Ontario Nature Blog

Protecting wild species and wild spaces since 1931

Tag: snakes (Page 1 of 2)

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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).

Read More

8 ways to endure the perils of field work

Queensnake, credit: Joe Crowley

Queensnake, credit: Joe Crowley

Field work can be fun and rewarding, but it does have its challenges. My colleagues and I have endured many unfortunate events while traipsing about the wilder parts of Ontario. Bug bites, falling trees, unplanned pond and cave entries, thunderstorms, borderline hypothermia, skunk sprays and pulled groins are just some of the troubles we have faced.

Last weekend, on a queensnake survey in Bruce Peninsula National Park (BPNP), we ran into more trouble in the form of a 5,000 pound canoe.

Tanya Pulfer, conservation science manager, and I planned to search for the endangered queensnake along the shorelines in the Bruce Peninsula National Park and had borrowed Park Canada’s canoe. Our backs ached as we lugged this beast down an unmarked portage route, hauling it over fallen trees, while tripping on roots and rocks. When we finally reached our river destination, the water level was so low that it appeared as a thin ribbon surrounded by thick mats of aquatic vegetation.

Read More

What’s up with the snakes?

Eastern ribbonsnake photo by Joe Crowley.

Eastern ribbonsnake photo by Joe Crowley.

Thirty years ago, hundreds of naturalists, biologists and outdoorsmen in Ontario began archiving hundreds of thousands of reptile and amphibian observations. Twenty-five years later, Ontario Nature continued and expanded that data collection to the entire province.

Read More

Page 1 of 2

Sitemap | Privacy Policy | Jobs | My Membership | Contact Us | © Ontario Nature, 2010-2017