraging hunting and reproductive behaviours of birds and animals. Keep light impacts to a minimum at night using illumination where and when you really need it. Consider motion detectors instead of dusk-to-dawn fixtures. Light shields help to direct light along pathways or steps without flooding large areas. Now you can really star-gaze Keep Aquatic Plant Populations Intact Aquatic plants support the insects that fish eat and are a primary food and habitat source for birds. In addition aquatic plants help stabilize loose sediment and are an effective natural breakwater keeping waves from eroding the shoreline. Wherever possible keep your shoreline vegetation intact and enhance it with shrubs and plants to create a natural buffer zone. ParksCanada 11 Find out more at httpfoca.on.caontario-biodiversity