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Showing posts from July, 2011

extirpating turtles?

Searching for Spiny Softshells The eastern spiny softshell turtleApalone spinifera spiniferais a Threatened Species at Risk historically found at Royal Botanical Gardens. For decades the RBG population has been reduced to one or two individuals seen every few years. The last confirmed sighting was in 2003.

This summer RBG made signs asking visitors to submit photographs and information if they have seen this turtle. Only a few days later we got a response! It was quickly sent to the Spiny Softshell Recovery Team, only to find that it was not our native spiny softshell.

The submitted photo was of an exotic softshell that likely made its way here through the pet trade. This turtle, narrowed down to one of two types of softshells native to the Texas area, has low chances of making it through the winter. Releasing exotic pets into the wild can also introduce diseases to naturally occurring populations and competition for food and space.

It was a false alarm, but there is still hope.
If you see…

build on success?

The short article (see below) lists some impressive accomplishments for Great Lakes rehabilitation, including successes in Cootes Paradise. I have chosen a few highlights that we should consider when addressing local issues, like parking lots and roads in former wetlands:
"Nearly 60 per cent of original wetlands have been destroyed on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario, even more between Toronto and the Niagara River. In some parts of southwestern Ontario, the loss has reached 90 per cent, one of the highest rates in the world." “We have to take care of the little things. If we’re successful in taking care of the little things, little things become big improvements.” "In the past, wetlands were considered breeding grounds for mosquitoes that should be drained or paved. But they are to be treasured. They brim with more life than any other ecosystem — 200 species of birds and 50 species of mammals are dependent on wetlands, which are often sanctuaries for endangered specie…