Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

On Thursday, January 17, the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists 2018-19 series “Earth, Water, Wind and Fire” continues with a presentation by Troy McMullin Ph.D.,  lichenologist with the Canadian Museum of Nature. Our speaker has studied lichens throughout Canada and internationally, and has published extensively on this group, including the 2015 book Common Lichens of Northeastern North America: A Field Guide, co-authored with Frances Anderson.

Join Troy to explore the often overlooked, but beautiful and fascinating world of lichens.  Learn about their role in different ecosystems, rare species in southern Ontario, and how they are used in medicine, science, and more.  You will gain a new appreciation for the small things in life!

 

Speaker: Troy McMullin Ph.D.

Presentation: The Secret Life of Lichens

Date:   Thursday, January 17, 2019

Time:  7:00 PM for socializing & refreshments, 7:30 for program

Place:  Almonte United Church Social Hall, 106 Elgin St., Almonte

Admission: is free for MVFN members. There is an admission fee of $5 for non-members. No charge for youth 18 and under. We always welcome new members.

For further information, please contact Cliff Bennett MVFN Program Chair at or 613-798-6295.

A NOTE ABOUT A VERY RARE LICHEN

Golden-eye lichen (Teloschistes chrysophthalmus), Great Lakes population, is ENDANGERED in Ontario. Ontario Species at Risk information for this species, as follows, can be found at https://www.ontario.ca/page/golden-eye-lichen-great-lakes-population#section-0

“The Great Lakes Population of Golden-eye lichen is vulnerable to several threats due to its limited restriction to a single host tree. Threats that may impact on this population include severe weather events, invasive species, acidification from air pollution and recreational activities . . .

What you can do?

Report a sighting

Report a sighting of an endangered animal or plant to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful.

Volunteer

Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.

Be a good steward

Private land owners have a very important role to play in species recovery. If you find Golden-eye Lichen on your land, you may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats.

 

 

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MVFN Nature Notebook Sighting

Click here for information about MVFN Nature Notebook and sending in recent local sightings

“We’ve been very fortunate in the last couple of days to have a small flock of Evening Grosbeaks at our feeders. It is such a wonderful treat to see these magnificent birds and hear their soft calls!! I can only hope they stay for a while. The last time we saw them on our property was in June 2017. When I lived in Quebec, in the 80’s, I used to get about 100 of these beautiful birds in my backyard. Their noise would wake me up in the morning. Unfortunately, now, when we see a few of them, it’s a rare event.”

Lise Balthazar, Sheridan Rapids, October 23, 2018

The following photos of female and male Evening Grosbeaks are by Lise Balthazar and Nat Capitanio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A species of special concern in Ontario

NOTE: Evening Grosbeaks (Coccothraustes vespertinus) were added to the Species at Risk in Ontario list in August 2018. Status: Special Concern. “Special Concern” means the species lives in the wild in Ontario, is not endangered or threatened, but may become threatened or endangered due to a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.

Information from Ontario Species at Risk in Ontario (https://www.ontario.ca/page/evening-grosbeak#section-0

What you can do:

Report a sighting of an endangered animal or plant to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful.

Bird Studies Canada is working to advance the understanding, appreciation and conservation of wild birds and their habitat in Ontario and elsewhere; for more information on how you can help, visit: bsc-eoc.org.

As with all wildlife, don’t disturb or harass the birds or nesting sites. Be respectful and observe from a distance.

Identified Threats:

Potential threats to the Evening Grosbeak include habitat loss and degradation from forestry practices, chemical measures to control Spruce Budworm populations and climate change impacts. Collisions with vehicles while flying over roads or ingesting salt along roadsides and hitting windows near bird feeders have also been identified as threats.

It is thought that the decline in populations since the 1970s is correlated with the 25-40 year natural cycle of the Spruce Budworm.

 

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What can you do to help turtles?

Drive Carefully, it is Turtle Time in Lanark County

Be a good citizen scientist. Report your sightings to the Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas.

The Midland Painted Turtle was recently listed as an at risk species STATUS: SPECIAL CONCERN. According to Ontario Nature: “Reptiles, including painted turtles, account for a large portion of the animals killed on Ontario’s roadways each year. Nesting females are particularly vulnerable to road mortality because they lay their eggs in the soft roadside shoulders. Add to that the historical loss of more than 70 percent of southern Ontario’s wetlands and it is not hard to see why the midland painted turtle is now at risk.”

Of the 8 species of turtle native to Ontario, only 6 species are found in our area of Eastern Ontario, and of these, all are now listed by COSEWIC as at risk species, as are all of Ontario’s turtle species.

