Ecological Information

We have begun documenting flora and fauna of the Carp Hills in iNaturalist, an international, web-based platform for recording and sharing observations with naturalists and scientists around the world.  Our project is called the Carp Hills Bio-Inventory Project.

The following documents and links provide information about the Carp Hills and related areas such as the South March Highlands.

Carp Barrens Ecological Tour Handout – From our guided nature tour in May 2015

1992 ANSI Report (PDF)

2004 Natural Environmental Area Boundary in South March Highlands

2011 Carp Hills and South March Highlands Bioblitz Report

Vascular Plants of the City of Ottawa – This is a detailed and comprehensive list of plants found within the boundaries of the city compiled by Daniel Brunton in 2005.  Uncommon and regionally rare species are identified.  The reports states that the Carp Hills have 22 significant species.

Map 1508A – Generalized Bedrock Geology, Ottawa-Hull – An excellent overview of the area’s underlying bedrock composition from the Geological Survey of Canada.  The Carp Hills are clearly visible as an island of Pre-Cambrian rock set in a sea of Paleozoic limestone.  The Hazeldean Fault runs on the edge of the Carp Hills along the Carp Road where the Pre-Cambrian rock was thrust up above the limestone, which is now overlaid with fertile Champlain Sea clay.  The highest points on the ridge occur along this fault line, which runs northwest/southeast, causing most water on the ridge to drain to the northeast (towards Marchurst).  Also visible are pockets of alkaline rock in the Carp Hills, which allow plants that prefer sweet soil to flourish in this normally acidic environment.

Map 1363A – Arnprior – This map from the Geological Survey of Canada shows the bedrock geology of the Carp Hills in more detail.

Flora and Ecology of Southern Ontario Granite Barrens (PDF), by Paul M. Catling and Vivian R. Brownell – Although written for granite barrens in general throughout southern Ontario, specific mention is made to eastern Ontario barrens and much of the information is relevant to the Carp Barrens.

Geology of the Ottawa Area (PDF), A Geoheritage Project by Quentin Gall (2010) – The first five pages of this field trip provide a nice overview of Ottawa’s geology.  The Carp Ridge and its Pre-Cambrian Shield composition are specifically mentioned.