Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

The Secret Life of Lichens

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!

Teloschistes chrysophthalmus or Golden-eye lichen; the Great Lakes population of this species has a status of ENDANGERED in Ontario. Photo provided by speaker

 

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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The Worst Invasive Plant in Ontario Wetlands

On Thursday, November 15th, the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists 2018-19 series “Earth, Water, Wind and Fire” continues with a presentation by wildlife biologist Ken Allison, local Lanark County resident and former President of MVFN and the Ottawa Field Naturalists’ Club.

When Ken spoke about roadside and aquatic invasive plants in his “Green Aliens in Lanark County” presentation in 2012, invasive Phragmites, did not seem to be on this invasive plant expert’s radar.

However, during his upcoming presentation, Ken will focus on this plant, (Phragmites australis subspecies australis), one of the worst aquatic invasive plant species there is. He will explore the features of a healthy wetland, before leading us into the unhealthy realm of a wetland invaded by these disruptive plants!

Learn from Ken how to identify this plant and distinguish it from native Phragmites (Phragmites australis subspecies americanus) and other invasive plants, and how to deal with them on your property.

Ontario Phragmites Working Group: “When attempting to manage and control invasive Phragmites, it is important to first determine if the plants you are managing are the native or invasive strain of Phragmites. Native Phragmites is an important component of a healthy wetland ecosystem. It grows in marshes and unlike the invasive strain, does not typically develop into dense monocultures or degrade habitat quality.”

The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists and other groups are helping to map the distribution of this invasive species in Ontario. For more information visit https://www.eddmaps.org/ontario/

Ken and Phragmites. photo Ruth Allison

 

Speaker: Ken Allison, Wildlife Biologist

Presentation: The Worst Invasive Plant in Ontario Wetlands

Date:   Thursday, November 15, 2018

Time:  7:00 p.m. 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.

 

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The Significance of Glaciation in Canada and the Ottawa Valley

On Thursday, October 18th , the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists 2018-19 Natural History Speaker series “Earth, Water, Wind and Fire” continues with a presentation by glacial and hydrogeology expert, Dr. David Sharpe, Geological Survey of Canada, Natural Resources Canada

Where or when were there once glaciers or massive glacial floods, in the Ottawa Valley or elsewhere in Canada? Find out at  Dr. David Sharpe’s presentation “The Significance of Glaciation in Canada and the Ottawa Valley.”  Knowledge of the origin and nature of glaciation in our region, is used by geologists and hydrogeologists at the Geological Survey of Canada, to inform mineral exploration, groundwater investigations, and to guide land use and construction plans.

And where there were glaciers and changes to them over time, evidence shows there were also likely massive glacial floods!

Dr. Sharpe will explore the intriguing details of how the glaciated Canadian landscape has been modified not only by the retreating glaciers, but by very large glacial floods that were discharged from under continental ice sheets.

Speaker: Dr. David Sharpe

Presentation: The Significance of Glaciation in Canada and the Ottawa Valley

Date:   Thursday, October 18, 2018

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

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

For further information, please contact Cliff Bennett at: or 613-798-6295.

 

 

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How wasps need a public relations campaign!

The Furries:  Using the Earth to Build Homes or:  How Wasps Need a Public Relations Campaign

On Thursday September 20th the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists 2018-19 Natural History Speaker seriesEarth, Water, Wind and Fire” begins with a presentation by Dr. Rob Longair, noted entomologist and MVFN member. Rob is an expert on wasps, especially certain solitary wasps who build their homes from the earth.

A retired professor, Longair, taught for more than 25 years at the University of Calgary. Rob Longair’s research career has included over 40 years studying insect behaviour, ecology and diversity, including field research in Canada, the western United States, West Africa and Belize. Rob is particularly interested in the behaviour of solitary and social wasps, though he concentrates on solitary species, which are less likely to sting him.

Learn how or why wasps may need a public relations campaign at this first MVFN nature presentation of the 2018-19 series!

 

Date:   Thursday, September 20, 2018

Time:  7:00 PM  for socializing & refreshments, 7:30 PM 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 Program Chair Cliff Bennett at: or 613-798-6295.

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Bats Aren’t Scary, but Extinction Is

Guest speaker Mike Anissimoff, Canadian Wildlife Federation

photo Mike Anissimoff

 

We are excited to announce our next natural history presentation, to take place on Thursday night, March 15th, 2018. Guest speaker for this presentation will be bat conservation expert Mike Anissimoff of the Canadian Wildlife Service. “Bats Aren’t Scary, but Extinction Is” will be the 6th presentation in MVFN’s “When Things Go Bump in the Night” series.

Over the last decade, Mike Anissimoff has devoted his time to pursuing a passion for conservation and sustainable development of the natural world. Anissimoff has extensive experience researching both bat and bird populations. He spent five years with the Canadian Wildlife Service monitoring the abundance and distribution of migratory bat and bird populations in relation to wind energy development in Ontario. And now, at the Canadian Wildlife Federation, he leads programs for the conservation of Canada’s bats.

Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus) photo Mike Anissimoff

 

Resident and hibernating bats have been plagued with white-nose syndrome, which has killed millions of bats in Canada and the United States. In addition, bat mortality associated with habitat loss, wind turbines and pesticides has further impaired survival of bat populations and has resulted in unsustainable population growth. Habitat loss has also promoted a continued reliance, for some bat species, on anthropogenic (human-made) structures for roosting sites. Interactions between bats and humans become inevitable, but cohabitation can be important for the animals’ survival. Wildlife control companies play a major role in managing and mitigating the impacts of these interactions. The Canadian Wildlife Federation is working to increase public and industry awareness of bats, to encourage a better understanding of their ecology, and to contribute to the eventual recovery of healthy populations.

Anissimoff’s presentation will explore the basic species-specific intricacies of bat life cycles for our local bats, and apply the information to approaches and efforts to conserve these wild species.

DID YOU KNOW?

“Bats have had a bad rap for years, but they are more closely related to people than you might think. How much do you know about bats?”

Take the Canadian Wildlife Federation bat quiz

MVFN EVENT DETAILS

Thursday March 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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