Natural History

To suggest an item,artefact or photo reflecting Belfountain’s natural history, please visit here.

Niagara Escarpment
The Niagara Escarpment is recognized as one of the world’s unique natural wonders. As a landform it is a ridge of rock several hundred metres high in some locations — stretching 725 kilometres (450 miles) from Queenston on the Niagara River to Tobermory at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. The Escarpment contains more than 100 sites of geological significance including some of the best exposures of rocks and fossils of the Silurian and Ordovician Periods to be found anywhere in the world. MORE…

The Niagara Escarpment is home to 300 bird species, 53 mammals, 36 reptiles and amphibians, 90 fish and 100 varieties of special interest flora including 37 types of wild orchids. MORE…

UNESCO named Ontario’s Escarpment a World Biosphere Reserve in 1990. This designation recognizes the Niagara Escarpment as an internationally significant ecosystem for its special environment and unique environmental plan. Learn more about the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve. MORE…

For more information about the management and protection of the Niagara Escarpment , please visit the Niagara Escarpment Commission.

According to a February 1989 presentation made to Ontario Members of Provincial Parliament by Mr. Elliot:
“That, in the opinion of this House, recognizing the importance of the Niagara Escarpment as a significant feature of Ontario’s natural heritage, and that the varying uses of the escarpment lands for farming, tourism, housing and aggregate extraction have a significant impact on that land, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs should be directed to ensure that any development or use of Niagara Escarpment lands be environmentally sustainable development; and that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs be further directed to maintain heritage and environmental concerns as priorities when considering land use planning within the Niagara Escarpment boundaries. “ MORE…


Jefferson Salamander

Jefferson Salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum) is a rare and endangered salamander found in the Belfountain area. They inhabit deciduous forests with suitable breeding areas like limestone sinkhole ponds, kettle ponds and other natural basins. The most likely cause of low numbers of this species in Canada is the limited amount of habitat (terrestrial and breeding ponds) that is considered suitable for the species. The habitat that does remain is very fragmented and under pressure from urban expansion. The Jefferson Salamander is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). Details about the Jefferson Salamander monitoring program can be found here.