On November 17, Donald Sutherland spoke to members and friends of the Lone Pine and Northumberland Land Trusts about Species of Concern. Don Sutherland is a zoologist with the Natural Heritage Information Centre (NHIC).
The Natural Heritage Information Centre of Ontario is a member of NatureServe. NatureServe is a network of data centres in North and South America that maintain data on species’ abundances and distributions. A common methodology is used by all of the data centres and this makes the observations comparable across the full geographic area.
NatureServe’s most important definition is the element occurrence. NHIC defines an element occurrence as:
an area of land and/or water where a species or plant community is or was present. They represent areas important to the conservation of a species or plant community such as the courtship, nesting, rearing and feeding areas of a bird.
Element occurrences are used to produce species ranks that estimate the risk of extinction of a species (or subspecies). There are subnational ranks (defined in Ontario by NHIC), national ranks, and global ranks. Don Sutherland provided examples of species that meeting the five levels of subnational ranks in Ontario with photos and descriptions. The examples helped the audience understand the ranks and types of species that meet the criteria.
For more information on the Natural Heritage Information Centre or NatureServe, click the above links in the article.
There are two more speakers in our winter speaker series partnership (with Northumberland Land Trust). Erica Nol will speak about songbirds on Feb 16 and James Conolly will talk about human settlement in Northumberland County. Both talks will take place at the Cobourg Library Rotary Room at 7pm.