Ever wondered about or wanted to pursue scientific research in a provincial park? Today’s post from Northwest Zone Ecologist Intern Lindsey Boyd and Northwest Senior Assistant Zone Ecologist Evan McCaul should answer your questions.
Spread throughout Ontario, our 340 provincial parks protect 8.27 million hectares of land and 1.3 million hectares of lakes and rivers. From mosses to moose, protected areas provide endless research topics and opportunities.
Scientifically speaking, provincial parks are an excellent place to conduct research. Parks can be used as a reference site to measure natural conditions within a broader landscape study, or provide an excellent place to study climate effects on species and systems in a place with fewer human pressures like roads or high levels of noise, light, and air pollution.
Today’s blog post comes from bird researchers Alex Sutton and Koley Freeman, PhD candidates at the University of Guelph.
In the world of Gray Jays, winter means one thing: it’s breeding season!
Gray Jays, also known as Canada Jays, are common in Algonquin Provincial Park. Continuing a 54-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.
It’s hard to believe there could be new populations of species discovered these days, especially in a busy Provincial Park such as Sandbanks, but Scott Reid, an aquatic endangered species research scientist with the MNRF, and his team did!
While studying the Pugnose Shiner, a fish species at risk, MNRF staff stumbled upon a species least expected; the Eastern Sand Darter. These small benthic fish are found scurrying along the sandy bottoms in search for benthic invertebrates such as midge and blackfly larvae and crustaceans.