The scoop on dog poop: why all scat is not the same

Part of being a good pet owner and park visitor is cleaning up after your dog.

“Stoop and scoop” is a phrase all pet owners have heard for decades, yet park staff are often asked: “why do I need to pick up after my dog when wildlife poop does not need to be picked up?”

It’s a good question. How is dog poop different from raccoon, coyote, moose or even bear scat?

As it turns out, not all scat is the same.

Continue reading The scoop on dog poop: why all scat is not the same

Turtle eggs and salamander spawn: spring monitoring at Grundy Lake

Today’s article comes from Emily Wright, Discovery Program Leader at Grundy Lake Provincial Park.

Spring at Grundy Lake is a quiet time of year. The lake waters are cold from the melting snow and ice, birds are just starting to arrive from their long migrations, and visitors are few and far between.

Park staff, however, are often busy and bustling about as they begin to prepare for another season of campers.

Continue reading Turtle eggs and salamander spawn: spring monitoring at Grundy Lake

Forever protected

We all know Ontario’s provincial parks aim to protect our natural landscapes and species.

But did you know that each individual park is protected for its own (often very specific) reasons?

Our parks work together as a network of biodiversity and protection. Whether an immense wilderness or a small urban nature reserve, every park plays a critical role in the protection of our biodiversity, including representative ecosystems, species, and cultural heritage.

Continue reading Forever protected

Keeping up with the Canada Jay

Today’s blog post comes from bird researchers Alex Sutton and Koley Freeman, PhD candidates at the University of Guelph.

In the world of Canada Jays, winter means one thing: it’s breeding season!

Canada Jays are common in Algonquin Provincial Park. Continuing a 55 year-old tradition, a dedicated team of researchers is monitoring breeding pairs. This is the longest study of its kind in the world!

With each passing year, more is learned about the breeding behaviour and life history of these remarkable birds.

Continue reading Keeping up with the Canada Jay

Just roll with it: how one park adapts to an unpredictable shoreline

Today’s post comes from Amy Hall, a Resource Management Project Technician at Pinery Provincial Park.

Many of our visitors have been coming to Pinery for decades, witnessing the park change in many ways over time.

If you’ve been here in the last few years, you may have noticed that our beach is constantly changing month to month, and even day to day!

Continue reading Just roll with it: how one park adapts to an unpredictable shoreline

Why we should all aspire to be naturalists

In today’s post, Algonquin Provincial Park‘s David LeGros wishes everyone a happy Darwin Day!

Today, it seems that we know so much about the world around us: how it works, what lives here, and what threatens it.

Truthfully, it would be arrogant to think that we know it all — we don’t.

Discovering and explaining how the natural world works involves a lot of observations, patience, note-taking, comparisons, and creativity. It means spending time out in nature, observing the changing seasons, looking at how organisms interact with each other, their prey and predators, and their respective habitats.

Scientists have documented a great deal of life on Earth, but many species still remain undiscovered and understudied, and lots are only described and named and we know hardly anything more.

Continue reading Why we should all aspire to be naturalists

International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2022

Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!

Our scientists are absolutely integral to Ontario Parks, working as researchers, biologists, ecologists, and more!

Take a look at a few of our awesome women scientists:

Continue reading International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2022

Life in a vernal pool in Ontario

Happy World Wetlands Day! Today we celebrate the important ecological contributions of wetlands.

Wetlands, like the one pictured above, come in many shapes, types, and sizes. In today’s post, Mark Read, chief park naturalist at Murphys Point Provincial Park, takes us on a journey through one of the wetlands you may find at our parks. 

Continue reading Life in a vernal pool in Ontario

A naturalist’s letter to Santa Claus

One of our naturalists left his letter to Santa out on his desk, and we wanted to share a copy, in case anyone out there wants to lend Mr. Claus a hand this year.

Dear Santa,

I don’t really need a lot this year as I have the privilege of working in one of our great provincial parks: Presqu’ile. Perhaps you’ve visited or seen it as you fly over?

It is pretty easy to pick out from the air, sticking into Lake Ontario like it does. We get lots of birds landing here on migration to rest, which many people like to come and see. You’d be welcome to have a break here too.

Continue reading A naturalist’s letter to Santa Claus

Forever protected: why Mark S. Burnham belongs

Our “Forever protected” series shares why each and every park belongs in Ontario Parks. In today’s post, Social Media Specialist Alexander Renaud tells us Mark S. Burnham’s story.

For almost two centuries — as the area around Mark S. Burnham Provincial Park turned from wilderness to farm fields, and eventually, to a bustling city — the trees within its boundaries have remained relatively untouched.

This lack of development is a rare phenomenon in southern Ontario. The ecosystem within has been able to thrive and provide habitat for a variety of species, becoming one of the best-preserved old-growth forests in the county.

For these reasons, Mark S. Burnham belongs. Continue reading Forever protected: why Mark S. Burnham belongs