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Land Trust grows bigger

Land Trust grows bigger

by  Jim MacInnis Through a generous donation and Ontario Nature’s initiative, the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust (ORMLT) has added another significant piece of land to its holdings. Senator Nancy Ruth, a dedicated environmentalist, donated some 25 hectares of forested land in north Pickering, which Ontario Nature brought to the land trust’s attention. The land […]

Around the world

Around the world

by Jim MacInnis While many factors have contributed to the decline of some bird populations, the single biggest threat to many birds is the common house cat. So says a report issued by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, which claims that cats kill “hundreds of millions” of birds annually.

Ontario Nature’s eco-tour

Ontario Nature’s eco-tour

by Jim MacInnis Mayors from the townships of Scugog, Uxbridge and Brock, as well as local councillors, Ontario Government representatives, leaders from conservation organizations and executives from private industry, joined Ontario Nature this spring on a tour of the Greenbelt in Durham Region. Ontario Nature hosted the event to demonstrate how conservation groups, municipalities and […]

My Turn: Brendan Toews

My Turn: Brendan Toews

Teenager, goalie, budding ornithologist As told to Jim MacInnis I’ve been interested in birds since I was about five. I’m 14 now, and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading field guides. My parents used to strap me into a carrier and take me along with them on hiking expeditions through Whitehorse, northern […]

Smart cars

Smart cars

Car sharing is an excellent way to help your wallet and the environment – and it’s coming soon to a neighbourhood near you by Jim MacInnis I needed a desk. The novelty of using the floor as a workstation and sharing my keyboard with two cats had worn off. In the past I would have […]

My Turn: Soraya Peerbaye

My Turn: Soraya Peerbaye

Learning about birds As told to Jim MacInnis My parents’ homeland is Mauritius, an island of rich cultural and natural diversity located 900 kilometres east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. I spent the first nine years of my life travelling back and forth between Mauritius and Ontario. Mauritius, of course, was home to the […]

Water works

Water works

by Jim MacInnis Recently proposed changes to an admittedly creaky piece of legislation – dating back to 1882 – are giving paddlers a sinking feeling. The Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA) was enacted during John A. Macdonald’s tenure as prime minister to protect the public right of navigation on Canadian rivers and waterways.

My Turn

My Turn

I had the privilege of growing up in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe. These are huge countries with incredibly diverse ecosystems: river ways, deserts, savannah, forest, mountains and oceans. My formative years were in Tanzania…

Frequent fliers

Frequent fliers

“One of the big questions in songbird conservation is the role of breeding versus wintering grounds in driving widespread songbird declines,” observes Bridget Stutchbury, a biology professor at York University and the author of Silence of the Songbirds.

Gimme shelter

Gimme shelter

In 2006, scientists in New York state started noticing something odd about the bats where they were conducting research: a strange discoloration around the animals’ snouts. Two years later, similar descriptions were noted in seven other states, with the additional observation that the affected bats were also extremely thin.

My Turn

My Turn

Jeff Howard: water keeper As told to Jim MacInnis My whole life I’ve watched the water. I love solid ground – I hike, ski and even race mountain bikes in the summer – but I live near Big Bay Point in Innisfil, which juts sharply out into Lake Simcoe, so it’s the water to which […]

Killer bees

Killer bees

by Jim MacInnis Nearly one-third of the food we eat is a result of pollination by insects, so the widespread disappearance of wild bee populations has been triggering alarm bells around the world. Concern for the insect’s demise has been heightened further because scientists have been unable to determine the cause of its decline. A […]

The last road trip

The last road trip

by Jim MacInnis The largest piece of refuse you will probably ever throw away is your car. Every year, half a million vehicles are taken off Ontario roads as a result of age or collision damage and sent to auto dismantlers. In most cases, 75 percent of a car’s parts can be recycled; the remainder […]

Follow that bug

Follow that bug

For medicine hunters, bugs mark the spot. Research by a joint team of scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama, McGill University and the University of Toronto has shown that the vivid colours of certain poisonous insects, which causes predators to avoid them, is also a relatively reliable indicator of medicinal compounds […]

Lake trash

Lake trash

In September, the U.S. Congress revised and ultimately upheld a policy that will continue to allow freighters to dump traces of cargo such as iron ore, wood chips and limestone (a process called “cargo sweeping”) into the Great Lakes.

Storage Space

Storage Space

Did you know that the amount of energy from the sun shining down on earth for one hour is equivalent to the amount of energy used globally for an entire year? The harnessing of solar energy is not new. However, scientists have struggled to find a way to store solar energy for use when the […]