News & Notes: Recent News

FALL 2017


ONTARIO YOUTH SUMMIT FOR BIODIVERSITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP
Local student Quinten Wiegersma was sponsored by Nature London to attend the Ontario Youth Summit for Biodiversity and Environmental Leadership. The eighth annual Ontario Nature Youth Summit was held on September 22-24, 2017, at YMCA Geneva Park in Orillia. The event, partnered with the Youth Council, allowed 98 youth from 50 communities to participate in a number of workshops. Workshops included Exploring the Link between Humans and the Wild, Pollinators and Youth Action, Birds of Prey, and Climate Change Campaigning. For more information visit
www.ontarionature.org/connect/nature_guardians/youth_summit.php.


UTRCA “TURTLE TEAM” RELEASES RECORD NUMBER OF BABY TURTLES
On August 22nd the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) announced that the Species at Risk Reptile Team (aka “the Turtle Team”) was releasing more than 6000 baby turtles back into the Thames River! The UTRCA has one of the longest running and most
successful reptile research, recovery, and education programs in Canada. The Spiny Softshell Turtle is endangered both provincially and federally. Only a small number of hatchling turtles reach adulthood, so it’s critical for biologists to protect the eggs and release as many hatchlings as possible. Early studies along the Thames River revealed almost zero turtle egg survival, but recent research shows that protection efforts are having an impact locally. The Spiny Softshell Turtle population has shown increases in the number of turtles of all age classes and their range along the Thames River. Nature London has supported the UCTRA’s Spiny Softshell Turtle research and recovery efforts for several years and specifically the work of Scott Gillingwater and the “Turtle Team.”

SPRING 2017


SNAPPING TURTLE HUNT ENDS!
After many years of relentless advocacy by Ontario Nature and other organizations and concerned individuals, on March 31st the Government of Ontario announced the decision to end the hunt of Snapping Turtles.  The fight to end the hunt has been ongoing since 2007.  In 2012, 11,000 people signed a petition supporting termination of the hunt.  There were many within the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry who supported this science-based decision including biologists, policy advisors, and the Minister, Kathryn McGarry.  Congratulations to all who persevered in the efforts to protect this important at-risk species.  Well done!  Visit www.ontarionature.org/connect/blog/at-long-last-an-end-to-the-snapping-turtle-hunt/ for a detailed report.


“NATURE IN MEDWAY − BENCHES AND SIGNAGE” PROPOSAL SELECTED
Four interpretative signs and three benches are to be placed along the trails in the Medway Valley Heritage Forest ESA by the Friends of Medway Creek.  The Friends were successful in submitting a proposal through the London City Council’s Neighbourhood Decision Making Pilot Project, “Medway Decides”.  Residents submitted proposals and then voted to decide how a portion of the municipal budget will be directed in the area.  Members of the Medway community selected the Friends proposal as one of three projects to receive support.


CHECK OUT THE RESULTS OF THE 2017 “GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT”
Results are in for the 2017 Great Backyard Bird Count.  Participants in 143 countries around the globe recorded 5907 species and counted 2,733,124 birds.  173,251 checklists were submitted.  Canadian counters recorded 258 species and submitted 14,908 checklists!  As readers of The Cardinal, folks will be interested to note that the Northern Cardinal appeared on more checklists than any other species during the GBBC.  For the complete 2017 GBBC summary visit http://gbbc.birdcount.org/2017-gbbc-summary/.


ONTARIO NATURE’S YOUTH COUNCIL AND POLLINATOR PROTECTION
Ontario Nature has received funding to begin a new phase of its efforts to defend pollinators.  The Ontario Nature Youth Council, a network of 90+ youth aged 14-20, will be working with the new advocacy group, Bee City Canada, to promote commitment to pollinator protection by municipal governments, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools across the province.  The Youth Council, in conjunction with local partners, will also be hosting planting events that will focus on pollinator-friendly plants.  For more information visit
https://www.ontarionature.org/protect/campaigns/pollinators.php.


ONTARIO NATURE ADVOCACY CAMPAIGNS
A reminder that Nature London’s affiliate organization, Ontario Nature, is involved in several nature advocacy campaigns.  For a complete listing of campaigns and descriptions and to learn how to become involved visit https://www.ontarionature.org/protect/campaigns/.


SIGHTINGS AT KIRK-COUSINS MANAGEMENT AREA
The Kettle Creek Conservation Authority (KCCA) has asked that visitors use their eyes and ears when walking through the Kirk-Cousins Management Area (KCMA), or A’Nowaghi) in south London.  Please report natural history sightings (e.g., Species at Risk or other notable species) to Jennifer Dow by e-mail, jennifer@kettlecreekconservation.on.ca, or by telephone, 519-631-1270 ext. 228.

If you observe any inappropriate uses such as bush parties or all-terrain vehicles at KCMA, please contact Elizabeth VanHooren, General Manager of KCCA, at 519-631-1270 ext. 222, or elizabeth@kettlecreekconservation.on.ca.

All visitors to KCMA must have a visitor’s permit.


ITEMS FOR SALE
The following items are for sale from Nature London.  Prices include tax.

  • Guide to the Natural Areas of London and Region, 5th Edition – $15
  • Photo field guides published by the St Thomas Field Naturalist Club:
    • Reptiles and Amphibians of Ontario – $15
      Bats of Ontario $8
    • Butterflies of Southern Ontario – $10
    • Some Caterpillars of Southern Ontario – $10
    • Some Wildflowers of Southern Ontario – $15
  • Published by The Hawk Cliff Foundation:
    • A Field Guide to the Migrating Raptors of Hawk Cliff – $10

You can buy these items from Ann Henderson at meetings or by calling 519-473-6719.


RESULTS FROM THE 2016 CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT