Ontario Nature Blog

Protecting wild species and wild spaces since 1931

To Bee or not to Bee: Stratford’s Ethan Elliott Brings Bee City Home

Ethan Elliott

Ethan Elliot— a student and member of Ontario Nature’s Youth Council, has a knack for making things happen. It is no surprise that he has been able to convince his hometown of Stratford to become Ontario’s second Bee City.

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At long last, an end to the snapping turtle hunt

Snapping turtle; Credit: Jory Mullen

Credit: Jory Mullen

It has been a long time coming. Alongside our members, supporters, member groups and partners, Ontario Nature spent years trying to convince the Government of Ontario to end the hunting of snapping turtles, a species at risk. And finally, on Friday March 31, the government announced its decision to terminate the hunt. This was the only correct decision in light of irrefutable scientific evidence that snapping turtles cannot be sustainably hunted. Taking just one or two adults from a population on a yearly basis will lead to decline.

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Protect the land to protect our water

Humber River; Credit: Gary J Wood CC BY-SA 2.0

Humber River; Credit: Gary J. Wood CC BY-SA 2.0

World Water Day offers us a chance to reflect on our connection to water and how we can best protect it. Across the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH), expanding urban footprints are threatening lands that filter water, control flooding and recharge aquifers. By guiding development in existing urban centres and protecting natural features, we can protect the source of drinking water for millions of residents. “Grow the Greenbelt to protect vulnerable water supplies” has become a rallying cry for the more than 35,000 Ontarians who wrote to the provincial government demanding greater protection for their water.

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5 things you may not know about forests

Oak trees in High Park

Oak trees in High Park; Credit: Felipe Villegas

I’ve always been enchanted by forests: the delicate understory flowers, the smell of decomposing wood, the sound of leaves blowing in the wind—it’s magical! As a child, I spent hours running in the woods, imagining myself as Disney’s Pocahontas, naming my favourite trees and befriending squirrels and chipmunks. After studying forest conservation, my passion has become an academic interest.

To celebrate the International Day of Forests (March 21, 2017), I’m sharing some of the things I’ve learned about forests, both as a student and as a naturalist:

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Stand up for the Greenbelt and stop sprawl for good!

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An aerial perspective overlooking the Oak Ridges Moraine, Credit: Bill Lishman

Sign the Petition

Decisions on the future of the Greenbelt are about to be made

The Premier and Cabinet are about to make final decisions on the updated Oak Ridges Moraine, Greenbelt, Niagara Escarpment and Growth Plans. They have a big choice to make: protect water sources, sensitive natural areas, and farmland in and around the Greenbelt or allow developers to pave over these areas for years to come.

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Why I Love Frogs (And You Should, Too)

EmmaWithFrog

A young Emma holding a frog; Photo courtesy of Emma Horrigan

One of my first introductions to nature as a kid was observing tadpoles on the Toronto Islands and catching frogs at the Forks of the Credit Provincial Park. No outdoor adventure was complete without looking for and finding frogs.

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A Mud-WHAT?: Searching for the Elusive Mudpuppy

ORAA Crowley Mudpuppy

“A Mud-WHAT?!”…This slightly confused inquiry is one that I often get when I talk about Ontario’s largest salamander, the mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus).

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Expanding and improving habitat along Bauman Creek: a cold-water stream restoration story

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The channelized portion of Bauman Creek immediately downstream of Blair Road in Cambridge, where the water first enters Blair Flats. Credit: J. McDonald

With the support of the Loblaw Water Fund, rare undertook a restoration of Bauman Creek, a cold water stream located on rare property.

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