Mud Lake is one of the most ecologically important natural habitats in the urban part of Canada’s Capital Region. It is identified as a Provincially Significant Wetland and an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest by the government of Ontario and is classified a Protected Area management Category IV (habitat and species management area).
This 60-hectare natural environment is a complex of wetlands along the Ottawa River, the majority of which is made up of deciduous swamp forest. The driest part, to the west, contains a mature forest stand which is made up predominantly of white, red and burr oak, as well as white pine.
Mud Lake is a habitat for a wide diversity of animal species. Located within the Lac Deschênes area and in a major migratory corridor, it specifically serves as an important environment for bird conservation and is recognized as one of the most popular urban sites for birdwatching in Canada. 269 species of birds have been recorded, as well as numerous species of amphibians, reptiles and fish that are not commonly found either regionally or nationally. It also hosts diverse plant life, with 44 rare and 15 uncommon plant species as well as several fauna species-at-risk.
Several species of invasive non-native plants threaten the biodiversity of the Mud Lake habitat. Eleven of these species have been recorded, covering about 29 percent of the total area of this natural habitat.