BioBlitz at Murphys Point

Ontario’s provincial parks are home to a diverse array of plants and animals. What better way to take a snapshot of this amazing biodiversity than through a BioBlitz?

Murphys Point Provincial Park hosted its very own BioBlitz on June 10-11, 2017.

The 24-hour event brought staff and volunteers together to explore and catalogue the park’s natural species.

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Snapping Turtles

Today’s post comes from David LeGros, a Natural Heritage Education Specialist at Algonquin Provincial Park.

I spent most of my youth in rubber boots and obsessed with nature. I was always looking for interesting animals and plants.

There are a few creatures then, just like now, that always inspire me.

Top of my list: the Snapping Turtle.

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Piping Plovers

Today’s post comes from Assistant Ecologist and Piping Plover specialist Ian Fife.

If you’ve visited some of our popular Great Lakes beaches, you may have noticed restricted areas for a tiny bird no larger than a sparrow.

What’s so important about these birds, and why do we fence off parts of our beaches to protect them?

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Carden Alvar Provincial Park and Important Bird & Biodiversity Area

Welcome to the July installment of “IBAs in provincial parks,” brought to you by Ontario IBA Coordinator Amanda Bichel of Bird Studies Canada.

This month, we’ll be talking about the Carden Alvar, a terrific example of harmony between Ontario Parks and the Important Bird & Biodiversity Area program.

Carden Alvar is a very special story, weaving together its rare habitat and species, and the stewardship efforts put forth to protect them.

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Calling all citizen scientists: come to the Killarney Butterfly Count

For the 19th year in a row, Killarney Provincial Park is hosting its Annual Butterfly Count.

And if you’re heading to Killarney on July 8, 2017, we’d like your help!

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Trees for tomorrow at Sandbanks

Nothing says Canada like a maple leaf. That’s why Sandbanks Provincial Park planted 150 Sugar Maples this spring.

And those maples are part of a bigger plan. Over the past ten years, this Picton-area park has planted a whopping 100,000 trees! This year alone, Sandbanks “grew” by 36,000 trees.

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Guess how many bee species call Ontario home?

When we think of bees, we often picture Honey Bees. We imagine a swarm buzzing around a honeycomb hive.

But the Honey Bee is just one of 400 different types of bees in Ontario (and we’re discovering new bee species all the time!).

And Honey Bees aren’t even a native species.

In fact, Honey Bees are relatively new to Ontario. They were an agricultural import, brought to North America for honey production and crop pollination. Before Honey Bees crossed the ocean, Ontario’s major pollinators were native bees, whose behaviour is often very different from the stereotypical honey bees.

Here are five other types of bee buzzing around our parks:

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Habitat fragmentation: the daily wildlife obstacle course

Today’s post comes from Jess Matthews, a Natural Heritage Education Specialist at Rondeau Provincial Park.

Imagine your commute to work or school.

Now imagine that multiple mysterious obstacles are now in your way. Your standard commute changes from a leisurely drive, bike or walk to a series of tests that slow your progress and may even endanger your life!

This is what wildlife across the province face as they move to find resources, mates, and suitable habitat for their offspring.

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Spring flooding at Ontario Parks

Due to this spring’s high water levels, many provincial parks experienced flooding that delayed their opening or closed their trails and campgrounds.

Our staff have been working hard to help our parks dry out and re-open for visitors. Take a look at what our teams had to contend with this spring:

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