If you draw an imaginary line from Grand Bend on Lake Erie to Toronto, the area south of that line to Lake Erie is known as the Carolinian life zone, also known as Carolinian Canada. Comprised of forests, wetlands, natural tallgrass prairie and pine-oak savanna, the Carolinian Zone makes up less than ¼ of Canada’s total land area but is home to about 25% of our population. An amazingly diverse number of plants and animals, some found nowhere else in Canada, live here. In fact, more than 70 native species of trees, over 2,200 plants and more than half of all species of birds that live in Canada make their home here. Carolinian Canada is also has the highest number of species-at-risk, species like the Cucumber Tree, Spiny Softshell Turtle, Eastern Hog-nosed snake and Southern Flying Squirrel.
Norfolk County lies in the very heart of Carolinian Canada.
Amidst fertile agricultural fields, rural hamlets and towns Norfolk boasts the highest percentage of forested land in southwestern Ontario (estimated at around 25%). These forests include provincial parks, conservation areas, a world biosphere reserve, and other protected areas, as well as a significant acreage of private woodlots. Our woodlands contain unique Carolinian species like the Southern Flying Squirrel, Red-headed Woodpecker and Tulip Tree; our streams and rivers are rich in fish, including Brook and Rainbow Trout; our wetlands support countless species of aquatic insects, amphibians, birds and plants; and our remnants of native prairie and savanna are home to the endangered American Badger and Wild Lupine.