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Moving Day

Moving Day

By Victoria Foote On October 5, two weeks before our move from Don Mills to downtown Toronto, the staff at Ontario Nature smelled something odd. Although one staff person swore it reminded her of chicken soup, to most of us it smelt much more like burning rubber. We went through room after room, sniffing and […]

Message Board

Message Board

Fine dining You are to be congratulated on your outstanding Autumn 2006 issue, which focuses on the important relationship between food production and ecology. As a retired social science teacher and as an organic farmer with 37 years of experience, I know how critical it is for people of all ages to develop informed opinions […]

The numbers guy

The numbers guy

By Bruce Gillespie Allan Elgar can pinpoint the moment he became an environmental activist. One spring evening six years ago, planners for the Town of Oakville held a public meeting concerning a proposed development of 3,076 hectares of farmland and woodlots located in the town’s north end. Elgar, a long-time business and finance manager at […]

A (very big) book

A (very big) book

By D’Arcy Jenish Why are Carolinian species such as the red-bellied woodpecker and the northern mockingbird moving north of their traditional breeding grounds? Why are grassland species such as the henslow’s sparrow and the loggerhead shrike still in decline despite ongoing recovery efforts? During fieldwork for the atlas of the breeding birds of Ontario 2001-2005, […]

Budget woes

Budget woes

By Julee Boan Vacationers may have noticed some changes to their favourite park this summer. While conservation groups were applauding the new Parks Act, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) was slashing Ontario Parks’ budget, leaving the department struggling to make up a 2.4 million-dollar funding shortfall. As a result, an estimated 226 full-time summer […]

The ghost cat

The ghost cat

Experts have long believed that 0ntario’s eastern cougar is locally extinct. But mounting evidence now suggests otherwise. Has the cat come back? Or did it never leave? By Douglas Hunter It was early autumn, 1968, and a teenaged Dave Anderson was booting along a gravel road in a light green Dodge half-ton pickup with his […]

The fight for the forest

The fight for the forest

One of the world’s last, great, intact forests, the northern boreal contains rare species, ancient trees and billions of songbirds. But it is threatened by logging, mining, hydro projects and other industry interests. Can we save this precious wilderness? By Tim Tiner Larger than the Amazon rain forest, the great North American boreal forest (more […]

Troubled waters

Troubled waters

Why has the scaup population – a once common type of diving duck – plummeted over the past two decades? Alarming new research indicates that the waterfowl are poisoned as they feed along the lower Great Lakes By Megan Ogilvie The small, twin-engine aircraft banks left, cheap making a long, slow turn. Framed by the window, […]

City birds

City birds

Some adapt surprisingly well – like the peregrine falcons nesting in Toronto’s skyscrapers. But for many birds, the concrete jungle can be a deathtrap by Ted Cheskey Many years ago, I received a phone call from a teacher seeking advice on how to extricate an owl from his fireplace. Upon entering the house, my heart […]

Field Trip: Weasels

Field Trip: Weasels

by Dan Schneider and Peter Pautler Sought after for their luxurious furs and entrenched in popular myth as killers and gluttons, weasels (of the family Mustelidae) are solitary creatures well adapted to catching small mammals, birds and fish. Of the 11 species of weasels widespread across temperate regions of North America, nine live in Ontario: […]

Dianne (Dee Dee) Slyford: 1957 – 2006

Dianne (Dee Dee) Slyford: 1957 – 2006

Dianne Slyford – whom many here simply called Dee – passed away on July 28, 2006.To staff at Ontario nature, as well as countless members, Dianne was an integral part of the organization, and she is greatly missed. Dianne worked as the receptionist for Ontario Nature for some 20 years. During that time, she came […]

Winter 2006

Winter 2006

By Victoria Foote The fantastic butterfly migration; deep cuts to Ontario Parks’ budget; First Nations block mining exploration. Environmental activist and city councillor Allan Elgar has mastered a rare skill: saving habitats without spending a cent. By Bruce Gillespie Some adapt surprisingly well – like the peregrine falcons nesting in Toronto’s skyscrapers. But for most […]