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Ontario Nature’s fall birding hot spots

Ontario Nature’s fall birding hot spots

By John Hassell You can learn a lot about the culture of an office by its internal memos. This past June, Ontario Nature’s executive director, Caroline Schultz circulated an all-staff memo alerting us that several chimney swifts – listed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada as a threatened species – were […]

Meet our board: Chris Rathgeber

Meet our board: Chris Rathgeber

Chris Rathgeber is the secretary/treasurer of Ontario Nature’s board of directors and the chief operating officer of Memofix Hitech Services.   John Hassell How did you first become involved with Ontario Nature? Chris Rathgeber My wife, who was familiar with the organization from her work in the nonprofit sector, introduced me to Ontario Nature in […]

A great deal

A great deal

By John Hassell Congratulations to our partner organization, the Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC), for raising $1 million to secure an additional 114 hectares of Malcolm Bluff Shores, a spectacular 423-hectare (1,045- acre) area on the Niagara Escarpment, north of Owen Sound. Together, Ontario Nature and BTC have raised the funds needed to permanently protect 346 […]

Is purple the new grey?

Is purple the new grey?

By John Hassell Location, location… colour. While the proper siting of wind turbines is understood to be critically important to reducing their impact on wildlife, it now appears that the colour of a turbine might also be a significant factor. Armed with the knowledge that bats, like birds, suffer high mortality rates around wind farms, […]

Meet our board: Brendon Larson, Presiden...

Meet our board: Brendon Larson, President

John Hassell You became the president of Ontario Nature’s board at our last annual general meeting. What vision do you have for your term? Brendon Larson We did some soul searching at a board meeting about a year and a half ago and ended up reaffirming our general direction after determining that there is no […]

The buzz is gone

The buzz is gone

By John Hassell Around the world, researchers have noted with increasing concern the rapid decline in bumblebees, yet another once common creature now at risk of disappearing altogether. The decrease in bumblebee populations is so severe that the Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario added the first bumblebee, the rusty-patched bumblebee […]

Rosemary Speirs: Standing up for nature

Rosemary Speirs: Standing up for nature

—As told to John Hassell I have been involved with many Ontario Nature campaigns during my 10 years on the organization’s board of directors. Looking back, I’m proud of the milestones that we have reached along the way. When the mayor of Pickering openly flouted conservation easements by selling 1,600 hectares of land to developers, […]

Ontario Nature’s biodiversity Watch List

Ontario Nature’s biodiversity Watch List

By John Hassell Nearly 200 species of plants and animals in Ontario are classified as at risk meaning that they are in danger of becoming extinct – either locally or globally. In recognition of the International Year of Biodiversity, Ontario Nature has identified 10 species that highlight the loss of biodiversity and raise awareness about […]

J.P. Gladu: northern ambassador

J.P. Gladu: northern ambassador

As told to John Hassell I grew up fishing, trapping and hunting, and those traditional activities remain a big part of my life – as they do for many other members of the two other First Nations that share the shores of Lake Nipigon in northwestern Ontario, where the Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (BNA) First Nation […]

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 […]

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 […]