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A park for rarities

A park for rarities

   Tim Tiner Hidden within the remnants of the Carolinian forest, Short Hills Provincial Park is a neglected gem.   In the first grey light of an overcast morning, the sweeping vista of deep, wooded valleys and hilltop meadows seen from the Bruce Trail in Short Hills Provincial Park is sombre and muted. Although […]

Signs of spring

Signs of spring

By Tim Tiner Few things are as welcome or longed for as the first signs of spring. They often come unexpectedly, in the surprise visit of a newly returned bird at a feeder, a buzzing bee on a warm day or the chorus of frogs rising from the background of ambient noise. Before long, spring […]

Rusty blackbird

Rusty blackbird

The triple threat of severe habitat loss, climate change and pollution has caused a precipitous drop in these sublimely coloured birds across North America. By Tim Tiner The muskeg-nesting rusty blackbird may be the most sharply declining land bird in North America. On its wintering grounds in the swamps and bottomland woods of the southern […]

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 […]

Northern bobwhite

Northern bobwhite

The grasslands and savannahs of Walpole Island support what may be the last, viable, native population of this pint-sized wildfowl. By Tim Tiner Indigenous to Ontario’s nearly disappeared tallgrass prairie and savannah, the northern bobwhite highlights the plight of many imperilled grassland birds. The pint-sized wildfowl, which in Canada is found only in southwestern Ontario, […]

Kirtland’s warbler

Kirtland’s warbler

  First identified less than two centuries ago, North America’s rarest warbler makes an impressive comeback.  By Tim Tiner   Among species at risk, North America’s rarest warbler provides one of the few good-news stories. Brought back from the brink of extinction on its tiny Michigan breeding range, the tame, effusive, tail-bobbing Kirtland’s warbler has […]

Whip-poor-will

Whip-poor-will

Often heard but seldom seen, this enigmatic insectivore has undergone a rapid population drop across Canada. Researchers are now turning to new survey methods to help save a poorly understood species. By Tim Tiner The whip-poor-will’s loud, ringing call – a fabled, disembodied “voice in the night woods” (in the words of naturalist Roger Tory […]

Chimney swift

Chimney swift

  A once familiar urban dweller, Ontario’s latest official bird at risk is in free fall and global warming may be the key cause. By Tim Tiner Unlike most imperilled species, Ontario’s newest official bird at risk is a high-flying ace long familiar in the cities and towns of the province. In September, Queen’s Park […]

Field Trip: Turtles

Field Trip: Turtles

by Tim Tiner In the mid-1990s, Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) biologist Tim Haxton made a disturbing discovery while doing a survey of snapping turtles in the Haliburton area. Nearly one-third of the 279 turtle sightings he tallied were roadkills. He also encountered hostility toward the ponderous reptile. “It is a big issue up there. […]

The great fall migration

The great fall migration

by Tim Tiner Long before the autumn equinox occurs and the leaves begin changing colour, fall migration is well underway among Ontario’s birds. In fact, the first restless, Arctic-nesting shorebirds usually pass south through Ontario in the latter half of June. Unlike the northward race to nesting grounds in spring, the parade of return migrants […]

Acadian flycatcher

Acadian flycatcher

Unchecked deforestation throughout its Central and South American wintering grounds is the single greatest threat to the survival of this diminutive songbird. by Tim Tiner Deep within the largest stands of Ontario’s Carolinian forest, at the buggy bottoms of steep, hemlock-shrouded ravines and the inner reaches of tall-treed swamps, lies the domain of the Acadian […]

Roads to ruin

Roads to ruin

The province is poised to build a highway that will arc across the Niagara Peninsula, threatening farm lands, headwaters, wetlands and wildlife with car-oriented sprawl. Now a determined coalition of conservation and citizens groups is fighting back, demanding that the government honour its pledges to combat the causes of climate change by Tim Tiner Environmental […]

Short-eared owl

Short-eared owl

This mysterious little raptor must contend with multiple threats to its survival including the absence of a recovery plan to help stabilize its populations by Tim Tiner Quiet, secretive and increasingly rare, the short-eared owl is an enigmatic, ground-nesting seeker of expansive open spaces. A bird that travels widely, it can be found on every […]

The First 10

The First 10

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These high-priority species will be fast-tracked for protection using new regulations that will set the provincial standard for endangered wildlife conservation

by Tim Tiner

In May 2007, Ontario Nature’s efforts, made in concert with other conservation groups as part of the Save Ontario’s Species coalition, were rewarded by a hard-won piece of legislation: a new Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Dump Debacle

Dump Debacle

In one of the province’s longest running environmental battles, activists and residents of Tiny Township are waging a last-ditch effort to stop a municipal landfill from being dug on top of an aquifer described as one of the purest sources of water on earth.

Canada warbler

Canada warbler

Although not yet listed as an at-risk species in Ontario, the country’s namesake warbler is one of the continent’s fastest dwindling migratory songbirds by Tim Tiner It is a painful irony that one of the newest additions to Canadas list of species at risk is the countrys namesake warbler. A prolonged slide in population has […]