Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Ontario Biodiversity Strategy

Variety is the spice of life!
Imagine what life would be like without a blue-eyed, blond or red-headed granddaughters!

How sad it is that I live in Lanark County, the 'back off government', libertarian capital of Ontario.

No sign of Ontario enacting biodiversity strategy: Report
The Kingston Whig-Standard
Budget cuts expected in the spring will only weaken the ability of the government to respond to environmental threats, Ontario's environment commissioner, Gord Miller warned.

Ontario has an obligation to meet the objectives of international treaties Canada has signed.
We risk our international reputation if we do not do so.
Ontario's Biodiversity Strategy, 2005, identified five major threats:
pollution, climate change, habitat change or loss, invasive species and unsustainable use of resources.

Biodiversity of species
The cycle of life depends upon the predator/prey cycle. If one part of the circle dies out, others become too prevalent, harming other species.

Biodiversity of ecosystems
Ontario has a wide variety of systems: tundra, wetland, woodlands, prairie. Our slash and burn development harm many. Coyotes are now a problem in cities.

Biodiversity of genetics
Genetics means variations within species. Imagine if we lost the red fox or grey fox.
The big factor is loss of habitat, but other factors include legal and illegal hunting, humans encroaching in areas where these animals live, eat and breed.

Endangered or at-risk
For example...
Snapping Turtles
Massassagua rattlers in Georgian Bay – I'll never forget the blasting when they put in new highway 11 roads. The rattlers were on the move in our forests. Loss of habitat and clearcutting destroyed Native lifestyles. Silt flooded fish breeding grounds. Criminal.

Milling in Georgian Bay peaked by the decade of 1910, rivalling that of Ottawa, something Sir John A McDonald complained about. . Shaped by the West Wind quotes James Angus,  writing about A.G.P. Dodge, the owner of the Georgian Bay Lumber Company:

Invasive species
Purple Loosestrife

There are several species who are beginning to invade Canada from parts afar.
  • Water soldiers
  • Zebra mussel
  • Sea lamprey
  • Round goby
  • Purple Loosestrife
  • Spiny Water Flea in the Great Lakes Region - competes with fish for food
  • Giant Hogweed
    Bala, Muskoka
  • Giant hogweed.

ImageOntario Biodiversity Strategy

Interim Report on Ontario's Biodivesity

In May 2008, the Ontario Biodiversity Council released the Interim Report on Ontario's Biodiversity. This interim report is an important milestone towards reporting on the state of Ontario's biodiversity in 2010. The interim report is not a comprehensive report, but instead is a gathering of information from existing sources, presented in plain language and illustrated with focus stories. The goal of the interim report is to initiate the process leading to the 2010 report. The interim report contains background information on Ontario's biodiversity, a discussion of threats to biodiversity and a description of some of the efforts underway across Ontario to conserve biodiversity. Download a copy.


Ontario's Biodiversity Poster

To download a copy of a poster developed by the Ontario Biodiversity Council and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, please click here.


Red said...

You're preaching to the converted here. Try our environmental laws. The tar sands over look the fact that they are completely destroying the environment and there's no or very little indication that they will put it back together when they're finished. They overlook this when they're being criticized. My enemy number one with invasives, is canary grass. It has taken over all of our riparian areas.

Kay L. Davies said...

I am living in Alberta. This should by no means suggest I am an Albertan. I am a very green, tree-hugging British Columbian, in a family full of many such.
I hate snowmobiles, trucks driven on ice, littering, and spiny water fleas, which I had never heard of until this afternoon but which sound despicable.

Kay said...

We have a huge problem with invasive species in Hawaii. It's hard when people bring foreign species to the islands and it multiplies and kills the native species.

Reader Wil said...

Humans are the greatest enemies of the natural habitat of many species. The result of the introduction of animals or plants that are not indigenous to the country are devastatating to other species that originally live in that same country. In the Netherlands the musk rats were introduced by the owner of a couple of them. Now they are a real pest and threate ning our dykes by undermining them. There are special rat catchers in the area where I live.

Jenn Jilks said...

You're so right, Wil. It is an international issue. Musk Rats? Sound creepy!
Kay, I imagine it is even worse in Hawaii, we have severe winters that kill a lot of species, but yours is such a lush world for flora!
I've never heard of Canary Grass, Red! I'm so glad that our blogging community is wide and broad. I learn something every day.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Interesting post -- incredible problems with invasive species here in Florida.

Your granddaughters are adorable.