Southwest Elgin Forest Complex

Country/territory: Canada

IBA Criteria met: -
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Area: 14,000 ha

Birds Canada / Nature Canada

Site description
The Southwest Elgin Count Forest Complex refers to a 20 kilometre stretch of discontinuous woodlots that are within 5 kilometres of the Lake Erie shoreline in southwest Elgin County. The site includes John E. Pearce Provincial Park at the eastern end, with the Elgin-Kent border on the west. This site has fairly good forest cover in privately owned woodlots, and has several very deeply incised, treed ravines. This part of Elgin County has relatively large amounts of forest cover, and has larger unfragmented woodlots than in many counties in southwestern Ontario. The woodlots are deciduous in character (often Sugar Maple and American Beech), and have a strong element of less common species such as Sassafras and Tulip Tree. Most of southwest Elgin County lies on an eastern extension of the Bothwell Sand Plain.

Key biodiversity
Hooded Warblers have been reported at woodlots in the Southwest Elgin Forest Complex for many years. The warblers are sometimes found in the same woodlots and at other times in new locations, primarily because there is still good forest cover and a fairly frequent logging cycle. Together these factors provides continuous Hooded Warbler habitat. There are usually 1 to 2 pairs per woodlot. However, there are also many logged woodlots in the site which are never visited, thus the Hooded Warbler population is probably in the range of 10 to 20 pairs. In 1997, Hooded Warblers were confirmed as present at three sites. Thus, between about 5 and 10% of the national population of this nationally threatened species is found here.

There are also three to five steep-sided closed-canopy ravines entering Lake Erie, with similar habitat to that of known Acadian Flycatcher sites. This species is nationally endangered. These ravines were surveyed in 1998 and two sites had at least one Acadian Flycatcher present (at one, a female incubating three eggs, and at the other, a single territorial male). Acadian Flycatchers were found at another location in 1985, 1986 and 1990, but not in 1987 or 1997. The area where this pair was found was heavily logged in 1996 explaining their absence in 1997; a pair of Hooded Warblers, however, were found there in 1997.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Southwest Elgin Forest Complex. Downloaded from on 01/10/2022.