Love looking for Wildlife? Share your findings
Whether you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, outdoor family activities, or are just plain passionate about the environment there are a number of ways to get involved and get active this spring. Below are some wildlife monitoring programmes for you and your whole family to enjoy. Don’t forget to check out our volunteer page for local stewardship opportunities in Mississippi Valley watershed; as well as the News & Events page of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Association (FOCA) for more upcoming events.
1. Turtle Tally
The Ontario Turtle Tally is a community based conservation programme that records where Ontario turtles survive, what threatens their populations, and where the habitat that sustains them is found. The purpose is to collect, record and store location and species information on Ontario turtles, including species at risk.
The information that is collected in this database will be submitted to the Natural Heritage Information Centre and will be used to learn more about turtle distributions in Ontario.
For more information on Turtle Tallying and how to get involved please click here.
2. Frog Watch
By participating in this programme you will help to increase our knowledge of frogs and toads in Ontario. Frogs and toads are a part of local biodiversity – the amazing variety of life around us. Conserving biodiversity is essential to the health of the planet and the welfare of humankind. Changes in frog and toad populations may be good indicators of changes in the wetland environments that sustain them. This is because they live “on the edge” between water and land, and are very sensitive to pollution and habitat alterations.
Not all frogs and toads call at the same time; there is a sequence of species that call as ponds thaw and warm. Monitoring the dates of frog calls allows us to:
- Predict when frogs are likely to call
- Watch the yearly south to north progression of frog and toad calls as warm spring temperatures move north
- Monitor climate change over longer periods of time – as climates warm, frogs call earlier and earlier each year and remain active for longer periods of time
This north to south progression of calling dates is called PHENOLOGY, which is the study of the times that natural phenomena occur in relation to climatic conditions.
Becoming a FrogWatch Ontario observer is very easy click here for more information.
3. Loon Survey
Canadian Lakes Loon Survey participants have worked since 1981 to track Common Loon reproductive success by monitoring chick hatch and survival. Participants dedicate at least three dates, visiting their lake once in June (to see if loon pairs are on territory), once in July (to see if chicks hatch) and once in August (to see if chicks survive long enough to fledge).
For more information or to register as a participant:
Canadian Lakes Loon Survey
Bird Studies Canada
P.O. Box 160, 115 Front Street
Port Rowan, ON N0E 1M0
Ph. 1-888-448-2473 ext. 124