IBAs of Ontario Parks: Turkey Point and the Norfolk Forest Complex IBA

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

Summer is a perfect time to talk about Turkey Point Provincial Park and the Norfolk Forest Complex IBA!

These forests are known for supporting a rich breeding bird community, as well as an astounding array of other species.

Continue reading IBAs of Ontario Parks: Turkey Point and the Norfolk Forest Complex IBA

The cat and the Mudbug: a guide to using iNaturalist

Cellphones have changed our lives in many ways. It seems like there’s an app available to cater to our every need, from baking to banking and all things in between.

In Ontario Parks, we generally encourage green time over screen time, however there’s one app we believe every visitor should have on their phone.

Continue reading The cat and the Mudbug: a guide to using iNaturalist

Bioblitz at Murphys Point is fast approaching!

In celebration of Ontario Parks’ 125th anniversary, and with two practice runs for local schools already under their belt, the staff at Murphys Point Provincial Park are keen to invite members of the public to join them for their 2nd Annual Bioblitz on Saturday August 18.

Continue reading Bioblitz at Murphys Point is fast approaching!

Tree-mendous times at the Giant

This post comes to us from Lesley Ng, Natural Heritage Education Leader at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

Recently, park staff removed three outhouses from Marie Louise Lake Campground, leaving a blank footprint.

With funds available for Ontario Parks 125th anniversary stewardship initiatives, Sleeping Giant submitted a proposal to plant a few more trees this season.

Continue reading Tree-mendous times at the Giant

Emergence of the Dragonhunter

Today’s post comes from Evan McCaul, Ecologist with Ontario Parks’ Northwest Zone. 

While conducting an ecological inventory of Brightsand River Provincial Park, Ontario Parks staff witnessed and recorded a large scale emergence of dragonflies, including a Dragonhunter, the largest clubtail dragonfly in North America!

Continue reading Emergence of the Dragonhunter

Responsible anglers are nature’s superheroes

Today’s post comes from our friends at the Invasive Species Centre.

Fishing can be enjoyed in every season, and this means that we can keep the health of our lakes and waterways top-of-mind year-round.

In Ontario, the Fishing Regulations control live bait to prevent the spread of infectious fish diseases (like viral hemorrhagic septicemia), unwanted fish species, and invasive species.

Let’s buff up on our bait facts to help protect our lakes and become invasive species fighters. Your training begins now.

Continue reading Responsible anglers are nature’s superheroes

Hiking the trails with your dog

Today’s post comes from our friends at the Invasive Species Centre.

The beauty of a hike does not need to be enjoyed alone; your dog can be a great companion as you adventure through your favourite park.

Do it well by planning before stepping foot, or paw, on the trail.

Continue reading Hiking the trails with your dog

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.

Continue reading Snapping Turtles

Why driftwood matters

Today’s post comes from Laura Myers, Senior Park Interpreter of Neys Provincial Park.

Driftwood – it makes a great bench to watch the sunset, a balancing beam to play on, or that perfect element to your photograph.

There’s something about driftwood that gives beaches that rugged beauty factor. Walking on a beach, listening to the waves and the birds, and looking at the different pieces of driftwood can be wondrous and relaxing.

Has a piece of driftwood ever caught your eye and made you wonder where it originally came from? How it got that far up the beach? The size of the wave that put it there? What species of tree or how old it is?

Each piece of driftwood has its own journey and its own story. But its story isn’t over when it washes up on the beach.

Continue reading Why driftwood matters

Summer bioblitzes at Algonquin

In honour of our 125th anniversary, our oldest provincial park, Algonquin, is hosting a bioblitz series!

Join park naturalists for weekly programs where you will learn how to identify and inventory different species, as well as the importance of citizen science in protecting the biodiversity of our parks.

Continue reading Summer bioblitzes at Algonquin