Charismatic or non-charismatic…that is the question

Today’s post comes from Grundy Lake Provincial Park Senior Naturalist Hope Freeman. 

Have you ever heard the term “species at risk?”

Maybe you have; maybe you haven’t.

In case you haven’t, Ontario’s species at risk are species listed in the Species at Risk in Ontario List regulation under the Endangered Species Act, 2007. Species on the list are classified based on the risk that they may no longer live in the wild in Ontario. Potential classifications, ranging from highest to lowest risk include extirpated, endangered, threatened species, or special concern.

Each species is at risk due to many reasons, but the common denominator is almost always habitat loss.

At risk is one status symbol we don’t want species to have!

Continue reading Charismatic or non-charismatic…that is the question

The flight of the Prothonotary Warbler

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

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!

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.

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Spring is turtle season at Grundy Lake

Many Ontario Parks have their “signature” wildlife: commonly-encountered and charismatic animals that most park visitors hope to catch a glimpse of during their stay.

Woodland Caribou Provincial Park is named for the iconic Woodland Caribou.  Murphys Point Provincial Park is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of the elusive Gray Ratsnake. Rondeau Provincial Park is the place to see the rare Prothonotary Warbler.

But did you know Grundy Lake Provincial Park is the place to see a Blanding’s Turtle?

Continue reading Spring is turtle season at Grundy Lake