Today’s post comes from Laura Sagermann, a Natural Heritage Education leader from Bon Echo Provincial Park.
Across Ontario, our provincial parks protect a wide range of diverse ecosystems and habitats from human impact, urban development and other environmental threats.
However, this protected land is not immune to invasive species. These are non-native species that have been introduced (either purposely or accidentally) and have negative effects on a region.
At Bon Echo, the latest invasive species to be found is the insect-fungus combination responsible for beech bark disease. Continue reading Downed trees become habitat for eastern red-backed salamanders
During the summer of 2015, several research projects were conducted at Murphys Point Provincial Park, but one in particular attracted the attention of staff and public alike.
With long-handled nets in hand, park staff — led by expert volunteer Bev Edwards — could be seen thigh-deep in the vernal ponds, streams and lakes located within the park.
What were they doing?
Surveying for odonates (that’s dragonflies and damselflies to most of us).
Continue reading Hunting dragons, discovering damsels
Today’s post comes from David Bree, our Senior Natural Heritage Education Leader at Presqu’ile Provincial Park, and passionate protector of Ontario’s shorebirds.
I don’t know Jason. But I do know he turned six sometime in the last two months and he had a wonderful party with cake, presents and balloons, surrounded by friends and family.
I hope he had a good time, but I wonder if he knows the legacy of his sixth birthday — from my perspective — is unsightly litter, extra work and possibly untimely death.
Continue reading The trouble with balloons
Happy World Turtle Day! Today’s post comes from Shannon McGaffey, our Assistant Park Biologist at Algonquin Provincial Park.
Earlier this month, a crew of seven park staff – rangers, maintenance workers, administration staff and biologists – spent the entire day installing turtle fencing along the side of the busy Highway 60 in Algonquin.
Continue reading Saved by the fence
Biodiversity is a big word for the variety of life on Earth.
Biodiversity is you – and every other living thing on the planet. We see biodiversity every day, but it’s more than bugs and animals and trees. It’s about how everything is connected. If we lose one piece of biodiversity, the rest is affected.
Continue reading Why is biodiversity important?
When campers return to their favorite campsites this year, they may be greeted with a different scene than they remember.
That favorite tree that used to shade your campsite and provide a relaxing location to sit and read a book? Now gone, replaced by a stump with small plants growing around the base.
The loss of trees from storm damage, fire or other catastrophes provides an opportunity for a remarkable ecological process to ensue – forest succession.
With change comes opportunity…
Continue reading A changing landscape: how nature influences the way our parks look
For Day 4 of Earth Week 2016, we want to share an amazing success story:
Ever heard of Polar Bear Provincial Park?
Few Ontarians will ever visit the 2.3 million hectares of protected land along Ontario’s only salt water coast. The park is home to the magnificent polar bear, as well as caribou, seals and the beluga whale.
Between 2011 and 2016, Polar Bear Provincial Park underwent the largest Environmental Remediation Project ever to be completed inside a protected area!
Continue reading Restoring nature’s balance in Polar Bear Provincial Park
With Earth Day fast approaching, now’s the perfect time to talk about how our ecopassages are helping protect Ontario’s wildlife!
You may have heard of wilderness corridors built for wildlife to cross over or under the TransCanada Highway. Ecopassages are mini versions of these, like a critter-sized subway tunnel passing under the road.
Continue reading Ecopassages help wildlife cross roads safely
Noticed the dainty purple flower adorning the 2016 summer pass for Ontario Parks?
It may surprise you to learn that when Ontario Parks staff discovers that flower in a park, they often rip it out by the roots.
That’s because spotted knapweed is…
Continue reading Our 2016 parks pass is more than just a pretty flower
On a busy June afternoon, a pair of park staffers responded to a report of an injured fox pup. Here’s what they found:
Campers alerted us to whimpering coming from a viewing platform along the Cedar Sands Trail at Sandbanks Provincial Park.
Continue reading Park rangers rescue an injured fox kit