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summer-2012
Magazines | Environment & Ecology 2012-06-14 17:23:42
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    Natural leaders: Four eco- heroes show us the way The bountiful forest: Northern Ontario's local food movement Looking ahead: The future of the Oak Ridges Moraine ONnature onnaturemagazine.com Summer 2012 Thunder Bay In the kingdom of orchids with Ontario Nature's Ryan LeBlanc

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    Spring is here and we're celebrating with new editions of classic guidebooks: Hawks I & Owls tg IT ikg Nvkiii AMARA Chus G. Eipl2y PADDLE YOUR OWN KAYAK IIIH G.45 4 r 1- 1c130STON MILLS PRESS HAWKS & OWLS OF EASTERN NORTH AMERICA by Chris Earley This comprehensive, clear, easy-to-use guide is especially helpful. Shy raptors and nocturnal owls are very diffi cult to identify. This expanded edition shows juveniles, adults, colour phases, sexual dimorphism- and updated range maps. $19.95 paperback Still available in the same format: Now in paperback PADDLE YOUR OWN KAYAK An Illustrated Guide to the Art of Kayaking by Gary & Joanie McGuf n An excellent resource-over 600 instructional photos in colour. For fl atwater, rapids and sea kayaking. Two new books by Peterborough's Kevin Callan: A PADDLER'S GUIDE TO ALGONQUIN PARK 2nd edition, revised and expanded, with 25 routes of varying challenge, colour maps THE HAPPY CAMPER The Essential Guide to Life Outdoors Also revised and expanded 320 pages in full colour FIREFLY BOOKS At booksellers, out tters and online. www. re ybooks.com

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    An exceptional point of view. Meopta ® sports optics. MeoStar ® B1 8x32 | 10x32 | 7x42 | 8x42 | 10x42 | 10x42HD New MeoStar ® S2 82 HD New Body: Angled | Straight Eyepieces: 30x60 WA | 20x70 MeoPix ® iScoping Adapter New Fits eyepiece dia.: 42mm | 49mm Meopta ® sports optics have gained a well-deserved reputation for being among the fi nest in the world. Proprietary MeoBright 5501 TM ion assisted lens multicoatings assure maximum brightness in all conditions. Our extra-wide, fl at fi eld of view is sharp to the edge and a hallmark of our impressive European in-house optical engineering and manufacturing. Comfortable ergonomics make our products a pleasure to use in the fi eld. All with a lifetime transferable warranty. Meopta ® sports optics have gained a well-deserved reputation for being among the fi nest in the world. Proprietary MeoBright 5501 . A better view of the world... since 1933. Delicious | 866-966-0406 | www.canodi.ca | www.meoptasportsoptics.com | facebook.com/meoptanature Facebook Slash Dot Reddit Newsvine Yahoo Microsoft App Store Behance Friendster RSS Flickr MySpace Mixx FriendFeed SlideShare Yahoo Buzz MSN Amazon Vimeo WordPerss Design Float Bebo Email Twitter StumbleUpon CANODI_Meopta_On_Nature_ad.indd 1 4/29/12 10:55:42 PM NEVER COMPROMISE. Outstanding quality and precision for demanding people. MINOX BV Line Robust and versatile. Outstanding in price-performance ratio. BV 8x25, BV 10x25, BV 8x42, BV 10x42, BV 8x56 Starting at $ 169.00 MINOX BL Line Powerful and lightweight. Qik Innovative with ease of use Comfort Bridge. BL 8x33, BL 8x44, BL 10x44, BL 8x52, BL 10x52, BL 8x56, BL 13x56, BL 15x56 Tumblr Starting at $ 489.00 Update #1 Skype YouTube Google Netvibes Apple Last.fm HG 8x33, HG 8x43, HG 10x43, HG 8,5x52, HG 10x52, HG 8x56 Blogger Starting at $ 1,449.00 Posterous Deviant Art Squidoo Retweet Digg Technorati LinkedIn Google Talk AOL MobileMe Mister Wong MINOX High Grade Line Uncompromising Viddler in Quality Virb and Precision. Made in Germany. Design Bump 9 Albert Street, Cobourg, ON K9A 2P7 Phone: 289-252-0406 · Toll Free: 1-866-966-0406 · Fax: 289-252-0632 www.canodi.ca sales@canodi.ca www.minox.com/usa Mnx Anz_Sport Optics_188x127_0711_RZ.indd 1 04.08.11 16:25 Share This

