Why did the Turtle Cross the Road?

Why did the Turtle Cross the Road? Spring is one of my favourite times of year. The birds are singing, the vegetation is blooming, and baby animals are ubiquitous. Life is in the air! It is also the time of year that turtles come out of their winter hibernation, find a mate (or five), and make the trek out of the water to find a suitable place to lay their eggs. As natural habitat is continually diminishing, turtles may have…

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‘An Oasis in our Backyard’

We were so pleased to speak at the latest Maitland Trail Association event.  Rachel White (Stewardship Coordinator, HSC) teamed up with Jennifer McCarter from the Nature Conservancy of Canada to talk about the wild and wonderful features of the Maitland River.  From the physical geography of the river valley, to rare arctic species, and ancient cedars along the Maitland River, the presentation generated some great discussion. If you’d like to get more involved with the Huron Stewardship Council, we are looking for…

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Reptiles at Risk Education in Huron County

An essential part of reptile conservation is education and outreach. Educating the public about native reptile species can help to change negative attitudes and dispel myths. That is why Jory Mullen (Lead Species at Risk Tech) and I (Monique Aarts, Species at Risk Tech) set out on a whirlwind Reptiles at Risk Tour around Huron County this October. We had help from Elizabeth Milne from the Nature Conservancy of Canada as well as a very dedicated volunteer, Bill Dineen.  Our…

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Snapping Turtle Hatchlings get Second Shot at Life

My name is Jory and I’m the lead reptile Species at Risk Technician for the Huron Stewardship Council. The spring is a busy time for many different animals, especially reptiles as they are emerging from hibernation, fattening up, and mating. This is an especially vulnerable time for turtles. In the spring, female turtles leave the safety of ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers to find a suitable place to lay their eggs. In the process, these turtles can cross dozens of…

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A Day in the Life of a ‘Queensnaker’

Hi!   My name is Monique, and I am one of the biologists working on the Huron Stewardship Council’s Queensnake Project this season. To give you an idea of what this project entails I will tell you about my day in the field. The day began by driving to one of the 23 Queensnake sites along the Maitland River. Each site is 200 meters in length and are spaced equally between Lake Huron and the Wawanosh Nature Conservation Area. This…

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Local conservation hero wins Ontario Nature award

Tom Lobb recognized for leadership in the protection of nature (Toronto, Ontario, July 3, 2014) – On June 21st, Ontario Nature, a leading conservation organization, recognized the exceptional contributions to natural habitat protection made by six individuals and two groups. The award ceremony was part of Ontario Nature’s 83nd Annual General Meeting and Gathering which took place at YMCA Geneva Park, located on the shores of Lake Couchiching. Tom Lobb, a local farmer and lifelong naturalist, received the Ontario Nature…

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Huron County counts its lucky salamanders

Huron County counts its lucky salamanders By Colleen Cirillo, Ontario Nature Enthusiasm can be curiously catchy. Before heading out on my first-ever bioblitz last Saturday (June 7) in Huron County, I was mildly interested in reptiles and amphibians. To be clear, I wished these critters no harm. In fact, I worried about their survival in this face of habitat fragmentation, pollution and climate change, but I did not yearn for encounters with them. Enter Rachel, and Tanya, and a team…

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Huron Bioblitz

Huron Bioblitz!  June 7, 2014 We were so pleased to work with Ontario Nature to run the first ever Huron Bioblitz.  There is a significant knowledge gap about the presence and number of reptiles and amphibians in Huron County.  Our efforts with the Bioblitz will help fill those gaps, inform the management of the county tracts, and hopefully contribute to their long-term conservation. On Saturday, June 7th, 45 participants and 15 organizers and volunteers worked together to inventory reptiles and amphibians in…

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