Ontario Nature Blog

Protecting wild species and wild spaces since 1931

Reflecting back on 2016


Photo top left, credit: David Coulson; top/bottom right, credit: Diana Troya

As 2016 draws to a close, we’re thinking back to some of our major accomplishments for nature this past year. We could not have done it without our members, friends, followers, funders and sponsors. With your support, we continue to be Ontario’s leading organization protecting Ontario’s wild species and wild spaces.

We protected a piece of the Sydenham—one of Canada’s most biodiverse waterways— by creating the Sydenham River Nature Reserve.


Crefit: Dawne Mudford

We held our seventh annual Youth Summit for Biodiversity that brought together 107 young leaders from 61 communities across the province.


A group photo from the 7th Annual Youth Summit for Biodiversity and Environmental Leadership; Credit: Brendan Toews

Our Youth Council held 9 planting events, planting close to 2,000 pollinator-friendly plants with the help of over 200 volunteers. The Youth Council also received training from pollinator experts to carry out the next steps of their pollinator campaign.


Volunteers get their hands dirty planting for pollinators in Whitby, ON; Credit: Jaime Rae

We saw the Province commit to growing the Greenbelt into 21 Urban River Valleys and seven coastal wetlands.

We submitted 2,250 individual responses to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing signed by Ontario Nature members and supporters who want better protection for water, nature and communities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.


Don River; Credit: David Coulson

We led over 60 outreach and education events in northern and southern Ontario, focused on reptile and amphibian conservation and citizen science for people of all ages.


Sleuthing for salamanders at our Stone Road Alvar Nature Reserve; Credit: Smera Sukumar

We rolled out our new live updating, dynamic range maps to help you track your reptile and amphibian sightings across Ontario.


We reached over 360,000 records of reptiles and amphibians in the atlas database.


Snapping turtle hatchlings; Credit: Joe Crowley

We launched our Citizen Science Directory, an online, search 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.
directory-of-ontario-citizen-science-1We played a key role in Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) processes in Ontario, including audits of local forests and the development of the new national standard. Ontario Nature’s Boreal Program Manager, Julee Boan now sits on the FSC Board of Directors.


Through FSC, we aim to ensure a high bar for forest management, including the protection of species at risk; Credit: Petroglyph CC BY-SA 2.0

Undeterred by the dismissal of our appeal of a lower court ruling that puts already endangered species at further risk of extinction, we refused to give up on Ontario’s endangered species. We have partnered again with CPAWS Wildlands League and pro-bono legal team to file for appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada with a request to hear our case.

Finally, we celebrated 85 proud years of conservation work in Ontario!


Please consider making a year-end gift this holiday season to support our work to protect wild species and wild spaces through 2017 and beyond.


Wishing you the joy of nature this holiday season,

—The Ontario Nature team


Birds galore at the St. Catharines Christmas Bird Count


The year ahead


  1. Anita Caveney

    The news about Ontario Nature’s 2016 successful achievements has truly lifted my spirits. It has reminded me that the dedication and hard work of the Board and Staff has accomplished wonderful results for wild species and natural environments across Ontario. I feel very honoured to be a tiny part of this team.

    Now I’m keeping fingers crossed for Ontario Nature to be granted Leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada the ESA lawsuit decisions in favour of the Provincial Government by lower courts.

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