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ON Nature Spring 2017
Magazines | Environment & Ecology 2017-03-14 10:31:09
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    +•-• - - . ••• • Alt Why we must end the Vernal pools: Fragile - • Pest invasion: Ontario’s - - - ;- snapping turtle hunt ecosystems losing ground trees under attack - ONnature • . _ _ '144- ONNATUREMAGAZINE.COM SPRING 2017 Blazing trails Those who have hiked the full length of the vast Bruce Trail share their adventures and advice

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    Photo credit: Glen Gaffney All Creatures Great & Small Ontario Nature’s 86th Annual Gathering June 2nd — 4th, 2017 Kempenfelt Conference Centre, Innisfil Ontario Nature Students, families, members and friends — all are invited to join Ontario Nature for a weekend of nature exploration and discovery along Kempenfelt Bay. To register and for more information visit: ontarionature.org/agm Please direct any questions to Jaklynn Nimec at: jaklynn@ontarionature.org 1-800-440-2366 ext. 271

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    ,Page 30: It was too late by the time researchers sounded the alarm about emerald ash borer. DEPARTMENTS FEATURES PHOTO MACROSCOPIC SOLUTIONS CC BY-NC 2.0 5 This Issue A time of rejuvenation. By Caroline Schultz 6 Earth Watch A guide to spiders; counting reptile roadkill; reducing bird strikes; partnership for pollinators; Indigenous perspectives on conservation offsets. 35 Our Member Groups A golden jubilee. By Lisa Richardson 36 Our Community Sydenham River joins Ontario Nature’s nature reserve system. 38 Last Word Hunting turtles is a dangerous game. By David Seburn and Scott Gillingwater ‘,0 MIX Fsc respoPnaglefrurces FSC' C103151 On the cover: A lone hiker is dwarfed by the mighty Bruce Peninsula. Photograph by Willy Waterton W Waterless , 1 Printing Process • Ecology,' Ontario Nature ON THE COVER 18 On the trail of adventure Hiking the extensive Bruce Trail can be a month-long feat of endurance or a leisurely piecemeal exploration. A few people who trekked the entire trail describe their most memorable experiences and offer advice for novices. By Conor Mihell 24 Here today, gone tomorrow Each spring, vernal pools serve as nurseries for frogs and salamanders before drying up from the summer heat. But warming temperatures and human activity are shortening the already brief lifespans of such pools, potentially spelling doom for woodland amphibians. By Don Scallen 30 The great invasion An army of foreign pests, from emerald ash borers to Asian longhorned beetles, is attacking Ontario’s trees. The latest incursion, by an insect that kills hemlocks, could devastate entire ecosystems that depend on these trees – unless a defense is mounted quickly. By Mike Henry ONNATUREMAGAZINE.COM SPRING 2017 ON NATURE 3

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    Let’s Discover MADAGASCAR ONnature Spring 2017, Vol. 57 No. 1 September 14 – 27, 2017 Publisher Ontario Nature Editor John Hassell Art Director Levi Nicholson Editorial Assistant Lisa Richardson Contributing Editor Joanna Pachner Copy Editor Sarah Weber Proofreaders Allan Britnell, Ron Corkum, Noah Cole Advertising Jeffrey Yamaguchi 416-508-2382 promedcomm@aol.com Ontario Nature 214 King Street West, Suite 612 Toronto, on m5h 3s6 t/416-444-8419, 1-800-440-2366 f/416-444-9866 johnh@ontarionature.org ontarionature.org Crested Coua Subscribe to ON Nature magazine Your subscription includes a membership to Ontario Nature. Visit onnaturemagazine.com/ subscribe or call 416-444-8419 ext. 233 Bronze...............................................................................$50 Senior or Student............................................................ $40 Library.............................................................................. $45 Family............................................................................... $55 Please call Laura at Quest Nature Tours for more information and to request a detailed itinerary. 416-633-5666 | 1-800-387-1483 or travel@worldwidequest.com Carbon offset opportunities available. k Quest NATURE TOURS x QuestNatureTours.com ON NATURE SPRING 2014 Support Ontario Nature Give today and help protect wild species and wild spaces in Ontario. Visit ontarionature.org/give or call 416-444-8419 ext. 233. Donors who give $50 or more will be mailed the magazine. Individual........................................................... $10 to $49 Bronze.................................................................. $50 to $149 Silver................................................................... $150 to $499 Gold................................................................... $500 to $999 Champion for Nature................................ $1,000 to $4,999 Ambassador.......................................................$5,000 plus Make a monthly contribution of any amount and become a Friend of Nature. Ontario Nature issues a charitable receipt for gifts of $10 or more. Ontario Nature is a registered charity (107378952 rr0001). About ON Nature magazine ON Nature is published quarterly by Ontario Nature and delivered to Ontario Nature members. Single copies are available by calling the Ontario Nature office ($9.49, includes taxes, postage and handling). Indexed in cpi, cbca and The Canadian Index. Opinions expressed in ON Nature are not necessarily the views of Ontario Nature unless expressly stated as such. Advertising does not imply endorsement by Ontario Nature. No part of the publication may be reproduced without consent of the publisher and creators. Publications mail agreement No. 40064732 Return postage guaranteed. ON Nature is printed in Canada with vegetable-based inks on fsc recycled paper (50 percent recycled, 25 percent post-consumer fibre) by Warren’s Waterless Printing Inc. issn 1711-9138 ONNATUREMAGAZINE.COM

