The Red-headed Woodpecker and Monarch Butterfly are just two of the 33 species listed in the Species at Risk Act that will suffer if development in the DRAP moves forward

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Huron-Wendat – A new report from Environmental Defence overwhelmingly shows that large scale residential and commercial development in the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve (DRAP) threatens numerous local ecosystems and species at-risk. The DRAP, comprising over 4500 acres, is by far the largest area removed from the Greenbelt by the Ontario government and is immediately adjacent to Rouge National Urban Park, the Seaton Trail and other important areas.

The new report, entitled Developing Disaster: Exploring the Species and Ecosystems at Risk in the Greenbelt’s Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve, provides a summary of the species and ecosystems at risk and includes recommendations for the federal government as it begins its recently announced study of the possible impacts of development in the DRAP on Rouge National Urban Park.

The analysis found that opening the DRAP to development would have detrimental impacts on several key areas, including:

  • Threatening a minimum of 33 federally listed species at risk

  • Threatening 49 species of birds protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act

  • Polluting 14 fish-bearing stream tributaries, 7 of which support coldwater benthic (stream-bed) communities

  • Paving over up to 400 hectares of forest and a wetland in a headwater zone

  • Compromising the ecological integrity of the nearby Rouge National Urban Park

The report concludes with key recommendations for the federal government study.

“The forests, streams, farms and wetlands of the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve are critical to the long-term survival of key species and ecosystems in Rouge National Urban Park,” says Tim Gray, Executive Director. “This new risk summary and resulting recommendations will help the federal government design their study in a way that thoroughly investigates these values, identifies development threats to each of them and points to actions that can be taken to protect the entire ecosystem surrounding the park.”

Read the full report here.

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Brittany Harris, Environmental Defence,