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    Make this the year you travel with Quest Nature Tours! 3 See unique habitats 3 Learn from experienced naturalists 3 Work on your life list 3 Travel with people who truly enjoy nature photo: Chris Earley )uest NATURE TOURS Our tours are all-inclusive with accommodation, meals, transportation, activities and gratuities included in the tour cost. For our full range of land based tours and expedition cruises on every continent please visit our website or give us a call and we'll help you choose your tour. To receive your complimentary brochure or for more information, please contact us at: 416.633.5666 / 1.800.387.1483 travel@worldwidequest.com questnaturetours.com Quest Nature Tours supports the work of Ontario Nature. Ontario., Nature'q■& All participants on Quest Nature Tours are covered by the terms of the Ontario Travel Industry Act (Worldwide Quest International, Ontario - Licence # 2667946) ONnature Summer 2012, Vol. 52 No. 2 Publisher Ontario Nature Editor Victoria Foote Art Director Levi Nicholson Editorial Assistant John Hassell Contributing Editor Joanna Pachner Copy Editor Sarah Weber Proofreader Allan Britnell Advertising Jeffrey Yamaguchi 905-796-7931 Ext.23 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 victoriaf@ontarionature.org www.ontarionature.org 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 Membership Categories Help make nature's voice stronger. Join our community today. Member $10 Below includes a subscription to ON Nature. Bronze $50 Silver $150 Gold $500 Family $55 Student $40 Senior/Senior couple $40 School/Library $45 To join our Champions for Nature or Ambassador programs contact Kimberley MacKenzie, director of development, at kimberleym@ontarionature.org or 416-444-8419 ext. 236. Ontario Nature is a registered charity (107378952 rr0001). A charitable receipt will be issued for a portion of your membership.

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    Photo DOn jOHnStOn ,Page 18: in northern Ontario, a locavore diet includes blueberries and other forest foods. Departments 6 This issue three strikes: the Province puts wildlife protection at risk. By Caroline Schultz 8 Earth Watch counting kestrels for conservation; tips for perfect canoe trips; malcolm Bluff Shores now fully protected; hundreds of participants attend Ontario nature's wetlands conference; all creatures great and small on our nature reserves; remembering Dr. martin edwards. 36 Ontario Nature Champions Ontario nature members tell us their favourite wild places; spotlight on the naturalized Habitat network of essex county & Windsor. 38 Last Word the Oak ridges moraine: past, present and future By Victoria Foote On the Cover: the stunning ram's-head lady's-slipper so called because of the shape of the flower. Photograph by robertmccaw.com Features 18 The bountiful forest Working in partnership, Ontario Nature helps bring the local food movement to northern communities. By Conor Mihell ON ThE COVEr 22 The orchids of...Thunder Bay? No less than 58 species of the exotic flower grow in the Lake Superior basin, a little-known fact that never fails to delight Ontario Nature board member and orchid enthusiast Ryan LeBlanc. By Lorraine Johnson 28 Natural leaders Battle scarred, but most definitely not battle weary, meet four Ontario Nature eco-heroes. By Brian Banks MIX Paper from responsible sources FSC PSG° C103151 1AT Waterless , 1Printing Process * Ecologe- Contents Ontario Nature Onnaturemagazine.cOm Summer 2012 on nAturE 5

