mi-old-growth-pine-300

Science North biologist Franco Mariotti shows a cross-section of a 240 year old red pine from the Wolf Lake Forest. The 'tree cookie', as they call them at the Sudbury science centre, is on exhibit there. Mariotti says some of the trees in the forest reserve are up to 300 years old. (Allison Dempster/CBC)

The first ever species count will happen at the Wolf Lake Forest Preserve in Greater Sudbury Wednesday.

Five scientists from three Ontario universities — including Laurentian University in Sudbury — want to take a so-called head count to figure out what species rely on the old-growth red pine stand of trees.

The stand is considered the largest of its kind in the world.

Environmentalists have been clashing with the province over mining claims in the area.

Scientists say if at-risk species are found there, mining claims will automatically be defunct.

Click on the on audio link for an interview with Sudbury scientist Franco Mariotti who spoke about the Wolf Lake biological survey.