Mount Royal is one of the smallest of the Montérégie hills, but certainly the most popular. It is estimated that there are 20 million visits to the territory each year. However, the mountain occupies an area of ​​10 km2 in the heart of Montreal. When such a large number of Homo sapiens move into such a small territory, the consequences are quickly apparent.

A group of 12 conservation organizations recently unveiled a conservation plan that aims to “protect, restore and connect” each of the 10 Montérégie hills over the next five years. The Coalition des Montérégiennes brings together Mounts Royal, Saint-Bruno, Saint-Hilaire, Rougemont, Saint-Grégoire, Yamaska, Shefford, Brome and Mégantic, as well as the hills of Oka. Although it is not part of the same geological formation, Mont Rigaud is also a member of this coalition.

Estimated cost of the conservation plan, according to Les amis de la montagne and the Coalition des Montérégiennes

“It’s a small mountain with a public purpose. It is very intensively used, ”explains Hélène Panaïoti, from the organization Les amis de la montagne. The popularity of Mount Royal somewhat complicates the work necessary to ensure its ecological balance. In particular, there are more and more trails that are created by users outside of the trails already marked for the public, which does nothing to help protect already fragile natural environments. According to Panaïoti, it is not excluded in the future to temporarily close certain areas to allow nature to regenerate, a common practice in some large parks.

700 species of vascular plants

Some are rare and endangered, such as May-apple (a perennial understory plant also called may apple) or Canadian bloodroot. Measures are in place in Mount Royal Park to protect them from humans, who too often pick them up or trample them.

90 tree species

Sugar maple is particularly present at the foot of the mountain, while red oak and white pine dominate its peaks. On some sides, it is rather white birch that we find.

Over 180 species of birds

Along with the famous Barred Owl, the Eastern Screech-Owl, Wood Duck and Pileated Woodpecker are some of the mountain’s finest feathered residents.

Nearly 20 species of mammals

The ubiquitous raccoon rubs shoulders with the groundhog, red fox and chipmunk.

18 species at risk

The fauna and flora of Mount Royal include many species in a precarious situation, including the brown snake, the butternut or the Canadian hawthorn.