Biological Inventories at LPLT Properties

by Paulette Hebert
A full suite of biological studies is now underway at three Lone Pine Land Trust properties.
At the Kennedy Tract, Josh Feltham, a herpetology specialist from Sir Sanford Flemming College in Lindsay will work with his team of volunteers to complete a species inventory and abundance estimates of the amphibians and reptiles at the Kennedy Tract. He will sample the different habitats along transects at specific times of the day and year. He will also be using cover boards to detect salamanders and snakes. Coverboards are thick pieces of plywood laid out strategically to attract snakes and salamanders seeking cover or warmth. The use of transects and coverboards provides standardized data which will allow LPLT to track herpetiles at the Kennedy Tract over time.
David Geale of Mariposa Butterfly Tours will be studying butterflies at the Kennedy Tract from April to July. David has photographed butterflies from around the world and has extensive knowledge of butterflies and their habitats. He is looking forward to getting started on The Kennedy Tract butterfly inventory which will allow him to focus on more local Lepidoptera.
Shrew Solutions is a consulting company led by Doug McCrae, former Board member and president of LPLT. Doug is an expert in birds and wildlife and has dedicated his life to discovering and understanding the natural world. He has worked for many years on the James Bay Shorebird project, most recently as team leader. He has assembled a team of experts in vegetation (Bill Crins), birds (Ian Shanahan) and dragonflies (Andrea Kingsley) to complete a full suite of inventories at our three newest properties (Kennedy, McColl, and DeKleer Tracts). They will be conducting standardized Breeding Bird point counts, doing raptor nest searches, and using call recordings to detect bird species that are secretive and quiet. They will also be deploying trail cameras to keep eyes on the ground all summer and to help detect mammals and nocturnal species. This will be the first time a complete study has been done at Lone Pine Land Trust properties.
Wherever possible, our experts will be documenting their finds with photographs and we are looking forward to sharing their results with you.

Speaker Series 2020

by Grant Elliott
The 2020 Speakers Series, a joint collaboration between Lone Pine Land Trust and Northumberland Land Trust, was held at Venture 13 in Cobourg with three speakers lined up for January, February and March.
Our January speaker was Gary Pritchard, Manager of Environment and Consultations at Cambium Indigenous Professional Services, who launched a successful start to our series. Gary focused on Aboriginal perspectives relating to conservation practices and reliance on the land and provided an excellent history of land claims within Ontario. He engaged the audience by highlighting current conservation management practices – there were so many questions we could have continued long into the evening. The event ended with Gary hosting a smudging ceremony for all who wished to participate.
Our February speaker was Verena Sesin, a PhD candidate from Trent University. Verena based her presentation on her work related to her PhD thesis, “A Balanced Approach to Chemical Control of Invasive Plants”. Verena spoke of the importance of this topic and its relevance to controlling invasive species while trying to protect native species. She outlined the balance that must exist when chemicals are used and explained that the concentration should not harm surrounding native species. Verena’s presentation was well received and prompted many questions from our audience related to protecting native and at-risk wetland plants.
Unfortunately, our March speaker event was cancelled due to Covid-19. This was to be a presentation from Tamara Segal of Hawthorn Herbals of Picton. She has agreed to be one of our speakers for 2021 and we look forward to hearing about the work that she does with plant medicine.
We look forward to our continuing joint initiative with the Northumberland Land Trust next year.

Four Seasons at the Braham Tract

A male bobolink at the Braham Tract. (credit: Leslie Abram)

by Leslie Abram
Each time I visit Lone Pine Marsh I know I am in for a surprise. My very first visit to Lone Pine Marsh was in February, and a walk in the woods revealed a Barred Owl with half a rabbit in its talons. Later in February I heard Eastern Bluebirds flying over the nest boxes. Though no bluebirds used the nest boxes this year, once spring came the boxes were occupied by 4 families of Tree Swallows and 5 families of House Wrens. One highlight of my monitoring was a canoe tour through the marsh at the end of May. We heard and saw Least Bittern, American Bittern, Great Egret, and Pied Billed Grebe. Countless Grey Tree Frogs were calling. Summer brought a high count of 35 Bobolink in the upper fields. It was fascinating to watch the males performing their display flights and calls. In late summer, insects were the stars of the show. On a late August visit to the property I was treated to the sight of hundreds of Monarch Butterflies, as well as numerous dragonflies, damselflies, and bees. My visit in October yielded a Merlin keeping a close eye on the marsh, and barely any other birds. This property is a gem, and I cannot wait to see what I find on my next visit.