Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.63
Liaison Karen Oberer
Submission Date Aug. 22, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

McGill University
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Gregor Fussmann
Gault Nature Reserve
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance?:

A brief description of the legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance:

McGill is proud to own three nature conservatories for preservation and research. The McGill community is encouraged to visit and experience the natural beauty that lies within proximity of downtown Montreal.

Gault Nature Reserve:
The Gault Nature Reserve, situated on Mont St. Hilaire just 32 km from Montreal, protects (1000 hectares) the largest remaining remnant of the primeval forests of the St. Lawrence River Valley. It is recognized nationally and internationally for its scientific and patrimonial significance. The mountain and its surroundings comprise the first site in Canada to be designated as a Biosphere Reserve under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program.

Molson Nature Reserve:
Donated to McGill University as a nature conservation centre for use in study and research, the Molson Nature Reserve is located 10 minutes from the Macdonald Campus. The 51-hectare parcel of land consists of forest, woodland marshes, swamps and wetland, and provides habitat for wildlife and plant species, some of which are unique to the area.

Morgan Arboretum:
Located on the western tip of the island of Montreal is Canada's largest arboretum. This 245-hectare ""enchanted forest,"" originally assembled by the Morgan family and turned over to McGill University in 1945, has not only served as a unique educational resource, but also provided enjoyment to generations of supporters and visitors.

Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify endangered and vulnerable species (including migratory species) with habitats on institution-owned or –managed land?:

Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify environmentally sensitive areas on institution-owned or –managed land?:

The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or environmentally sensitive areas (including most recent year assessed) and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

A systematic survey was conducted on the mountain, each hectare was separated in four parts (quarter hectare) and systematically visited by McGill students. Also, a highly trained botanist, Arold Lavoie, Mont Saint-Hilaire Nature Center, is constantly surveying the mountain for endangered and vulnerable species.

60% of Gault Nature Reserve is recognized by the Quebec Governement as Exceptional Forest Ecosystem. This program was developed by a research group of the Quebec Ministry of Forest and Parcs. The Mont Saint-Hilaire Nature Center and The Ministry of Forest and Parcs identified and validated all the different types of Exceptional Forest Ecosystem with the assistance of Arold Lavoie of the Mont-Saint-Hilaire Nature Center.

A brief description of identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:

There are over 70 endangered and vulnerable plant and animal species at Gault Nature Reserve and this list is constantly evolving with new discoveries made by our monitoring efforts. As well, there are many different habitat types including many ephemeral ponds and wetlands which are very important ecologically as they are disappearing rapidly from the region.

Concerning, exceptional forest ecosystems all three types are found at Gault Nature Reserve:

Rare forest types: Rare forests are forest ecosystems that occupy a limited number of sites and cover a small area in Quebec.
Refuge forest types: These forests are home to one or more plant species threatened or vulnerable or likely to be so designated.
Ancient forest types: This term refers to stands that have not been modified by humans, which have not undergone any recent major disruption and in which we find very old trees. These forests have the particularity to contain both living, dead and senescent trees and a floor littered with large trunks in various stages of decomposition. There are few ancient forests in Quebec. In the South of the province, most forests have indeed been greatly affected by colonization and urbanization.

A brief description of plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:

Gault Nature Reserve is a private land nature reserve and is protected by a strict agreement with the Governement of Quebec. Monitoring of endangered species and environmentally sensitive areas is assured both by the Mont-Saint-Hilaire Nature Center and McGill University.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

David Maneli (Gault) and Arold Lavoie (Botanist at the Gault Nature Centre) contributed to the information on Gault Nature Reserve.

For questions about on-campus initiatives, please contact George Lazaris (downtown campus) or Peter Knox (Macdonald campus).

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.