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Adding to conservation landscape around Waterton Lakes National Park

43-hectare site provides habitat for iconic Canadian wildlife

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is expanding its conservation lands near Waterton Lakes National Park with the addition of the 43-hectare Belly River property.

The Belly River property is adjacent to 800 metres of the Belly River, which provides habitat for the birds, amphibians and fish that inhabit those water systems. Located in an area referred to as the Crown of the Continent, the region provides core habitat and connectivity for mammal populations including wolf, cougar, wolverine, Canada lynx and their prey.

It also supports habitat for grizzly bears, which are designated as a species of special concern under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. These species rely on the wide, undeveloped areas of wild habitat in Alberta’s foothills, which has been kept intact thanks to the ranching community.

“This ranch, located outside of Waterton Lake National Park, adds to a significant conservation network of protected lands that has been built up over decades. This project is an example of how working landscapes and conservation go hand in hand," said Tom Lynch-Staunton, NCC regional vice-president.

Native grasslands are home to 85 per cent of Alberta’s species at risk: two-thirds of the Belly River property is native grasslands.