5 cool facts about skinks

If you’ve ever seen a Five-lined Skink, you know just how cute they are!

The Five-lined Skink, which looks a bit like a salamander, is the only lizard species native to Ontario. And while researchers continue to study skinks, we still don’t know very much about what they do on a day-to-day basis, particularly from September to May when they’re hibernating.

Here are five cool things we DO know about Five-lined Skinks, courtesy of Alistair MacKenzie, Resource Management Supervisor at Pinery Provincial Park.

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Slithering into fall: hibernation for Ontario’s reptiles

Today’s post was written by seasonal student Heather Van Den Diepstraten from Rondeau Provincial Park.

It’s not just students and birds on the move this fall.

As the cold weather approaches, reptiles are trekking across Rondeau Provincial Park in search of hibernacula (places in which wildlife overwinter). Researchers for Wildlife Preservation Canada are busy tracking the movements of snakes, turtles, and skinks within the park as they find suitable habitat for their hibernation.

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I heard a strange sound last night – what was it?

Today’s post is from Mark D. Read, a senior interpreter at Murphys Point Provincial Park.

It’s a common question that park interpreters face almost daily during the summer and one that many folks already think they know the answer to:

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8 fun facts about spiders

Today’s post comes from naturalist Pilar Manorome from Rondeau Provincial Park.

Are you afraid of spiders? Our eight-legged friends are the kind of “creepy crawlies” that many people like to pretend don’t exist.

One of my goals as a naturalist is to break down those barriers with fun facts that can make those “less-appealing” creatures sound like they would be a hoot at any of your Halloween parties.

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A forest of friends

Today’s post comes to us from Heather Stern, a naturalist at Bon Echo Provincial Park

Many people visit parks each summer for vacation, relaxation, adventure, or more generally, a break from city life. These are all great reasons to get outside and enjoy nature.

However, while visitation to provincial parks is increasing, we want knowledge of the plants, animals, and the unique habitats that these parks protect to increase too.

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The Murphys Point moth craze

This post comes to us from Mark Read, an interpretive naturalist at Murphys Point Provincial Park.

Most people have a love/hate relationship with moths. But believe it or not, moths are the latest craze to hit Murphys Point Provincial Park!

With moths that range in size from as big as your hand to smaller than a grain of rice, staff at the park have been documenting this understudied group for the last few years.

As a result, the park list has grown from 56 known species in 2015 to a whopping 673! That’s 617 more species identified in the park in just three years!

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Monarch Butterflies

Today’s post was written by summer student Danielle Bullen from Rondeau Provincial Park.

It’s that time of year again, and across Ontario, we’re starting to see those beautiful orange and black wings.

Monarch Butterflies come all the way from Mexico over a few generations, depending on the amount of milkweed available during their travels, spending summer here in Ontario.

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A brief history of nature education in provincial parks

“Through these interesting and enjoyable experiences which are both educational and recreational, interpretation contributes to the inspirational value of the outdoors and fosters an understanding, an appreciation, and an intelligent use of our parklands.”

– Alan Helmsley, Department of Lands & Forests, 1960

Ontario Parks’ nature programs are designed to help people discover and connect with the natural and cultural history of the park during their visit.

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