Friends of the Cawthra Bush
Greater Mississauga Area
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Royal Ontario Museum
30 June 1998
Members of the Advisory Committee:
I am writing concerning the future of the woodland known as the Cawthra Bush. This woodland is one of few remaining plots of mature forest in the area. The Cawthra Bush also contains a population of salamanders of the Ambystoma jeffersonianum (Jefferson salamander) complex. These salamanders use a pond in the woodland to breed.
Outside of their spring breeding activities, Jefferson salamanders burrow in the soil, and are therefore not readily seen. They are, nonetheless, an important part of the forest ecosystem. Salamanders of this complex can be quite long-lived, and their genetics has been the subject of considerable study by researchers at the Royal Ontario Museum, University of Toronto, University of Guelph and other institutions.
In southern Ontario, the Jefferson salamander complex is restricted to a few scattered locations. In my opinion these populations, and their forest habitat, should be preserved. I urge you to consider maintaining the Cawthra Bush in its present state to allow the continued survival of this population of salamanders.
Sincerely - Ross MacCulloch, Assistant Curator, Amphibians and Reptiles
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