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Wildlife

Rock climbers vs. at-risk species

Rock climbers in Gatineau Park, Que., help protect a microclimate

  • Jun 30, 2013
  • 137 words
  • 1 minutes
Gatineau’s Eardley Escarpment is a popular outdoor climbing area Expand Image
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The southern side of Gatineau Park’s 270-metre-high Eardley Escarpment features what was once the most popular stretch of outdoor climbing rock in the National Capital Region. Unfortunately for climbers, however, the fact that the rock wall faces south means it hosts a unique microclimate (similar to the hot, dry conditions found in the forests of the American Midwest), which attracts more than 50 per cent of the park’s 153 at-risk species. In 2010, the National Capital Commission cut climbing areas by more than 80 per cent in an effort to protect these species from the hands, feet and gear of well-meaning climbers. Although it’s too early to tell if the former climbing sites have fully recovered, here’s a look at some of the species that park management hopes will survive and flourish.

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