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.
written by Dalila Seckar
On October 20 and 21, I attended the Ontario Land Trust Alliance conference at Geneva Park YMCA conference centre north of Orillia. Gary Bugg (also on the Board of Directors) and Sara Kelly (part-time coordinator) also attended part of the conference, with support from Ontario Trillium Foundation. Each day, there were several workshops with options to attend as well as plenary speakers. The workshops were primarily presented by employees or board members of land trusts and attendees shared valuable ideas. Below the photo of Geneva Park is a brief summary of the workshops and talks that I attended.
I learned about multivariate analysis that can be used to target land securement. With this technique, properties are evaluated based on criteria that includes considerations and risks. At another workshop, I learned about a natural heritage database (created for OLTA members) that can be used to store information on biota found in land trust properties.
I also attended workshops that focussed on member engagement and fundraising. Other land trusts gave examples of techniques they use to reach out and interact with property neighbours and members. Examples of campaigns and electronic news bulletin management systems were given. With respect to fundraising, presenters recommended creating stories that connect and resonate with donors.
The closing speaker was Dr. Diane Saxe, Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner. Reports on the government’s performance are available on the Environmental Commissioner website. Dr. Saxe recommended that all individuals make comments on proposals on Ontario’s Environmental Registry. Even if you do not have time to fully read the proposal and make an informed comment, letting the government know that you are concerned about the topic still has value. All provinces do not have the Environmental Registry or an Environmental Commissioner and Ontarians should make use of these tools.
written by Marg Fleming
The benefit concert held on the evening of October 1 for the newly designated Lone Pine Land Trust (LPLT) has been, to date, the event highlight this year. Local musical sensation The Fade Kings gave their talent and time back to the community by hosting an entertaining evening of music that spanned several generations. The evening was made special by The Old Church Theatre venue where comfortable casual seating and refreshments gave an ‘at home’ ambiance to the performance.
LPLT board member Doug McRae introduced The Fade Kings thanking them for their contribution to local habitat conservation, then turned the evening over to the band. More heads were bobbing than a peep convention on a Presqu’ile beach as the audience enjoyed old favourites with a new twist, sweetened by the fine acoustics of The Old Church Theatre. Regular Fade Kings David Impey (percussion), John de Vries (base), Leigh Moore (keyboard), and Eric Fry (lead guitar) were joined by guest artist Ian Kojima (saxophone) for the first 60-minute set. Ian is accomplished in his own right, having played with a palette of notable artists around the world including BB King, and toured for 15 years internationally with singer-songwriter instrumentalist Chris de Burgh. Ian added a unique dimension to the evening’s sound and soul. And just before intermission the audience was treated to a surprise performance by the legendary Ila Vann whose voice has joined those of iconic performers such as Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong. Ms. Vann was one of Ray Charles’ “Rayettes” and in the 1970s had a #1 hit in the UK, “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man”.
Sincere thanks go to The Fade Kings for donation of their time and talent in the interest of local conservation. The band’s proceeds were presented to LPLT for ongoing habitat preservation on its four constituent properties. You can follow The Fade Kings at www.fadekings.com to view their upcoming schedule and catch another one of their local performances. And a calendar of presentations at The Old Church Theatre, possibly the best kept secret in the area, can be found at www.oldchurchtheatre.ca.
Along with the Northumberland Land Trust, Lone Pine Marsh Sanctuary hosted an event at the Cobourg Community Centre on February 18 on the Identification and Management of Invasive Plant Species in Northumberland County.
The event was very well attended and we learned a lot from the speakers, Ken Towle and Bill Newall.
Ken gave us background on how invasive species arrive and their invasive qualities. The stages of invasion include Introduction, Naturalization, Facilitation, Spread, Interaction, and Stabilization. Invasive species that are abundant in Northumberland county are dog-strangling vine (Cynanchum sp.), garlic mustard (Alliara petiolata), buckthorn (Rhamnus sp.), Phragmites australis, Elaeagnus umbellata, scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris). Spotted Knapweed, Japanese knotweed, water soldier, giant hogweed, Himilayan balsam, and Norway maple are also found in our region. Bill Newell discussed chemical controls for invasive plants and his experience with controlling invasive plants in the region.