Spring 2010

Spring 2010

Celebrating nature through action. By Caroline Schultz Climate change threatens Arctic fox habitat; the Ring of Fire heats up; invasive Asian carp on the move; in search of turtles, frogs, snakes and salamanders. Thank you for supporting a green Ontario; the many conservation successes of the Sydenham Field Naturalists. We can save a lot of […]

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Why fear the bear?

Why fear the bear?

Myth and misinformation have sullied the bruin’s reputation. In truth, the big mammal evolved as a prey species that learned to survive through caution and stealth By Conor Mihell

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Tree huggers

Tree huggers

Better air quality. Pollution control. Habitat for wildlife. These are just some of the reasons why a band of dedicated volunteers is determined to save your neighbourhood forest. By Susan Grimbly

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City Lights

City Lights

Disoriented by glare and reflective surfaces, millions of birds crash into office buildings every year. Now, conservationists and city planners are teaming up to create a safer urban environment for avian travellers. By Brian Banks

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The tiny hunter

The tiny hunter

Inspired by the joy of biodiversity, a pioneering scientist discovered the rapids clubtail along the rivers of southern Ontario. Today, the species is the first of Edmund Murton Walker’s beloved dragonflies to be declared endangered. By Peter Christie

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Road Rage

Road Rage

We can save a lot of animals simply by not running over them. By Joe Crowley   A few summers ago, I was driving to North Bay when I noticed a painted turtle up ahead crossing the road. I quickly pulled over and ran back to help hasten its progress. But before I could save […]

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Our Member Groups

Our Member Groups

Sydenham Field Naturalists In reaction to the severe deforestation in an area once rich in woodlands and tallgrass prairie, the Sydenham Field Naturalists club was founded in 1985 with a mandate to enjoy, protect and restore the wildlife and habitat of Chatham-Kent and South Lambton in southwestern Ontario. The group stewards some of Ontario’s most […]

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Jim Robb: protector of the Rouge

Jim Robb: protector of the Rouge

—As told to John Hassell I grew up in Scarborough, at the time a rapidly growing suburb on the outskirts of Toronto. My days were spent exploring Highland Creek, Rouge Valley and the Scarborough Bluffs. Over the years, a lot of the woods and creeks I loved were lost to urban sprawl and pollution. This […]

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The lowly worm

The lowly worm

By Sharon Oosthoek It sounds like a bad Hollywood film, but truth can be stranger than fiction. While gardeners love to see earthworms in their soil and eco-conscious apartment dwellers rely on them to compost food waste, most people do not realize that the vast majority of worms in Ontario are invasive species. Furthermore, scientists […]

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Good eats

Good eats

By John Hassell A relative newcomer to farming, Graham Corbett is beginning his third year managing Whole Village Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), a farm located just outside of Orangeville. Corbett is part of what he describes as a “growing movement among organic and new farmers in Ontario who are embracing the CSA model, which redefines […]

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Bird watching 2.0

Bird watching 2.0

By Allan Britnell While the tools used for bird watching – binoculars, an identification guide and a notepad – have remained relatively unchanged since John James Audubon trekked through the woods, the uses for the data that birders obsessively compile have grown exponentially.

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Sounds like spring

Sounds like spring

John Urquhart The familiar, high-pitched “peep peep” of the spring peeper is one of the first sounds of the season, a signal that plant and animal life is emerging from its winter dormancy. No fewer than 13 species of frogs and toads in Ontario can be heard calling from late March until August. Nearly 50 […]

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Bridging over controversy

Bridging over controversy

By Amber Cowie Despite objections from Ontario Nature, local citizen groups and environmentalists, the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) project – a development that entails building a large addition to existing border facilities in both Ontario and Detroit and the construction of several roadways – is moving ahead. Naturalist groups have raised concerns about the […]

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Ring of Fire heats up

Ring of Fire heats up

By Jen Baker Over the past two years, there has been a surge in the staking of mining claims throughout Ontario. This is particularly evident in an area known as the Ring of Fire, some 240 kilometres west of James Bay, where an unchecked explosion in staking and exploration activity threatens up to 1.5 million […]

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The fate of the fox

The fate of the fox

By John Hassell The diminutive Arctic fox, easily distinguished from other fox species by its snow-white fur in winter, appears to be yet another casualty of the ecological changes brought on by global warming. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has identified the Arctic fox as one of 10 species that are highly […]

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Foreign bodies

Foreign bodies

By Douglas Hunter Since their introduction in the 1960s to North America through fish farms and research facilities, Asian carp have become an environmental disaster. Having escaped Arkansas aquaculture farms, the invasive fish have established self-sustaining populations in the Mississippi River basin. Their northward migration reached a crisis point in late 2009, when Asian carp […]

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Unfinished business

Unfinished business

The Guelph Field Naturalists (GFN) would like to express our disappointment with your article “Risky Business” [Autumn 2009], which reported on the proposed Hanlon Creek Business Park (HCBP) development in Guelph. The article is riddled with misinformation and was written in a biased manner. In addition, neither City of Guelph officials, Grand River Conservation Authority […]

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The diversity of life

The diversity of life

By Caroline Schultz Hurray for polar bears! Hurray for old-growth forests! Hurray for beaver ponds! And yes, hurray even for the elegant stinkhorn (a fungus) and the flooded jellyskin (a threatened lichen). This year is the United Nations (UN) International Year of Biodiversity. Eighteen years after 150 nations signed the International Convention on Biological Diversity […]

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