Land Protection and Indigenous Peoples

Land Protection and Indigenous Peoples

Earlier this year, federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna that national parks must be respectful of traditional knowledge. She went on to say that Indigenous protected areas will be one way Canada can achieve its goal of having 17 percent protected land and inland waters by 2020. The summer issue of ON Nature features Point Grondine as […]

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Wonders of Nature Photo Contest

Wonders of Nature Photo Contest

A fleeting glimpse of an elusive bird, the delicate details of a dragonfly’s wings – there are few things that spark our sense of wonder more than the natural world. Share a photo that you feel reveals the wonder of nature in Ontario for a chance to qualify for the feature photo spot in the […]

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Home is rooted in the land

Home is rooted in the land

After 30 years when my husband Barry and I took joy in teaching, writing and living at the 800-acre Foley Mountain Conservation Area in eastern Ontario, retirement loomed. As we prepared to turn the rented park house over to a new supervisor, we were challenged to find a satisfying living place of our own. This […]

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Mashkinonje

Mashkinonje

By Back Roads Bill Wetlands are often misunderstood because we usually think of them as a “swamp,” often in movies it is where the bodies are found. At one time everything was a “swamp,” not a place to go for a holiday or spend some quality time. We are now learning wetlands are important but we […]

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Nearby nature reserves

Nearby nature reserves

In her article in the spring 2015 issue of ON Nature, Lorraine Johnson demonstrates how neighbours are creating pollinator habitat and restoring ecological connections in towns, suburbs and cities across the province. She provides the example of Palmerston Square Pollinator Patch – a small but diverse community garden that took root in west Toronto in 2014 […]

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The history of herping in Ontario

The history of herping in Ontario

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead In the spring 2014 issue of ON Nature magazine, Tanya Pulfer wrote an article about 30 years of herp atlassing in Ontario. Limited by the short length of her article, Pulfer […]

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Good news for monarchs

Good news for monarchs

When word spread this spring about the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food’s proposed delisting of milkweed from the Schedule of Noxious Weeds, Ontario Nature supporters sent supportive comments through the Environmental Registry, as did many other nature enthusiasts and scientists. Thankfully, the ministry listened and officially removed milkweed from the noxious weed list in […]

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Nature London: 150 Years Old and Counting

Nature London: 150 Years Old and Counting

By: Anita Caveney Lovers of nature feel so confidently that their hobby is an enormous asset in life that there is no feeling of hesitancy in advocating that every person should become acquainted with new species of bird, trees, insects, etc., just as often as opportunity offers.  And the time to do so is always […]

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Winter Reading

Winter Reading

Over the past year, I have read a number of environmentally-focused books that I would like to recommend to you. While the temperatures remain well below 0 degrees Celsius, why not give one of these books a go.

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14 Things that will make a Birder Happy

14 Things that will make a Birder Happy

  The holidays are just around the corner and here’s a list of gift ideas to help you keep the birder(s) in your life happy! (I’ve deliberately omitted binoculars, scopes, etc., from the list; not only are they expensive, but choosing them takes time, research and often boils down to personal preference.)

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Embrace your inner Grinch!

Embrace your inner Grinch!

  On more than one occasion, by more than one person, I have been referred to as the modern-day Grinch. The original Grinch is the frightfully unhappy antagonist in Dr. Seuss’ 1957 classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. He despises Christmas and ridicules all the residents of Whoville who celebrate it.

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Embrace winter!

Embrace winter!

  Visit one of Ontario Nature’s reserves this winter for free fun and fitness. Snowshoeing, hiking, skiing, birding, geocaching and making snow angels – there is so much to do so don’t delay!

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The buzz about bees

The buzz about bees

Pollinators are in trouble. That much is abundantly clear. This includes domesticated honey bees as well as our wild native bees, like the rusty-patched bumblebee, which is listed as a species at risk in Ontario.

