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Category: Pollinators (Page 2 of 5)

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.

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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.

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3 take-aways on neonics and pollinators

Virescent_Metallic_Green_Bee__BlackeyedSusan_Leslie_Bol-3_banner

Photo credit: Virescent green metallic bee/Leslie Bol

On April 19, I woke up early, and braved the busy highways of the GTA to get to a very important conference. The International Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, a group comprising 53 scientists from around the world, all working to study the environmental and health impacts of systemic pesticides, were presenting their research at York University.

Having been involved with the Ontario Nature Youth Council’s pollinator campaign, I was keen to learn about the issues of pesticide induced pollinator decline from this conference. Here are three things I learned at the symposium that I’d like to share.

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Our Special Spaces – Acting Now for Pollinators

Credit: Daynan Lepore

Credit: Daynan Lepore

Slacktivism is defined as “actions performed via the Internet in support of a social, political or environmental cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement.”

Sound familiar? I admit – I’ve been guilty of slacktivism.

In the digital era, when activism can often be reduced to a simple click of a mouse, Ontario Nature’s Youth Council seeks to put the ‘act’ back into activism with their 2016 Our Special Spaces events. These youth aren’t satisfied with simply signing petitions or ‘liking’ a Facebook page – they’re initiating change.

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All talk little action

Brown-belted bumblebee, credit: Anita Gould CC BY-NC 2.0

Brown-belted bumblebee, credit: Anita Gould CC BY-NC 2.0

The road to you-know-where is paved with good intentions. Unfortunately, we conservationists have headed down that road a few times too many in recent years.

Take for example Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, hailed by almost everyone as the gold standard for Canada when it was passed in 2007. I have no doubt that our MPPs had the best of intentions when they voted in favour of the law. Yet, since it was passed, Ontario Nature and others have had to fight tooth and nail to hold the government to its commitment. This has culminated in us suing the government after it severely weakened protection standards – a matter that has been before the courts since 2013 and will be heard by the Ontario Court of Appeal on April 19, 2016.

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