The La Cloche Mountains in Killarney located in the Canadian Shield are a large range of hills composed primarily of white quartzite--a metamorphic rock converted from sandstone through heating and the pressure of tectonic compression. The ore deposits in Sudbury are part of a large geological structure known as the Sudbury Basin, believed to be the remnants of a 1.85-billion year old meteorite impact crater. Due to processing associated with Sudbury’s nickel mines, local lakes were damaged by acid rain causing many of Killarney's lakes to become acidified. The resulting loss of fish species and aquatic plant life has been especially severe in quartzite areas, like the one seen here. Legislation in 1970s forced the industry to reduce its sulphur emission standards by over 90 percent.
A solitary Great Northern Loon (Gavia immer), although not representing a recovering species (it’s a common bird throughout its range) signifies the return of a healthier biological ecosystem that was nearly eradicated through environmental change. The diet of the loon includes fish that forage on copepods. Changing conditions in the Killarney lake region have revealed evolutionary shifts in copepod acid tolerance in acid-recovering lakes.