As the only flying mammals in the world, bats can make an impressive claim to fame. Eight species of these nocturnal creatures live in Ontario. Agile and predatory, bats are capable of extremely sophisticated bio-sonar, also called echolocation, meaning that they emit pulses of sound and can detect echoes bouncing back from objects, including their prey.
Spiders live among us in almost every conceivable habitat. Their ecological role, one that benefits us, is as the ultimate predators of insects. They pursue this role with instinctive dedication; some have even moved into the warm micro-climates of people’s homes, unwittingly protecting us from pesky insects. In turn, they are a food source for many animals, forming an important link in the food chain.
This guide is intended for the boreal forest of northern Ontario where foraging presents an alternative to harvesting lumber and the forest’s ability to absorb the impact of harvesting is greater. It is not meant for forests in southern Ontario.
Endangered species live in the wild in Ontario and are facing imminent extinction or extirpation. Generally, these species and their habitats are protected under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, 2007.
Ontario’s forests, meadows and waters provide an incredible range of nutritious and delicious edible wild plants. Ontario Nature has prepared this foraging guide as an introduction to this local resource, and to encourage people to get outside and experience the wonders the natural world provides.
The trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants and fungi listed in this guide are a sample of some of the abundant local species that can be harvested sustainably, though there are many other wild edibles to explore. The guide is intended to be a starting point for people interested in foraging for edible wild plants and should not be considered to be a definitive resource for their identification and use.
Dragonflies and damselflies are two related groups (suborders) that make up the insect order Odonata. Although very similar in many ways, they are also very easy to distinguish.
Dragonfly adults have a rather robust body, and perch with wings held out to the side. Their eyes are huge, often meeting at the top of the head. The bodies of damselfly adults are quite slender, and for most species the wings are folded together over their abdomen while at rest. While their eyes are very large, they are set somewhat to the side of the head rather than dominating the front.
Dragonflies are swift and strong fliers, reminiscent of tiny airplanes, while damselflies have a rather fluttering flight.
Learn to identify some of Ontario’s butterflies and moths, this popular online guide includes more than 24 species.