Long ago, the Mont Saint-Hilaire Biosphere Reserve was blanketed in forest. Over time, the woods gave way to fields, houses and industries. Today, forest coverage is spotty and fragmented. Only strips of woodlands remain, but these can serve as forest corridors that play an essential role in preserving the biodiversity of the region’s flora and fauna by linking Mont Saint-Hilaire with the surrounding wooded areas. Forest corridors are also important for agriculture: by blocking the wind, they prevent fields from drying up. Finally, they also help to improve water quality by preventing pollutants from reaching streams and rivers.