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    This Issue A nne Bell, our director of conservation and education, was appalled and, frankly, so was I. Anne had just received the news that the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) had decided to exempt development projects from certain requirements under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), meaning that construction could proceed in habitats where two threatened songbirds (bobolinks and eastern meadowlarks) nest. After months of negotiations, we had agreed to a three-year exemption for farmers to allow the conservation and agriculture communities time to figure out how best to protect bobolinks. We were very clear that this exemption was for farmers only and should never include industrial activity. How did this substantial policy shift happen after all that consultation - after all, isn't this precisely the sort of activity that the ESA is supposed to prevent? The expanded exemption was far from the provincial government's only problematic move. All of us were still reeling from MNR's decision to allow the hunt of snapping turtles to continue, ignoring scientific evidence of the species' decline and the petition signed by 11,000 people asking for a hunting ban of these animals listed under the ESA. Worse still, in early April, the government's 350-page budget bill (Bill 55, Strong Action for Ontario Act) included a long list of amendments that would clearly undermine not only the ESA, but numerous other pieces of environmental legislation as well. Suddenly we found ourselves in the unusual position of reminding the Liberals to support their own legislation. Ontario Nature sprang into action. We drafted letters addressed to Premier McGuinty and the ministers of Natural Resources and Finance. One letter was signed by prominent scientists; another by almost 60 naturalist clubs and other groups belonging to the Nature Network, and a third by some 50 Ontario-based environmental and other non-profit organizations. I'm proud of our member groups and supporters - all of you who signed letters and sent e-mails calling on the Province to remove the parts of the budget bill that weaken the protection of Ontario's most vulnerable species and habitats. Despite this being the darkest time for wild species and wild spaces we've experienced in years, we are encouraged by people like Essex councillor Sherry Bondy, who recently convinced fellow town councillors to pass a resolution urging the Province to ban the hunt of snapping turtles, saying "Why would we even allow hunting something that is in decline?" Good question, one that we are still asking ourselves. 6 three strikes By Caroline Schultz congratulations to cecily ross, whose superb article, "the big pit," (autumn 2011) has been nominated for a national magazine award. We are so pleased that ON Nature continues to be recognized for its excellence in environmental reporting. Ontario t Nature 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 140 member groups across Ontario. Ontario Nature Officer - Directors President Brendon Larson Past President Peter Gilchrist Vice-President Nidhi Tandon Secretary/treasurer Chris Rathgeber Ontario Nature Staff & Contract Services Executive Director Caroline Schultz Executive Assistant Lauren Wright Director of Finance and Administration John Gunn regional nature network Coordinator Barbara MacKenzie-Wynia Conservation & Science Director of Conservation and Education Anne Bell Conservation Science Manager John Urquhart Boreal Program Manager Julee Boan Greenway Coordinator Joshua Wise nature network Coordinator Lisa Richardson nature Guardians Coordinator Sarah Hedges ontario reptile and Amphibian Atlas Coordinator James Paterson Staff Ecologist Laura Robson research and Policy Analyst Timothy Hayward Membership & Development Director of Development Kimberley MacKenzie Member relations Coordinator Randie Hanlan Database Coordinator Irene Milani Foundation and Corporate Giving Coordinator Nicole Chamula Development and Administrative Assistant Kavita Dogra Communications Director of Communications Victoria Foote Communications Coordinator John Hassell Communications Assistant Noah Cole on nAturE Summer 2012 Onnaturemagazine.cOm

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    * specialty bird seed * feeders * nesting boxes * nature books field guides * bat houses * binoculars & scopes * tapes, CDs... Ontario t Wild Bir Ba4.-.41azd. &let, l'Elyr local barkyatti bffth Awre with knowiedgi-mkk, &pjd 04T 22S 1n r tea $, Normi,ithel IN Ivww.thebacky, rd rpei! 905-S98-2329 1-800-216-3830 FI.OFA5 FAUNA FIELD TOURS 2S2 Bore Olyea Ep:rari. ON VE I ll Tril 915-8574235 Sign up kr LINES! 109101.13 turdInE3 ward ZIA 3-, Ethiopic. Feb. 27-Mar II, US S2155. from Addis Ababa, Alaska: June 12-19, US 52947 from Anchorage: Chine: Sept. 5 , 19, US i9 liana Relying, FMK oa 15-at US 53975 fTam Lima Wobsite. MAT s.c Enuut rriiiscodwatihunn ail.carn PURPLE 04 IVIARTINT arTIFT- * HousEs Wood, aluminium, or gourds 10 rriodels-expert advice Open Tuesday through Sarki Fr* 9 ri - 5.513 pm (other rims by appuint.) BIRDWATCH Erfa:RPHisEs 6573 Canhnrci Rd, Vrellandpon, ON LOR ZIG (905) 386-0021 Specialists WILD BIRD ADS To advertise on this page, contact Jeffrey Yamaguchi, T1 905-796-7931 ext,23 F/ 416-850-5193 C lLt 1-888-777-5255 SiOP ONLINE .teleicopes.ca EfstonScience ri Scion.e & A...rummy coppy.cr.or 3350 DeRerin Street, Toronto 14161767-4661 ,411 Sege) of I WY 46 7, .0C(001mm YO/iVitge Moll

