– Maintaining Biodiversity and Public Access in a Protected Area


Parks Canada’s mandate is to protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural heritage, to ensure their ecological integrity for present and future generations, and to foster public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment. In La Mauricie National Park, this dual mandate of presentation and protection has helped maintain and increase populations of at-risk species, notably the Eastern wolf and the wood turtle, as well as the park’s avian emblem, the common loon. Long-term monitoring of these species and the knowledge acquired about their use of the territory have made it possible to modulate park management and public activities to conserve these important elements of biodiversity. The park’s territory maintains the presence of two wolf packs. In 2020, a record number of wood turtle nests were observed. The number of loon pairs more than doubled between 1987 and 2020. These results indicate that it is possible to reconcile the maintenance of biodiversity while allowing public access to the territory for recreational and learning purposes.