Ontario Nature Blog

Protecting wild species and wild spaces since 1931

Sleuthing for Salamanders

Vernal pool at Altberg Nature Reserve, CREDIT: Noah Cole

Vernal pool at Altberg Nature Reserve, CREDIT: Noah Cole

After a warm winter and chilly start to spring, I joined my Ontario Nature co-workers at Altberg Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Reserve for a good old-fashioned salamander sleuthing event, our first of the season. The Altberg reserve is a tranquil property that has great trails and several vernal pools that are home to a variety of species, including fairy shrimp. Throughout the day we heard lots of woodpeckers and saw evidence of moose on the reserve.

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Ontario Nature’s Submit-A-Sighting Photo Contest


With the arrival of spring, Ontario’s most secretive creatures begin to emerge! With the turn of a log or with a sharp eye on your next spring stroll you might just be lucky enough to spot a reptile or amphibian. Whether it’s a turtle, snake, lizard, salamander, frog or toad—we want to see it!

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Mind the Gap

Blue-spotted salamander Joe Crowley

blue-spotted salamander, credit: Joe Crowley

Support the Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas by submitting sightings in underreported areas

The onset of spring is an exciting time of year for outdoor enthusiasts as the veil of winter is lifted from our wetlands, forests and meadows.

If you enjoy the wonders of nature, there are many reasons to get outside this spring. From the emergence of the iconic, ephemeral trillium that carpets the floor of deciduous forests to the return of songbirds from their wintering grounds.

But one spring phenomenon often goes unnoticed; the awakening of reptiles and amphibians. You can find these hidden, secretive creatures occupying a wide range of habitats. Turn over a log and you may find a common eastern red-backed salamander, or if you’re lucky, a spotted salamander, one of Ontario’s largest salamanders.

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Free, prior and informed consent – Where conservation can support human rights

Map Simon Brothers Powerline Fims_banner

CREDIT: Simon Brothers Powerline Films

I woke up this morning to a story on the local news that a family of nine had died in another northern First Nation reserve house fire. Among the dead were three children. The underlying cause – poverty and what the reporter called “third world living conditions”. It’s enough to take your breath away.

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Conservation Conversation


In celebration of our 85th anniversary, we are starting a Conservation Conversation! To get the conversation going, we’re asking you to share the actions you will take for nature today, and your hopes and dreams for nature tomorrow. We have been humbled, awed and inspired by your responses. Here are a few of our favourites so far. We’ll continue to post more as they come in.

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