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Mucking about in Lost Bay

Mucking about in Lost Bay

Last week, Ontario Nature staff and volunteers were turtle hunting in Lost Bay Nature Reserve in eastern Ontario. Established in 2000 with a generous private land donation, the reserve protects 44 hectares of provincially significant wetlands and mature forest around Lake Gananoque. John Urquhart, conservation science manager, and Megan Anevich, nature reserves intern, who led […]

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Fact and fiction

Fact and fiction

In 2007, to much acclaim, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was passed with support from members of all parties. Just six years later, the Liberals are quietly trying to gut the act, the NDP are muzzled by one or two northern members seeking exemptions for forestry, and the Progressive Conservatives are raging on about how […]

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A walk in the woods

A walk in the woods

In his article, “A walk in the woods” [Spring 2013, page 18], Brian Banks provides recipes for two delicious meals made with local forest foods.  You may also want to try these two equally mouth-watering recipes.

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Eating the forest

Eating the forest

Inspired by Conor Mihell’s article, “The Bountiful Forest” I found a recipe book entitled “The Edible Wild” by Berndt Berglund and Clare E. Bolsby in Ontario Nature’s library. The Edible Wild is both a cookbook and guide to wild plants that you can eat and cook with and which can be found throughout North America, including Ontario and […]

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The Whimbrels are coming!

The Whimbrels are coming!

The Whimbrels are coming, but not in the numbers bird lovers used to witness. Scientists are currently analysing data collected by volunteers in order to uncover what’s causing the whimbrels’ numbers to decline. This map tells you more about the migration paths of these long-distance fliers. For more information, please click here.

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The Ottawa Valley in autumn

The Ottawa Valley in autumn

Interested in visiting one of the gems of eastern Ontario as profiled in the article “The Ottawa Valley in autumn” in the fall 2011 issue of ON Nature magazine?  Check out the contact information below.

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The Problem with Landfills

The Problem with Landfills

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 By Conor Mihell That the majority of Ontarians don’t have a clue where their garbage ends up after its left at the curb has as much to do with society’s general lack of environmental consciousness as it does the province’s lacklustre waste management regulations. Almost six million tonnes of Ontario waste […]

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The way of the dodo

The way of the dodo

Wednesday, December 8, 2010 By Allan Britnell It was fitting that, late in 2010—a 12-month period that the United Nations had dubbed the International Year of Biodiversity—dignitaries gathered in Nagoya, Japan for the 10th meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Unveiled at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the CBD’s stated goal […]

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Sowing a green legacy

Sowing a green legacy

Friday, September 24, 2010 By Allan Britnell In early October (2010), dignitaries gathered at the Wellington County Museum and Archives [www.wcm.on.ca] in Fergus, Ont. for a ceremonial tree planting. The sugar maple sapling sown that day marked a very auspicious milestone: It was the one-millionth tree to be planted under the County of Wellington’s award-winning Green […]

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Big lake warming

Big lake warming

Friday, August 13, 2010 By Conor Mihell In April, Minnesota-based naturalists Kate Crowley and Mike Link began a five-month, 2,575-kilometre walk around Lake Superior. Their goal: to capture an ecological snapshot of the lake’s perimeter in 2010—“baseline” information that will no doubt be a valuable tool in measuring changes over time. To achieve their goal, the […]

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Bigger is better

Bigger is better

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 By Allan Britnell It seems we can add smaller birds to the growing list of impacts climate change is already having on the planet’s flora, fauna and habitats. A joint Swiss–U.S. study of nearly half-a-million birds, from more than 100 species, has found that birds are becoming lighter and developing smaller […]

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Back on track

Back on track

By Conor Mihell Wednesday, May 12, 2010 A 300-kilometre-long rail line linking the northern Ontario cities of Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie was raised from the dead when provincial and federal budgets in late March promised $30 million for long-needed track upgrades. While the antiquated Huron Central Railway is currently only used for transporting freight, rail activists in […]

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Development crushes turtles

Development crushes turtles

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 By Conor Mihell The city of Ottawa is pushing through the completion of a four-kilometre extension of Terry Fox Drive to access areas for new housing developments. If roadwork is finished within a year, $32 million of the $47 million project will be paid for by provincial and federal stimulus funds. […]

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Giving Invasives the Cold Shoulder

Giving Invasives the Cold Shoulder

Thursday, February 25, 2010 Posted By Allan Britnell Barely six months after the official surrender of Japanese forces ended the Second World War, Winston Churchill gave a speech in March 1946 at Westminster College in Missouri where he famously stated that, “an iron curtain has descended across the Continent,” coining a term used ever since to describe […]

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No Bull About this Re-engineering Project

No Bull About this Re-engineering Project

Thursday, February 25,2010 Posted By Allan Britnell An ambitious Italian effort is underway to re-engineer the auroch, a wild cattle species that’s been considered extinct for nearly four centuries.