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    ,help wanted: researchers are trying to determine if american kestrels are declining in Ontario. Looking For kestreLs The American kestrel is North America's most abundant falcon, but it appears to be in decline in parts of the United States. Now, a network of researchers wants to determine whether similar drops in numbers are occurring in Ontario. The international effort to study populations of this species is being spearheaded by The Peregrine Fund, which engages both volunteers and scientists in gathering population data across the continent. The American Kestrel Partnership participants hope that the demographic information collected will help guide conservation and restoration efforts for kestrel habitat and populations. American kestrels (also known as sparrow hawks) are the smallest falcons in North America. They can be found in a variety of semi-open to open habitats, including grasslands, meadows, open marshes, and urban and suburban parks. These falcons feed primarily on small creatures such as grasshoppers, dragonflies, songbirds, mice and voles, and can often be seen scanning for prey from tall perches. While kestrels outnumber all other falcon species on the continent, the U.S. Geological Survey's Breeding Bird Survey and the National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count, as well as various nest-box monitoring programs and migration 8 counts, show long-term declines in some kestrel populations in the northeastern United States. The causes are unclear, which is why the American Kestrel Partnership is asking naturalists, biologists and other concerned individuals to collect more data that may help solve the puzzle. The best thing you can do to help is install and monitor kestrel nest boxes in your community, enabling long-term tracking of population trends. The data will provide an overview of how kestrels are doing in Ontario, and whether conservation steps are needed to mitigate population decreases. Kestrels are cavity nesters and will readily use humanmade nest boxes, which makes them perfect candidates for this type of monitoring program. Ideally, the boxes should be placed amidst extensive, open habitat away from areas of human disturbance. They need to be mounted on tall structures, such as disused power poles, barns and silos. Attracting a pair of American kestrels to a newly installed box often takes more than one nesting season. Once a pair has moved in, however, it will continue using the box for many years. Visit the American Kestrel Partnership website (www. peregrinefund.org/american-kestrel) for more information and to learn how you can get involved. -Lisa Richardson on nAturE Summer 2012 Onnaturemagazine.cOm Photo Paul janOSi

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    Photo rOBertmccaW.cOm happy paddling I know of no greater freedom than loading my canoe with food and gear and setting off into the wilderness. tripping has given me intimate glimpses of the boreal forest of northwestern Ontario, excitement on free-flowing rivers north of lake Superior and encounters with moose in algonquin Provincial Park. But before the freedom comes planning: your safety, comfort and ability to minimize your impact on the surrounding environment depend on it. Here are four essential things to do before you dip your paddle into an Ontario lake. Decide where to go algonquin, massasauga, Frontenac and other provincial parks are good places to start because their portages and campsites are well marked on the map and on the ground. Plot your route on topographical or park maps and get more information from guidebooks and websites, such as Canadian Canoe Routes (www.myccr.com). novice trippers should stick to lakes and slow-moving rivers with portages of less than 500 metres and expect to paddle no more than10 to 20 kilometres per day. Gear up car-camping and backpacking tents work equally well for canoe trips, but lighter is better, and wilderness tent sites are usually smaller than the drive-in variety. Purchase the most compressible sleeping bag you can afford and a self-inflating sleeping pad. Pack quick-drying apparel for on the water and comfy cotton for in camp, and do not cut corners with rain gear. Stuff everything into small, waterproof bundles (use drybags or plastic-lined stuffsacks) and carry them in portage or hiking packs. almost any 15- to 17-foot canoe will do for weekend trips. Plan your menu Freeze-dried meals are expensive and salty; lots of cheaper, healthier alternatives are available in supermarkets and bulk stores. Pesto pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan is a great meal. most fruits and vegetables will last a weekend trip or longer, as will cheeses and cured meats like summer sausage. For coffee connoisseurs, unbreakable plastic presses are a must for getting that morning fix. treat drinking water by boiling or filtering it with a pump, or adding chemical drops to it. many trippers use watertight barrels to pack their food, although you can also get by with an ordinary backpack. just remember to keep provisions out of the sun and to secure your food pack out of reach of bears, raccoons and mice when you retire for the night. Leave no trace minimal-impact camping starts with planning: repackage food to minimize waste, bring a gas stove to avoid the need for a fire that leaves scars, obey park regulations regarding maximum group sizes and bans on cans or bottles, and stay at designated campsites. Dispose of human waste and dishwater in shallow-dug pits at least 60 metres from bodies of water, and pack up all garbage, including food scraps. indulge in a campfire only if a safe fire pit has been provided, and use only small pieces of dead wood. -Conor Mihell ,rock solid: malcolm Bluff Shores is secured. You did it! Earth Watch Thanks to you, Ontario nature's campaign to purchase malcolm Bluff Shores, now our second largest nature reserve, was a success. the spectacular property is the largest remaining tract of forested land on the niagara escarpment, designated a uneScO World Biosphere reserve. three years ago, Ontario nature and the Bruce trail conservancy joined forces to launch an ambitious initiative to save the ecologically important area from development. many individuals, foundations and organizations gave generously in support of this effort. malcolm Bluff Shores includes four kilometres of pristine georgian Bay shoreline, towering cliff faces, vibrant wetlands and lovely wooded areas. the reserve is large enough to support rare and edge-sensitive species such as the ovenbird, scarlet tanager, peregrine falcon, wood thrush and canada warbler. it is a major flyway for migratory songbirds and raptors, connecting them with their northern breeding grounds. We invite you to visit the reserve anytime to hike the Bruce trail along the top of the bluff or explore the beach far below. Pack a lunch if you plan on walking the length of the property and back as it will take most of the day - longer if you get distracted by the ancient cedar trees and Hart'stongue fern, a rare species found almost exclusively on the escarpment. For more information about Ontario nature's 22 nature reserves that together add up to a total of 2,428 hectares of publicly accessible protected landscape visit: www.ontarionature.org/nature_reserves. - John Hassell Onnaturemagazine.cOm Summer 2012 on nAturE 9

