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Tag: ontario reptile and amphibian atlas (Page 1 of 2)

Your guide to the updated Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas app

Credit: Camille Tremblay Beaulieu

Credit: Camille Tremblay Beaulieu

Spring has sprung and wildlife is on the move. While exploring a natural area, you might find a snake crossing the trail, a turtle basking on a log, or frogs calling. Now you can report this sighting to the Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas (ORAA) using our new and improved app! By harnessing the power of citizen science, you can increase the collective knowledge of herpetofauna to inform conservation science.

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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.

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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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Turning teens into citizen scientists

Guided hike photo by Mallory Vanier.

Guided hike photo by Mallory Vanier.

One of the most challenging aspects of outreach is capturing and maintaining your audience’s attention. This is especially true when your audience is a group of high school students who are attending an obligatory event. The challenge is well-worth it, however, when you succeed in turning teens on to something new.

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Mind the data gap

Eastern newt photo by Joe Crowley.

Eastern newt photo by Joe Crowley.

For decades, biologists across Ontario have been collecting data on amphibians and reptiles, collectively referred to as herpetofauna. Today these records are included in the Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas (ORAA).

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