Habitats at the Oliver Ecological Centre

The Oliver Ecological Centre property is very rich in biodiversity. Trent University wants to safeguard and encourage this diversity, which will be a key feature in attracting biological and natural history studies.

The Oliver Ecological Centre property contains a number of diverse habitats, offering a variety of opportunities for study, including:

Hardwood Forest

The property contains about 38 hectares (94 acres) of hardwood forest, much of it with well-preserved tracts of mature sugar maple.

Cedar Forest

A small mature White Cedar forest is present on the property.

Old Agricultural Fields

Previous owners of the Oliver property maintained agricultural fields, which are now reverting to forest. Some have been abandoned for 40 years, others untouched for only 10 years. The old fields provide the chance to study the direction and rate of old field successions, as well as providing habitat for some unique biological species.

field north of house

An agricultural field immediately north of the main house.

Shoreline Habitats

The Oliver property includes about 610 m (2000 feet) of shoreline habitat on Pigeon Lake, some sandy beach, some marsh, some rocky beach.

rock layers on Pigeon lake shoreline

Rock layers on a part of the Pigeon lake shoreline.

sandy beach by house

A sandy beach at the beach in front of the house, viewed during the open house.

Pigeon Lake and other Kawartha Lakes

The Oliver Ecological Centre borders on Pigeon Lake, which in turn is connected to the other Kawartha Lakes via the Trent Canal system. The table below describes some of the physical properties of the local lakes.

Pigeon Lake and shoreline

Pigeon Lake and shoreline.

Pigeon Lake from cottage shoreline

Pigeon Lake from the cottage shoreline.

Physical characteristics of the Kawartha lakes and rivers. Data for Pigeon Lake is in bold.

Lake or River Name Altitude
(m above sea level)
Surface Area
(106 m3)
Mean Depth
Depth (m)
Plant Cover
(% area)
Number of
Fish Species
Big Bald Lake 246.0 2.0 5.36 2.7 9.4 no data 16
Buckhorn Lake 246.0 32.3 74.20 2.3 7.9 85 18
Chemong Lake 246.0 25.0 49.80 2.0 6.7 44 24
Clear Lake 324.4 10.5 61.70 5.9 12.2 <1 17
Dummer Lake approx. 234 approx. 1.70 no data no data no data no data no data
Katchewanooka Lake 232.2 3.7 8.10 2.2 9.1 30 17
Little Bald Lake 246.0 2.1 3.82 1.8 7.6 no data 18
Lovesick Lake 241.7 2.9 6.68 2.3 25.0 no data 14
Lower Buckhorn Lake 242.6 13.1 41.90 3.2 24.0 no data 16
Otonabee River 200-320 no data no data no data no data no data no data
Pigeon Lake 246.0 56.7 189.00 3.3 7.0 31 16
Sandy Lake 246.0 3.8 no data no data 13 almost none similar to Buckhorn
Stony Lake 234.4 28.2 166.00 5.9 12.2 <1 18



The Oliver Ecological Centre property has a couple of sizeable marshes on property, plus a large number of others within short boating or driving distance.

marsh bordering forest on Pigeon Lake

Marsh bordering forest on the Oliver Ecological Centre property

marsh on Pigeon Lake

An example of a marsh on Pigeon Lake, close to the Oliver Ecological Centre property boundary.

Temporary Woodland Pools

These are present in the wet spring season, and disappear as late spring and early summer proceeds. They give rise to some unique biological species.