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    A TIME OF REJUVENATION By Caroline Schultz This Issue S pring is a magical time when life renews itself and nature bursts forth from its subdued state in our wetlands, woodlands and lakes. As naturalists, each of us has our own most evocative sight, sound or smell that beckons us outside. For me, spring starts with maple sap rising and the rich, musty smell of warming leaf litter. Spring comes with waterfowl returning from their wintering grounds in early March and with the advance of salamanders to ephemeral breeding ponds, as Don Scallen demonstrates in his article “Here today, gone tomorrow” (page 3). Soon afterwards, the chorus frogs begin their creaking mating calls, followed by the calls of spring peepers and wood frogs. Then there are the birds. The resident cardinals and chickadees sing cheerfully while common grackles squeak their distinctive rusty-hinge song. Robins wake you before daybreak with their fruity notes. Streaming from the south, migrating raptors quietly arrive with the leading edge of returning birds, and the first loons pass by overhead. In the still-brown woods, the first mourning cloaks flit through the branches. Below them, the forest floor starts to come alive with flashes of bright spring flowers – trilliums, trout lilies, hepaticas, spring beauties and Dutchman’s breeches. And there is another spring sight that stirs my emotions – people outside soaking it all up. There are the general nature lovers – people taking in the warm days and the emerging greenery, and celebrating whatever comes their way. There are the nature seekers – those who search for their favourite birds, plants and animals. And there are the focused field naturalists – individuals who are taking their hobby, love and enthusiasm to the next level as citizen scientists. I feel my pulse quicken as I write about these wonders of spring, itching to get outdoors and not miss a thing. There is also sadness, however, at the passing of longtime Ontario Nature member and northwestern regional director, Rick Cathrae. Rick was a true field naturalist who contributed data to the Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario, the Reptile and Amphibian Atlas and many Christmas Bird Counts. He also attended several Youth Summits, where he passed on his love of nature and inspired the next generation of environmental leaders. In recent years Rick, an avid birder and naturalist from southern Ontario, and his wife, Pam, had become northerners, making their home among the forests and lakes around Elliott Lake. This spring, as I experience the sensations of the season, my experiences will mingle with memories of Rick and so many other naturalists who have left the world a better place through their love for nature and their work on its behalf. Ontario Nature ■A& Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. Ontario Nature is a charitable organization representing more than 30,000 members and supporters, and 150 member groups across Ontario. Ontario Nature Officers – Directors President Kevin Thomason Past President Angela Martin Vice-President Otto Peter Secretary/Treasurer Ted Crichton Regional Directors Carolinian East Ron Corkum Carolinian West Anita Caveney Great Lakes West Peter Kelly Huronia Dorothy McKeown Lake Ontario North Otto Peter Ontario East Cathy Keddy Northern West Vacant Northern East Franco Mariotti Directors at Large Joanne Brown, Lesley Lewis, Casey Richardson-Scott, Andrew Reeves, Tina Rosenstein, Janice Wright Ontario Nature Staff Executive Director Caroline Schultz Executive Assistant Jaklynn Nimec Director of Finance and Administration Kamilla Molnar Administrative Assistant Christine Ambre Conservation & Education Director of Conservation and Education Anne Bell Boreal Program Manager Julee Boan Greenway Program Manager Joshua Wise Conservation Science Manager Tanya Pulfer Conservation and Education Coordinator Sarah Hedges Conservation Science Coordinator Emma Horrigan Conservation Data Technician Bradley McGinn Nature Reserves Assistant Stephanie Muckle Conservation Science Assistant Smera Sukumar Membership & Development Annual Giving Manager Nicole Chamula Manager of Major and Planned Giving Kirsten Dahl Member Relations Coordinator Portia Mohlmann Database Coordinator Irene Milani Communications & Engagement Director of Communications and Engagement John Hassell Nature Network and Communications Coordinator Lisa Richardson Regional Nature Network Coordinator Barbara MacKenzie-Wynia Communications Technician Noah Cole Digital Communications Specialist Leyla Top ONNATUREMAGAZINE.COM SPRING 2017 ON NATURE 5

