How do chipmunks prepare for and live through winter?

Today’s post comes from Gabriel Argenti, a Discovery Student at Rondeau Provincial Park.

As winter approaches, most wildlife undergoes seasonal changes or new habits.

Some animals prepare for the cold by storing food away, going into hibernation, eating to gain weight, growing a thicker coat. Others migrate south to warmer climates to wait out the season.

Let’s take a look at one animal in particular, the Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus), and see how they make it through the coldest time of the year.

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Christmas Bird Count — keep the community science tradition going!

Today’s post comes from Cortney LeGros, the Healthy Parks Healthy People coordinator at Ontario Parks.

The holiday season is steeped in tradition.

No matter how you celebrate, there’s one scientific tradition that’s been around for over 120 years to help mark the holidays.

For me, the holidays would not be complete without participating in at least one Christmas Bird Count.

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Loons are like campers — they love their park!

`In today’s post, Kettle Lakes Provincial Park‘s senior park naturalist Sarah Wiebe shows us that loons and campers aren’t so different!

Just like many families, Common Loons choose Kettle Lakes as the place to stay with their family in the summer.

You could say that loon families love parks as much as we do!

Like many visitors, I grew up visiting parks, spending every summer of my childhood exploring shorelines and lakes.

I would spend hours making sandcastles at Arrowhead Provincial Park, splashing in the water at Balsam Lake Provincial Park, going fishing in The Massasauga Provincial Park, and paddling through Algonquin Provincial Park.

I can easily say that I love parks.

As I was watching a family of loons return to the lake near our staff house at Kettle Lakes this spring, it got me thinking about how loons like to spend their summers in Ontario Parks, too!

By observing the loons, I’ve noticed that loons love parks as much we do.

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Your purchase helps parks: plotting Charleston Lake’s Pitch Pines

Provincial parks are home to some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in Ontario.

They protect unique plant and wildlife species, some of which cannot be found anywhere else in the province!

Thanks to the proceeds from our 2021 online holiday store, our staff are hard at work on ecological integrity projects that help these species, like finding Pitch Pine at Charleston Lake Provincial Park.

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Why do we leave dead trees in the forest?

Today’s post comes from Sheila Wiebe, a marketing and development specialist at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.

Provincial parks are all about protection.

We protect significant natural ecosystems and habitats while offering many outstanding and sustainable recreational opportunities for the people of Ontario.

This isn’t always an easy task. Invasive species have challenged our ecosystem management, knowledge, and skills. Keeping an area safe for park visitors while allowing natural processes to happen can be challenging.

This is especially true for managing our forests. We are often asked by our visitors: why do you leave fallen, dead trees in the forest?

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Your purchase helps parks: revitalizing Killarney’s aquatic ecosystems

Did you buy something from our online holiday store last year? In today’s post, Ontario Parks staff talk about some of the vital protection work your purchase helped fund!

Ontario Parks — as part of a bigger provincial effort — has been working hard to assess and repair ecological integrity in many of our inland lake habitats, protecting different species throughout Killarney and other provincial parks.

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Enhancing biodiversity in Killarney’s tree plantations

This article was written by Connor Oke, a marketing intern at Ontario Parks, using information provided by Ed Morris, Ontario Parks’ northeast zone ecologist. 

When Killarney Provincial Park was established in 1964, park managers faced a problem: what to do with old fields belonging to former homesteads within the park’s boundaries.

To prevent the spread of weedy species, they decided to plant trees, including White Spruce and Red Pine, and regrow the forests.

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Join our community of science

We’re making the switch from citizen science to community science.

Here at Ontario Parks, we love it when our visitors can get involved in science.

From iNaturalist to Bumblebee Watch, eBird, bioblitzes, and more, volunteers help us to collect important information about our parks.

These efforts help us to understand how plant and animal populations are changing over time, and help us to discover previously unknown populations of rare species. They also allow us to react quickly if someone discovers an invasive species in a new area.

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The dos and don’ts of using live bait in provincial parks

Ontario is home to more than 250,000 lakes, thousands of kilometres of streams and rivers, and more than 150 species of fish.

There are endless fishing opportunities at Ontario Parks, and dropping a line is a great way to connect with and learn about nature.

From Lake Trout to Brook Trout, Walleye to Northern Pike, we’ve got some of the best recreational fishing opportunities in the world!

But before you head out to hook a big one, let’s talk about some of the dos and don’ts of using live bait in Ontario Parks:

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