Recommended on-line resource for more details and photos for these species: Species Guide – Toronto Zoo

1. Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina): STATUS: SPECIAL CONCERN Click here for more information about the Snapping Turtle

2. Eastern Musk Turtle aka Stinkpot turtle (Sternotherus odorata): STATUS:  SPECIAL CONCERN Click here for more information about the Eastern Musk or Stinkpot Turtle

3. Northern Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica): STATUS:  SPECIAL CONCERN Click here for more information about the Northern Map Turtle

4. Midland Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata) Turtle STATUS: SPECIAL CONCERN Click here for more information about the Midland Painted turtle 

5. Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) : STATUS: THREATENED Click here for more information about the Blanding’s Turtle

6. Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) : STATUS: ENDANGERED Click here for more information about the Spotted Turtle

 

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MVFN’s 2017-2018 natural history speaker series “When Things Go Bump in the Night” continues February 15th in Almonte, Ontario with the presentation:  “Rhinos, Tigers, Bears and . . . Wild Ginseng: Wildlife Crime Comes To Canada.”

Our guest speaker is Sheldon Jordan, Director General for Wildlife Enforcement for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Enforcement Branch. Jordan is responsible for enforcement of Canadian laws regarding species at risk, international and inter-provincial trade, and migratory birds and their habitats. He is also Past Chair of INTERPOL’s Wildlife Crimes Working Group that brings together countries and networks of enforcement agencies to organize operations and advise international bodies on wildlife and forestry crime matters. In addition, he is Co-Chair of the North American Wildlife Enforcement Group and Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Natural Resources Law Enforcement Chiefs’ Association.

Jordan will lead a discussion using seized plants and animals to tell the story of how wildlife poaching, and trafficking threatens the conservation of species, ecosystems and sustainable communities and economies here in Eastern Ontario, in Canada and around the world.

INTERPOL and the United Nations estimate that environmental crime is the fourth most “valuable” crime field globally, valued at over $100 billion US per year and increasing at a rate of 5-7% every year.

The negative impact on wild species worldwide is very significant.

Jordan:  “Like it or not, we’re all dependent on the Earth for our survival. . .  the more that’s taken without being regulated, the less ecosystems are able to continue the services they provide all life — including ourselves.”

[Source for quote above:  https://www.canadiangeographic.ca/article/illegal-wildlife-trade-biodiversity-apocalypse ]

 

 

EVENT DETAILS

Thursday February 15, 2018 /  7:30 PM / Almonte United Church 106 Elgin St. Almonte, ON

Doors to the social hall at Almonte United Church will open at 7 PM and the program gets underway at 7:30 PM. Refreshments are available throughout the evening and a discussion will follow the presentation. As always, the event is free for MVFN members and youth 18 and under. Everyone is welcome, $5 for non-members fee at the door. For further information please contact MVFN’s Program Chair Gretta Bradley at  or visit mvfn.ca.

 

 

 

 

 

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Implications for the conservation of a declining aerial insectivore

Dr. Greg Mitchell,  research scientist with the Wildlife Research Division of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Canada, and adjunct research professor (Carleton University) will be guest speaker as our “When Things go Bump in the Night” series continues.

 

Our guest speaker is studying the habitat requirements of migratory species in human-dominated or working landscapes throughout southern Canada using field surveys, weather radar detection of biological entities, and citizen science data such as breeding bird surveys.

Dr. Mitchell will share his work on Bank Swallows (Riparia riparia), a threatened species in Ontario. His research team recently discovered, among other things, the “cryptic and broad-scale movements of bank swallows . . . in the early evening during the breeding season.”

The results of this fascinating research have revealed interesting insights into the effects of sunset and sunrise on movements of these aerial insectivores, as well as the importance of wetland roosting habitats during breeding season. Join us for Dr. Mitchell’s presentation: “Where Do Bank Swallows Go During Breeding When the Sun Sets?  Implications for conservation of a declining aerial insectivore.”

 

 

 

Dr. Mitchell’s presentation details:

Thursday November 16 /  7:30 PM / Almonte United Church 106 Elgin St. Almonte, ON

Doors to the social hall at Almonte United Church will open at 7 PM and the program gets underway at 7:30 PM. Refreshments are available throughout the evening and a discussion will follow the presentation. As always, the event is free for MVFN members and youth under 18; non-members fee at the door is $5; all are welcome. For further information please contact MVFN’s Program Chair Gretta Bradley at

Press Release pdf: The Flight of the Bank Swallow

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