Massive butterfly habitat restoration planned along Hwy. 407 in Mississauga, Brampton, Burlington, Durham and GTA


Published March 20, 2023 at 12:52 pm

hwy 407 butterfly mississauga

A butterfly and pollinator habitat restoration project is planned for the land alongside Hwy. 407 in Mississauga, Brampton, Burlington, Durham Region and the GTA.

Highway 407 Express Toll Route (ETR) and the Canadian Wildlife Federation have teamed up to restore pollinator habitats for monarch butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and other pollinator species in municipalities surrounding the highway’s corridor, according to a press release from 407 ETR Concession Company Limited.

Funds from the highway will support the restoration of 12 hectares – the equivalent of roughly 22 football fields – along the monarch butterfly migration route that closely follows the roadway of Highway 407 ETR.

“Human interventions have caused significant declines in pollinator populations across North America, and these species are critical for our ecosystems,” said Carolyn Callaghan, Canadian Wildlife Federation’s senior conservation biologist for terrestrial ecosystems.

“A third of the food we eat is created by pollinators and they sustain so much of the native plants and habitats that we depend on.”

Eight species of native bees are considered at risk in Canada and the population of the monarch butterfly has declined by 75 per cent in North America, the release notes.

The project funding is for three years — roughly the amount of time it will take to see the results of the habitat restoration.

When conditions are suitable, the land area surrounding roadways, technically referred to as rights-of-way, can provide important habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators, the press release added.

Highway 407 ETR hopes to establish a long-term biodiversity vision and action plan, said Javier Tamargo, president and CEO at 407 ETR.

“Biodiversity is critical for healthy ecosystems. The 108 kilometres that make up Highway 407 ETR are surrounded by native plants, wildlife and pollinator species that are essential to our daily lives,” Tamargo said.

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