Enjoy photos & video from some of our events!
The Secret Life of Blanding's Turtles
Reta is a fourth year thesis student at McMaster University and has been working with freshwater turtles throughout her undergraduate career! Reta's talk will focus on the freshwater turtles of Georgian Bay, Ontario. Particularly focusing on the landscape and community ecology of Blanding's turtles, this talk will bring insight to help understand the importance of reptiles, their interesting life cycle, and various conservation plans to help their declining population. Join to learn all about turtles and how much fun it is to work with them!
Life in the Mauritius - Canada's New Noah
Eric Jolin was Canada's 30th New Noah, a special program by Wildlife Preservation Canada. Learn about the endemic flora and fauna of Mauritius, and the dedicated researchers who are working around the clock to save them from extinction. Going from working with the Massasauga Rattlesnake of Georgian Bay to one of the world's rarest snake species, the Round Island Boa, this was truly a once in a lifetime experience. If you're looking for a tropical escape this winter, join us in the warmth and see all about what it takes to work as an island restoration specialist.
Hidden Clues: How DNA can help us better protect amphibian populations
Out of all animal groups Amphibians are the most likely to become endangered, with an estimated 1/3rd of all amphibians at risk of extinction globally. To protect Georgian Bay’s amphibians from increasing threats, new and innovative monitoring techniques are needed. Environmental DNA is an emerging method of species detection that could greatly advance our ability to track species. Cameron Brown, a 4th year undergraduate student at McMaster University, has spent the last year researching how environmental DNA can be used to monitor Mole Salamander populations in eastern Georgian Bay.
Ontario Bats & The Canadian Bat Box Project
Bats in Canada face multiple threats, including habitat loss and the fungal disease white-nose syndrome. A popular way to provide additional roosting habitat for bats is installing bat boxes. However, there has been very little research done on the effectiveness of bat boxes in Canada, the best designs for our northern climate, and which bat species use bat boxes. As part of her PhD, Karen Vanderwolf is starting a citizen science national bat box project to address these knowledge gaps. Join us to learn more about bats, their current status, and how you can participate in this new citizen science research project!
A Place To Call Home: The Lapland Longspur
Lapland Longspur are one of the most common and abundant nesting birds on the Arctic Tundra, with a population estimate of 200 million birds worldwide, however, with current projections, they could lose up to 60% of suitable breeding habitat by 2050. Sarah Bonnett’s research focuses on how Lapland Longspur (Calcarius lapponicus) nest sites are influenced by food availability, vegetation, and elevation. Sarah is a second year MSc student in the Environmental & Life Sciences program at Trent University.
Lake Sturgeon Conservation on Georgian Bay: Weaving Western Science & Indigenous Knowledge
Carter Rouleau, Sturgeon Research Coordinator & Community Liaison at Shawanaga First Nation, will provide an overview of a collaborative project run by Shawanaga First Nation and the Georgian Bay Biosphere that aims to create the basis for a Lake Sturgeon conservation plan for eastern Georgian Bay. He will give a brief overview of Lake Sturgeon biology and discuss threats they face. Learn about Shawanaga First Nation's use of both modern scientific monitoring and traditional ecological knowledge gathering in the writing of a conservation plan, and the findings from the project thus far.
The Turtles of Skerryvore Community Road
Roads are known to have significant effects on the landscapes and habitats they bisect. Many studies throughout Ontario have shown the negative impacts of roads on reptile populations through direct mortality, habitat loss, and habitat fragmentation. With this in mind, the Maamwi Anjiakiziwin project began working on Skerryvore Community Road in the Township of The Archipelago, testing a new approach for partnership and roadwork activities. This presentation will highlight the partnership, knowledge gathering and sharing, and how used this approach benefited nesting turtles during routine road maintenance to create ecological, cultural, educational, and financial benefits.
Wildfire on Georgian Bay: Parry Sound 33
In the summer of 2018, the Parry Sound 33 wildfire burned over 11,000 hectares of the Georgian Bay Biosphere (GBB) rock barrens and wetlands landscape. The GBB is a known ‘hot-spot’ for both at-risk reptiles and soil carbon-rich peatland ecosystems. Given that wildfire frequency and severity are predicted to increase due to climate change it is likely that the risk of wildfire impacts to the landscape will increase over the next few decades.
W were joined by Dr. Mike Waddington in this presentation to understand the potential impacts fire has on the landscape and what research the McMaster Ecohydrology Lab is doing to examine the at-risk reptile habitat, the carbon loss from organic soil combustion and the altered hydrology from the potential loss of soil on the landscape.