About Long Point: Long Point is a 40km long sand spit located on the northern shore of lake Erie, in southern Ontario. Such a unique structure has given rise to unique ecological dynamics on site. The north side of the spit is called the "Crown Marsh", where the lake waters are less active, allowing for the development of an open marsh-type habitat. Many species use this habitat, such as birds, amphibians and reptiles. The south side of the sand spit faces the open lake, and therefore is more dynamic with wind and water depositions and erosion. Long Point has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve because of its biological significance.
Long Point Provincial Park is located at the end of the main road that accesses Long Point. The park is a main attraction for birdwatchers. Due to the property ownerships along the point, the park is only 150 ha in size.
McGill University Research at Long Point
Long Point is a long term monitoring location for the Fowler's toad (Anaxyrus fowleri), where over 27 years of population monitoring has been conducted by Dr. David M. Green.
The Fowler's toad is an endangered species in Canada (COSEWIC, 2010), where only three Canadian populations remain, and are located at Rondeau, Long Point and in the Niagara Region. Recent work in the Green Lab has shown that the toads' population decline at Long Point is likely caused by the loss of amphibian breeding habitat. This habitat loss has been attributed largely to the invasion of the European genotype of the Common reed (Phragmites australis). With less breeding habitat available for amphibians, competition for breeding sites may have a negative impact on the Fowler's toad population and long term viability. The Green Lab is currently examining the population's response to creating new, artificially dug ponds in the Crown Marsh where the Phragmites has taken over.
The Spring Survey
Volunteers are needed to help continue the collection of Fowler's toad population data each spring at Long Point!
Accommodations and transportation to and from the site are provided for all volunteers. Food costs are split between all volunteers and grad students present (unless otherwise indicated).
What do we need volunteers to do?
Volunteers are also needed to help collect data on toads and tadpoles during the summer months (June - August, intermittently)
- please contact Dr. Green for further details.