Today’s post comes from Christian Therrien, past Northwest Zone senior assistant ecologist.
Most agree all dinosaurs went extinct 66 million years ago.
However, looking into species found in parks reveals that some dinosaurs have indeed persisted and can be seen today!
From the Snapping Turtle to the Silver Lamprey, remnants from this forgotten time are prominent today in Ontario Parks.
However of all the dinosaurs in our parks, the most impressive is the Lake Sturgeon.
Continue reading Dinosaurs in parks: the Lake Sturgeon
Today’s blog comes to us from Sam Alison, former Ontario Parks Gray Ratsnake researcher at Murphys Point Provincial Park.
I must admit, as a seven year old, I was a little nervous about spending the night at my great grandmother’s cottage. At the family reunion, I had heard all about the seemingly mythical creature that lived in the attic…
…a creature so good at hiding, you’d never know where it was at any point in time.
…a creature so long, it could reach right around the door frame if it wanted to.
…a creature so mesmerizing, that everyone had a story to tell.
What was this creature? Where was it? I was hooked.
I spent our family vacation looking for this legend. Little did I know, this adventure would inspire my future career.
A university degree and many years later, I’m still searching for Canada’s longest snake species – the Gray Ratsnake.
Continue reading A ghost in the attic
Today’s post comes from Natural Heritage Education Supervisor Alistair MacKenzie at Pinery Provincial Park.
The landscape of Ontario Parks is renowned for being strongholds for myriad species, both common and rare.
A primary objective of Ontario Parks is the maintenance and restoration of ecological integrity, and the strengths of our protected areas are evident in the diversity of life found within.
Together, all of the native species found in Ontario make up the province’s biodiversity. Ontario’s biodiversity consists of species that are abundant and widespread across the province as well as others that are very rare and found only in isolated populations.
It is key to keep all of the species that we have to ensure healthy natural communities continue to thrive and provide ecological services to humans.
Continue reading From the abundant to the rare, parks protect them all
Today’s post comes from Killbear Provincial Park‘s Senior Park Naturalist Isabelle Moy.
Here at Killbear, it’s no secret that we’re home to Ontario’s only species of venomous snake: the Massasauga Rattlesnake.
From our “Please brake for snakes” signs to daily Snake Talks to naturalists telling visitors that if they see a snake to call the park, you can tell we aren’t trying to hide all the cool work we do to protect this unique species-at-risk.
Continue reading Regarding rattlesnakes at Killbear Provincial Park
Today’s post comes from Jess Matthews, chief park naturalist at Rondeau Provincial Park. Special thanks to Kevin Gevaert for providing Prothonotary Warblers photos!
Close your eyes.
Try to imagine a spring with no birdsong.
A spring without flashes of colour flitting through the bushes.
A silent forest void of oranges, yellows, blues, and reds…
…it may be hard to imagine, especially if you spend springtime in Rondeau Provincial Park, where migrating warblers appear to be dripping from the branches in all colours of the rainbow.
While such a dire situation may be difficult for us to imagine, the reality for one spring singer is one of disappearance, silence, and extinction.
The Prothonotary Warbler is currently listed as endangered in Canada, which means it is facing imminent extirpation (no longer exists in Canada) or extinction.
Continue reading The flight of the Prothonotary Warbler
Today’s post comes from our Discovery Specialist Dave Sproule.
We are lucky to live in a province where nature has blessed us with many lakes, a variety of landscapes, and an incredible diversity of wildlife.
However, some of the plants and animals that call Ontario home are at risk.
Our provincial parks and conservation reserves play a critical role in protecting these special species.
Stay tuned as we learn all about the at-risk plants and animals found within Ontario Parks, starting with this introduction…
Continue reading Polar Bears and Prothonotary Warblers: species on the edge