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    Earth Watch SPINNING A SPIDER GUIDE O ntario has more than 800 species of spiders, very few of which are dangerous to people. Yet arachnophobia afflicts many Canadians; a 2015 Angus Reid poll revealed that almost a third are afraid of spiders. A new Ontario Nature guide aims to both showcase the province’s fascinating range of arachnids and debunk misconceptions about their behaviour. A Guide to Some of Ontario’s Spiders explores more than 30 species, including colourful jumping spiders with their charismatic eyes, crab spiders that ambush their prey, orb-weaving spiders that create beautiful webs and remarkable ant-mimic spiders that resemble and act like the species they feed on. According to Dan Schneider, an interpretive naturalist for the Grand River Conservation Authority, spiders are nature’s most effective predators of insects – an ecological role that moderates insect populations and helps humans by reducing invertebrate pests. Spiders are also an important food source for other animals, such as songbirds, fish and salamanders, thus playing a significant role in the food web. “I hope the guide brings more attention to, and appreciation for, this remarkable and valuable group of predators,” says Schneider, whose articles for this magazine served as a basis for the guide. “It will give interested people a way to identify and better understand the spiders that live with and around us.” Schneider also expects that learning more about the species will help to curb arachnophobia. The fear stems from periods in human history when a wider variety of spiders existed whose bites were lethal to humans. Today, there is really just one species that poses a significant risk to Ontario residents – the shy and rare northern widow – and even its bite is rarely fatal. A Guide to Some of Ontario’s Spiders follows the format of popular Ontario Nature guides to dragonflies and damselflies, and butterflies and moths. It is available at ontarionature.org/spiderguide. –Noah Cole ,Orchard orbweaver: Most Ontario spiders are harmless.

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    Photo: Matt McGillivray: CC by 2.0 Earth Watch Hed tk Tk. Tk –tk Subscribe Today Ontario Nature’s Blog Receive email alerts about breaking environmental and conservation news on Friday afternoons. ontarionature.org/blog ,Caption lede: Caption tk. HELP ENSURE OUR EIRDS ARE THERE WHEN YOU GO LOOKING FOR THEM. Some birds you watch in Ontario spend winter in Nicaragua By drinking Birds & Beans Ontario Nature Blend Coffee, you're ensuring habitat is maintained here and there. Our regular and decaf coffee is sourced from certified bird-friendly coffee farms & small batch roasted in Toronto using renewable energy sources. Plus, $1 50 from each bag is donated to Ontario Nature. Visit birdsandbeans ca/onn outArno NATURE BLEND or call 1-866-332-4737 to order yours today.

