Debunking Cormorant Myths

Double-crested cormorants, Credit: larry Jordan CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Double-crested cormorants, Credit: Larry Jordan CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

I was very disturbed to learn about a proposed provincial law, Bill 205, which has support from all parties. If passed, the bill will allow the indiscriminate hunting and trapping of double-crested cormorants, lifting their current protection under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act of 1997.

Here are three myths about cormorants that need busting before the government considers passing Bill 205. Continue reading “Debunking Cormorant Myths”

Documenting Life at George G. Newton Nature Reserve

Volunteers learn how to catch and identify butterflies, Photo credit: Lynn Miller
Volunteers learn how to catch and identify butterflies, Photo credit: Lynn Miller

Late last month, Ontario Nature’s conservation staff hosted a bioblitz at George G. Newton Nature Reserve, near Goderich. The day kicked off with two sessions, one focused on reptiles and amphibians and the other focused on plants. Jory Mullen of the Huron Stewardship Council led the amphibians and reptiles group. They found six green frogs, one leopard frog and four wood frogs in the stream running through the reserve. They also found nine red-backed salamanders in the forest. Continue reading “Documenting Life at George G. Newton Nature Reserve”

An Exciting Time for Citizen Science

Thunder Bay bioblitz, Credit: Julee Boan
Thunder Bay bioblitz, Credit: Julee Boan

Are you an aspiring citizen scientist? All over the world, members of the public contribute to scientific research by reporting species sightings, surveying water quality and more. You can join these citizen scientists with the help of Ontario Nature’s new Directory of Ontario Citizen Science (DOCS).

DOCS is an online, searchable tool that can link you with citizen science projects in your area. It can also help groups coordinating citizen science activities to publicize their projects and attract volunteers. DOCS is aimed at projects with biological, environmental, or conservation goals, and there are lots of them available.

Citizen science has been around for more than 100 years. Continue reading “An Exciting Time for Citizen Science”

Planting for Pollinators in Kinghurst Forest

Participants take a well-deserved break after planting 180 wildflowers, Credit: Lynn Miller
Participants take a well-deserved break after planting 180 wildflowers, Credit: Lynn Miller

The Ontario Nature Youth Council’s Special Spaces events have wrapped up for this year. All of them were extremely successful, but the highlight for me was the wildflower planting event I attended at Kinghurst Forest Nature Reserve. Continue reading “Planting for Pollinators in Kinghurst Forest”

Up with the birds: downtown danger

Glass reflecting nearby trees, photo courtesy of FLAP
Photo Credit: FLAP

Many birds migrate at night, guided by the stars and constellations. In Toronto, as in other North American cities, migrating birds are attracted to the lights left on overnight in downtown buildings. This often results in deadly collisions.

Continue reading “Up with the birds: downtown danger”