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The Road Ecology program aims to engage citizens to maintain and restore connections across landscapes, between parks and protected areas. Ensuring ecological integrity of natural ecosystems and preventing the decline of any species in the Ottawa Valley from road constructions and operations is one of our biggest goals.



Roads and other linear fragments are a major threat to ecological connectivity and to the preservation of biodiversity –  all across Canada, but even more so in Central Canada where large cities continue to expand leading to the construction of new roads or improvements to existing roads making them much wider and faster. Roads have a major impact on numerous species of wildlife, and side from the direct mortality caused by roads, roads also break up the landscape into ever smaller fragments of habitat leading to a fragmented and degraded landscape; that is less resilient and less suitable to the species that depend on it. This is a particular problem in the Ottawa Valley, where the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau continue to expand and where major highways are being expanded between the urban area and smaller towns outside the city. Seeing the threat posed by roads to connectivity, CPAWS OV has launched a new road ecology program at the chapter where, in collaboration with other organizations, we will work to ensure that new roads and those that are rehabilitated are designed in such a way as to reduce their impact not only in terms of direct animal mortality, but also designed in such a way as to maintain key connections that exist across the landscape. The chapter has already commented on several road projects and, thanks to the support of the Ontario Species at Risk Stewardship Fund, the chapter is developing a new road ecology guide to help citizens and decision-makers understand the threats and the opportunities associated with designing roads with connectivity in mind.

The CPAWS-OV Road Ecology program’s current objectives are:

  • To develop a fully resourced road ecology program within CPAWS Ottawa Valley;
  • Develop guidelines and recommendations specific to road issues and connectivity in eastern Ontario and western Quebec;
  • Address specific road construction and reconstruction projects as they emerge;
  • Engage with other organizations, decision-makers and the public on road ecology issues;
  • Expand program capacity.