Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

D. Scott Slocombe

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This study examines the human-induced ecological changes occurring in Point Pelee and Pukaskwa National Parks and Rondeau and Lake Superior Provincial Parks as a result of external threats, as well as the methods used by park managers to prevent these changes. The primary objectives were to: examine the types of external threats and their implications to ecosystems in the selected parks; examine the responses of park managers to prevent changes in ecological integrity; determine whether or not the management techniques of park managers are rehabilitating and/or preventing ecological change induced by external threats: and make an initial comparison of national and provincial park approaches to specific threats. Point Pelee National Park and Rondeau Provincial Park are comparable as they are two peninsulas on the north shore of Lake Erie, with Carolinian floral and faunal associations. Pukaskwa National Park and Lake Superior Provincial Park are similar because both parks are situated on the north east shore of Lake Superior and are in the transition zone between the Boreal Forest and Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest communities. External threats to these parks included exotic species, global warming, adjacent land use, shore protection, pollution, and physical removal of resources. Management responses to ecological changes resulting from these threats have not been fully identified in the study areas. Where management has been identified, often it has not been fully implemented. Both provincial parks lag far behind their national park counterparts with respect to resource inventories, information on external threats, impacts and possible management responses. The establishment of these parks does not offer adequate protection. It is crucial that both the Park Services’ goals of preservation be carried out in day-to-day operations. Many important resource management concerns for both national and provincial parks may never be thoroughly addressed due to time and personnel constraints, budgetary cutbacks, and a backlog of resource management projects.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season