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    ( PHOTOS (PREVIOUS SPREAD) LARAH MCELROY CC BY-NC 2.0; (RIGHT) NOAH COLE Reasons to plant a moss garden this spring The proverb “a rolling stone gathers no moss” applies to people who are rootless and so can avoid some of the responsibilities of the world around them. But what about people who are actively seeking to plant roots by creating gardens? Can “gathering moss” help build interesting and resilient landscapes? Bryophytes, a category that includes mosses, liverworts and other non-vascular plants, are an ideal choice for Ontario gardens. Such plants are extraordinarily resilient and can survive in both extreme cold and extreme hot, dry weather, such as that which occurred in Ontario last summer. Bryophytes were the first land plants on the planet and have been growing in various environments for 450 million years. Naturalist Bob Bowles argues that moss gardens can be environmentally-friendly, lowmaintenance alternatives to grass lawns. “They don’t require mowing or weed-whacking,” he says, “and because mosses absorb nutrients from the air rather than the soil like most grasses and other vascular plants, they don’t need fertilizers.” Additionally, their slow rate of growth means moss gardens largely take care of themselves. While insects, salamanders and frogs can live in moss colonies, these creatures do not eat the moss ground cover and so do not deplete it. In a garden that includes steep slopes or unstable ditches, mosses can slow water flow, stabilizing ground surfaces and preventing erosion over time. Through the Ontario Master Naturalists Program, offered by Lakehead University in partnership with Ontario Nature, Bowles is working with David Bradley, from the Natural Heritage Information Centre, and Chris Lewis, from Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, to teach participants the ecological value of mosses and ways to effectively incorporate these plants into landscaping. With 548 species of mosses, 172 species of liverworts and four species of hornworts recorded in Ontario, there is no lack of variety. Bowles hopes that, with increased interest in the study and use of bryophytes, naturalists will be able to not only identify the mosses occurring naturally in their gardens but also increase the number of these important native plants within their garden landscapes. More information on the Ontario Master Naturalists Program is available on its website, lakeheadu.ca/about/orillia-campus/community-programs/omnp or by emailing masternaturalist@lakeheadu.ca. –Linda Rodenburg ,Lawn alternative: Moss gardens are environmentally-friendly and low-maintenance. Telee NATURE STORE 636 Point Pelee Drive Leamington, ON N8H 3V4 sales@peleewings.ca • Binoculars & Scopes • Books, Field Guides • DVDs, Audio & Video • Wildlife Art & Craft • Clothing • Feeders • Astronomical Telescopes • Kayaks, Canoes & SUPs Canada's Largest Selection of Binoculars & Scopes • Enjoy Substantial Discounts • Field Test Optics Outdoors • Receive Expert Advice • Near Point Pelee National Park NAIL SPCM- ING sc Everything to Enjoy Our Natural World We Recommend 41-4, Fr ault Warranty Call for Fast Mai Order Delivery or Quote: 519-326-5193 1-877-326-5193 sales@peleewings.ca PeleeWings.ca ONNATUREMAGAZINE.COM SPRING 2017 ON NATURE 9

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    Your Canadian source for binoculars, spotting scopes and accessories Mtn by Jere leremybirder@q a. ACCREDITED MEMBER OCAa-kA- Oa° Great optics for les than ou'd expect! RANG x42 To view Eagle Optics products visit your local Wild Birds Unlimited OLDEN EAGLE 8x42 a9e.ticsca Camp Kawartha Inspiring Outdoor & Environmental Stewardship We are a YEAR-ROUND learning centre * Day & Overnight Summer Camps * March Break Day Camp * Curriculum-Linked Education Programs * Corporate Team Building * Facility Rentals for Groups * Two Locations to Serve You 12 Environmental Awards www.CampKawartha.ca 705-652-3860 1-866-532-4597 ,Death toll: In one day, 91 snakes were killed. Traffic threatens snakes Jonathan Choquette is alarmed by how much time he spends counting dead snakes. Since 2010, Choquette, a conservation biologist, has been documenting reptile road mortality near the Ojibway Prairie Complex (OPC) in Windsor to determine the impact vehicles have on the site’s snake and turtle populations. On one very bad day last October he counted 91 dead snakes, nearly one-third of them endangered or at-risk species. “I had to stay out until dark because I saw so many of them,” he says. The 244-hectare OPC is a haven for rare snake species, including massasauga rattlesnakes and eastern foxsnakes. But increasing car traffic in the area is killing more and more of these reptiles. Choquette is particularly concerned that a growing proportion of the dead snakes he finds are species at risk – on average, they comprise 20 percent of the dead snakes, but recently the proportion has reached as high as 30 percent. Snakes are often run over while crossing roads en route to their hibernation dens or while basking on asphalt that has been warmed by the sun. Fall evenings are a particularly dangerous time for them, because at that time of day they are harder for drivers to see and more drivers are on the roads. Members of the Essex County Field Naturalists’ Club (ECFNC) hope the City of Windsor will help address the issue by closing a 300-metre stretch of Matchette Road near the OPC to cars. They worry that the planned construction of a big-box retail outlet will attract more drivers to the area. “More cars on the road will likely mean more dead snakes,” says ECFNC president Jesse Gardner-Costa. Matchette Road is already very busy; thousands of vehicles travel on it each day. “Snakes are an integral part of the Ojibway prairie,” says Gardner- Costa. “It’s imperative that we do what we can to protect them.” –Lisa Richardson PHOTOS (TOP LEFT) JOE CROWLEY; (TOP RIGHT) JAY COSSEY 10 ON NATURE SPRING 2017 ONNATUREMAGAZINE.COM

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