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    10 ?dee (-V lags NATURE STORE 636 Point Pelee Drive Leamington, ON N8i1 3v4 saies@peieewings.ca Everything to Enjoy Our Natural World * Binoculars & Scopes * Books, Field Guides * CD-ROM, Audio & Video * Wildlife Art & Craft * Clothing * Feeders * Astronomical Telescopes * Kayaks & Canoes Canada's Largest Selection of Binoculars & Scopes 6 En foy Substantial Discounts Test Optics Properly Outdoors * Receive Expert Advice * Near Point Pelee National Park We Recommend ''i C.3 FUF E, X Nilwdr THE FORCE F OPTICS 4. Lifetime VIP No-Fault Warranty RAZOR HO Spotling Scope VIPER HO smocciarg Call for Fast Mail Order Delivery or Quote: 519.326 -5193 1 -877 -326-5193 saies@peieewings.ca www.peleewings-ca ,Night creatures: Bats play a crucial role in the food chain. Bats in trouble One of our best-known nocturnal creatures is in dire danger. in February, the committee on the Status of endangered Wildlife in canada (cOSeWic) called an emergency meeting to assess the fate of three native bat species: eastern pipistrelle (tri-coloured bat), little brown myotis and northern myotis. the reason for this urgent assessment was the alarmingly high death toll over last winter's hibernation period. cOSeWic concluded that all three species are now endangered, which is the most critical status designation a species can receive in canada before being declared extinct. the culprit behind the mass die-off of bats across north america is an invasive fungus that causes white-nose syndrome (WnS) in hibernating bats. the name refers to a white ring that appears around the muzzle of affected bats. like all mammals that hibernate, bats lower their core body temperature and rely on their stores of fat to fuel their metabolism through the winter. the fungus is believed to irritate the skin of this animal, resulting in longer and more frequent periods of wakefulness during hibernation. the disease is deadly because it causes bats to use up their energy deposits well before their food source - insects - appears in spring. Since scientists identified WnS in 2006, the syndrome has been blamed for more than 5.7 million bat deaths in north america. the fungus was confirmed in five Ontario counties during the winter of 2009/10 and has since spread to several more. Biologists are calling the WnS die-off the most precipitous wildlife decline in north america in the last 100 years. this development is a major concern, and not just for conservationists. Bats eat anywhere from half to three times their body weight in insects every day, with a particular appetite for night-flying bugs like mosquitoes and moths. these mammals play a crucial role in the food chain by keeping insect populations and insect-borne diseases, such as West nile virus, in check. the creatures' substantial recent decline means that farmers may encounter extreme insect infestations and will be forced to use more pesticide on their crops. researchers in the united States estimate that the bat die-off will cost north american agriculture uS$3.7 billion annually. the cOSeWic assessment spawned a recommendation to the federal government to protect these three species under the Species at risk act. typically, more resources are allocated to fund research and stewardship activities relating to protected species rather than to species that have not been so designated. in the case of these bat species, funding will be used to develop and implement solutions to this devastating disease, such as vaccines, quarantine procedures and fungicides. Hopefully, Ottawa accepts the cOSeWic recommendation quickly, and we get the chance to help our night-flying mammalian friends before they disappear forever. -Laura Robson on nAturE Summer 2012 Onnaturemagazine.cOm Photo jOHn reaume

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