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Finally: less logging in Algonquin

Finally: less logging in Algonquin

  Wednesday, February 3, 2010 Posted By Conor Mihell The ink is nearly dry on a new forest management plan for Algonquin Provincial Park that will increase the amount of logging-free area in Ontario’s most popular park. In November, the Algonquin Forestry Authority, the Crown consortium responsible for managing and planning logging activities within park boundaries, […]

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Bird versus plane

Bird versus plane

Tuesday January 26, 2010 Posted by Allan Britnell There’s no denying the heroic actions of U.S. Airways pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger when he safely landed his powerless plane in the Hudson River a year ago [www.vanityfair.com/style/features/2009/06/us_airways200906], saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew.

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Protecting an Island Paradise

Protecting an Island Paradise

Thursday December 17, 2009 Posted by Conor Mihell The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has brokered the largest conservation deal in Ontario history by raising $7.4 million to purchase a 1,900-hectare, eight-island archipelago in northwestern Lake Superior. NCC partnered with The Nature Conservation of the United States and the Ontario and federal governments to acquire […]

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Bird-friendly development

Bird-friendly development

Monday November 23, 2009 Posted by John Lorinc Beginning next year, new building projects in the City of Toronto will be expected to meet a minimum green design standard that includes bird friendly development guidelines. “All new development will have to be bird friendly,” says Toronto environmental planner Kelly Snow.

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Year of Biodiversity

Year of Biodiversity

Tuesday November 3, 2009 Posted by Allan Britnell While Arthur C. Clarke may have predicted that 2010 will be “the year we make contact,” the United Nations is asking us to take a more inward looking approach, declaring the coming 12 months to be the International Year of Biodiversity.

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Long Live the King

Long Live the King

Monday October 26, 2009 Posted by Conor Mihell A unique land use partnership north of Sault Ste. Marie has resulted in the long-term protection of one of Ontario’s highest points of land. With its twin peaks rising some 360 metres above the surrounding terrain, King Mountain is the focal point of the Algoma Highlands, a swath of […]

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Leaping to conclusions

Leaping to conclusions

Monday October 19, 2009 Posted by Allan Britnell Earlier this summer you may have read headlines like this one from the BBC proclaiming, “Legless Frogs Mystery Solved.” Good news, you likely thought, someone’s pinpointed the cause of one of the more disturbing ecological oddities of recent decades.

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Blasting Lake Superior

Blasting Lake Superior

Tuesday September 22, 2009 Posted by Conor Mihell Joel Cooper can’t say enough about the big lake that looms just outside the patio doors of his modest year-round home near Wawa, Ontario. “Lake Superior has captured my imagination and dominates my life,” says Cooper, a retired Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources employee who lives on […]

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Vulture Culture

Vulture Culture

by Dave Dick, BirdLife International Thursday September 10, 2009 Posted by Allan Britnell While the birth announcement for a slender-billed vulture (Gyps tenuirostris) is unlikely to elicit the fawning “oohs” and “aahs” you’d typically expect for a baby animal, the news was greeted with a huge sigh of relief in south Asia.

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The eagle rises again

The eagle rises again

Friday August 28, 2009 Posted by: Conor Mihell After more than 35 years of endangered species status, bald eagles living south of the French and Mattawa rivers were downgraded to a species of special concern by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in mid-August. Jody Allair, a biologist with Bird Studies Canada (BSC) who oversees […]

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Bring back the wolf

Bring back the wolf

Monday August 10, 2009 Posted by: Allan Britnell The lush green that carpets the Scottish Highlands has been looking a little threadbare in recent years, and an unchecked population of red deer (kissing cousins to North American elk) is to blame. Yet the solution being proposed by biologists is a controversial one: reintroducing wolves to […]

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Better late than never: Contaminated sites to be (finally) cleaned up in the Far North

Better late than never: Contaminated sites to be (finally) cleaned up in the Far North

Wednesday August 5, 2009 Posted by: Conor Mihell The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has committed to cleaning up Cold War-era Mid-Canada Line (MCL) missile detection sites in the James Bay Lowlands of the province’s Far North – finally (see “Hidden health hazards,” Autumn 2008 issue of ON Nature). The federal Department of National […]

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