An Ontario Parks glossary

Are you new to parks, or maybe a park veteran looking to brush up on your knowledge?

We’ve assembled a handy guide to all the terms you’ll need to know and understand before you visit the park…

Continue reading An Ontario Parks glossary

Welcome home, Mottled Duskywings!

A missing piece of Pinery Provincial Park’s biodiversity has recently been replaced!

After a long absence, the Mottled Duskywing butterfly (Erynnis martialis) is once again taking wing in one of Ontario’s busiest parks.

This is the story of how a small butterfly was lost and brought home again.

Continue reading Welcome home, Mottled Duskywings!

Are you an ethical wildlife photographer?

You’ve recently unwrapped the latest iphone or a shiny new digital camera, perhaps an SLR with some fancy lenses.

Now you have itchy shutter fingers. You’re ready to point our camera at something spectacular and capture a beautiful memory forever. But where to go?

Not to brag, but Ontario Parks are beautiful, iconic places. Covering nearly 10% of the province and protecting some of Ontario’s most rare and scenic habitats, our parks are home to a variety of wildlife, from fascinating insects to enormous moose.

Basically, they’re a photographer’s dreamscape.

We’re animal lovers too. We know how exhilarating wildlife encounters can be. We understand how badly you want that perfect photo.

But before you hit the road, ask yourself: is taking the perfect photograph worth risking an animal’s life or an ecosystem’s health?

If your answer is “no,” check out our list of seven common photography infractions to ensure you’re keeping our parks safe and healthy.

Continue reading Are you an ethical wildlife photographer?

What types of wildlife might I see at Ontario Parks?

If you’re new to Ontario Parks, you might be a little nervous about the animals that call our parks home.

Many of us live in cities or suburbs, with little interaction with wildlife, so we don’t know how to react or behave. We want your parks experience to be fun and safe, both for you and for the wildlife that live here.

Today, let’s talk about:

  • the types of critters you might encounter at Ontario Parks
  • some simple tips to prevent negative wildlife interactions

Continue reading What types of wildlife might I see at Ontario Parks?

Planes, paddles and portages: a journey of garbage

This is a story about garbage.

It wasn’t a quick journey. It took a plane ride, some paddling in a canoe, portaging, more paddling, another plane ride, and a drive on the highway.

This garbage was left in Algonquin Provincial Park’s remote backcountry, something that, unfortunately, happens far too often.

Continue reading Planes, paddles and portages: a journey of garbage

How will I know ecological integrity when I see it?

Preserving ecological integrity is a priority for all of us here at Ontario Parks. But just what does ecological integrity look like? Algonquin Provincial Park Naturalist David LeGros explains…

When I start many of my evening programs at Algonquin, I often ask the audience if they like nature.

Usually I get a lot of hands up in the air, but there are always a few that don’t put their hands up. I tell those people, “You might be in the wrong place, because Algonquin is crawling with nature.” I know these folks may have not been paying attention to what I was saying or chose not to participate in my survey, but it always gets a laugh from the crowd.

However, this did get me thinking about why we go to parks over staying home or visiting a big city…

Continue reading How will I know ecological integrity when I see it?

Why is biodiversity important?

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?

Bats at Ontario Parks

Today’s post comes from Natural Heritage Education Supervisor Alistair MacKenzie and Bat Stewardship Technician Heather Sanders.

Bats are the only mammal capable of true sustained flight, and with over 1,300 species and counting, they make up the second largest order of mammals.

Continue reading Bats at Ontario Parks