Dear fellow Ontario Nature member, 

Happy New Year! With the dedicated support of our members, we accomplished a lot for nature in 2016. With a new year full of opportunities and challenges already underway, read on for what you can expect to see and how you can get involved.

Thank you for your support

With your dedication and support over the past year, together we have achieved real and positive impacts for the wild species and wild spaces you love. We truly appreciate your commitment to nature and hope you feel proud of the work that’s been done thanks to your support. At the start of a new year, we want to share with you some of the highlights of what you helped accomplish in 2016 with our Year in Review blog. As an Ontario Nature member, you made it all possible. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

How many did you count?

Over the holidays many Ontarians take part in a 116 year old tradition – the Christmas Bird Count. Conducted by volunteers, the Christmas Bird Count is North America’s longest-running wildlife census and is a crucial part of Canada’s biodiversity monitoring database. Always fun and always free, counts are organized locally by birding and nature clubs and are open to people of all ages and skill levels. This year, more than 100 events were held Dec. 14th 2016-Jan. 5th 2017, with many organized by our Nature Network groups. So far, more than 120 species and more than 647,000 individuals birds have been counted by more than 1,580 participants! Read about the counts on our website. Thank you to all our members who participated this year!


A glimpse of the future

We have an ambitious year ahead! Take a look at our blog that highlights some of the important work we will do together over the coming year. As we continue to build on past successes and take on new opportunities and challenges, your continued commitment as an Ontario Nature member is vital to the achievements we can reach for nature in 2017.  Our strength is our community of members and we look forward to standing with you to be there whenever and wherever nature needs us most this year.

Save the date

Save the date for Ontario Nature’s 86th annual gathering June 2nd-4th on Kempenfelt Bay! Enjoy hands-on workshops, expert guided field trips, thought-provoking presentations and more. Members also have the opportunity to vote at our Annual General Meeting during the weekend. Join us and celebrate 86 incredible years of protecting wild species and wild spaces in Ontario! Stay tuned - registration will be open in March.


Who are your nature heroes?

Community involvement defines Ontario Nature's character and approach. In this spirit, the Ontario Nature Conservation Awards honour the excellence of individuals, groups, government agencies and corporations working to protect nature in Ontario. Now is your opportunity to nominate your nature heroes for Ontario Nature Conservation Awards. Click here for more information about the award categories and click here for the nomination form. The nomination deadline is March 27th!


Fighting for nature

Ontario Nature and Wildlands League are seeking to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that upheld the government’s 2013 regulation exempting many harmful industrial activities from complying with core provisions of the Endangered Species Act. We have filed an application with the Supreme Court of Canada to appeal the ruling and await a decision. This would be the first appeal ever heard by the Supreme Court of Canada regarding species at risk.

We are also awaiting a trial date regarding a bid to protect pollinators from a harmful class of pesticides. Together with three other ENGOs we are asking the court to declare the registrations of these Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam-based pesticides invalid. We will let you know as soon as we have more information.


A lifetime of conservation

Congratulations to J. Bruce Falls for receiving the Order of Canada in December 2016. Falls was awarded the honour for his achievements in ornithology and nature conservation. In 1962, Falls was the president of Ontario Nature (then the Federation of Ontario Naturalists). You can read more about his work and the early years of Ontario Nature in this ON Nature article. Congratulations Bruce on this great honour and for your continued dedication to conservation!



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Images from top to bottom:  M. Brager CC BY-ND 2.0 , Joe Mabel CC BY 2.0, Noah Cole , Noah Cole, Johanna James-Heinz, Evan Dion