Upcoming Events and Workshops

Woodpeckers by Ewag

City of Toronto Subcommittee on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Public Meeting

The Subcommittee on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation was recently created by the city of Toronto in order to help achieve a goal of reduction of greenhouse gases of 80% by 2050. Their first meeting (Monday, March 2) is open to the public and will discuss the subcommittee’s goals and objectives. They would like to hear from members of the public about what the subcommittee should have achieved or created by their end of their two year term, and how you or your group would like to be involved in the subcommittee’s work.

More information here

Winter Waterfowl Event

Many duck species seen in Toronto during the winter migrate from the Arctic where they breed, and on Saturday, March 7 Toronto Region Conservation will teach you about these species as you watch them on their wintering grounds.

Registration with the TRCA

Reviving Native Plants at the Riverwood Conservancy Talk 

Canada’s endangered Carolinian forest is home to rare native wildflower species. The importance of including them in our gardens will be the subject of this talk by Dr. Nina Barabas on Thursday, March 19 at 1pm. This talk is presented by North American Native Plant Society and the Toronto Botanical Garden.

Registration here

Urban Watershed Forum

A full day of presentations, seminars and workshops on sustainable approaches to urban watershed management, which is critically important to conservation work. Student price for tickets is only $10. Held at the Brickworks in the Don Valley on Friday, March 20.

Registration with Evergreen

Spring Birding Workshop at High Park

This two day workshop will teach you how to find and identify birds of Ontario by sight and sound, and how to use binoculars and field guides. The first day is indoors where you will learn the necessary skills, and the second day you will practice what you learned while exploring High Park. Wednesday, May 6 and Saturday, May 9.

Registration here

Ontario’s Greenbelt Turns 10!

Ontario is home to the world’s largest permanently protected greenbelt, consisting of over 720,000 hectares of agriculturally and environmentally significant land from Rice Lake in Northumberland County west to the Niagara River. The belt forms a semicircle around the Golden Horseshoe – Canada’s most populated area and one that is rapidly growing. Recognizing the need to protect farms and natural areas from the ever-increasing threat of urban sprawl, the provincial government passed the Greenbelt Act in 2005. The overarching goals were to:

  • “Protect against the loss and fragmentation of the agricultural land base and supports agriculture as the predominant land use;
  • Give permanent protection to the natural heritage and water resource systems that sustain ecological and human health and that form the environmental framework around which major urbanization in south-central Ontario will be organized; and
  • Provide for a diverse range of economic and social activities associated with rural communities, agriculture, tourism, recreation and resource uses.” (Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, 2005)

Today, Ontario’s Greenbelt protects over 216,000 acres of forest, lakes, wetlands, and river valleys that 78 provincially listed species-at-risk call home. It helps keep our water safe by requiring buffers around wetlands and the headwaters of all major rivers that feed the Greater Toronto Area. It provides a worthy example of system-based conservation planning, where emphasis is placed on protecting the connectedness of natural features across the diverse ecozones of the Niagara escarpment and Oak Ridges Moraine instead of selecting just one or a few areas of interest. Finally, the Greenbelt provides unique recreational opportunities so close to the city, with over 10,000 km of natural trails to explore.

On February 28th, the Greenbelt will turn 10 years old, and later this year the Greenbelt Plan will be up for review. To learn more about the Greenbelt and the possible threats it faces in the coming years visit:




Meet Our Chapter Members

Karl Lamothe

SCB-TO Member Spotlight: Karl Lamothe, MSc

I am currently a PhD student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. My research interests are in the field of freshwater aquatic ecosystem conservation and management. Freshwater ecosystems are extremely interesting as they are instrumental in providing valuable ecosystem services, as well as harbouring some of the highest levels of biodiversity despite only covering a small fraction of the Earth’s surface. My Masters research focused on understanding population structure of largemouth bass, a highly regarded sport fish, in Arkansas reservoirs. The objective of my PhD research is to demonstrate how ecological resilience theory can aid in sustaining the socially desired state of Ontario’s aquatic ecosystems to the projected increases in disturbance as a result of human-induced pressures. Ecological resilience describes the ability of an ecosystem to absorb disturbance without undergoing major change in its overall structure. Quantifying ecological resilience will demonstrate the vulnerability of freshwater systems to major change, therefore providing valuable information to aquatic ecosystem management. I have personally been involved with SCB-TO since 2013-2014. Besides being immersed in my research, I enjoy bicycling the Toronto streets, as well as being creative with yeast, hops, barley, and sugar. Fun fact: my favorite type of fish is a sculpin.

In the news….

SCB-TO members have been hard at work analysing data from our 2 field seasons collecting data to address the gaps in our knowledge about native pollinators in Rouge Park. Here are some recent developments on the status of the park as it transitions to National Park status.

Province withholds Rouge Park lands in response to low environmental protection offered by federal National Urban Parks bill. The Rouge Park is among the largest urban parks in North America, protecting over 40 km2 of watershed, including large swathes of endangered Carolinian forest in Toronto’s east end. In 2011, the province began talks with the federal government about the possibility of expanding the Rouge to create Canada’s first National Urban Park. Strategically located in a region that boasts 34% of Canada’s population, the Rouge would provide national park access to millions. However, the province argues that the proposed federal legislation (Bill C-40) will not provide the environmental protection the park needs or deserves, and falls short of the protection offered to existing national parks. The Ontario government opted to deny the transfer of the provincially-owned Rogue Park lands to the federal government until the proposed federal legislation is significantly strengthened.

View related article in The Globe and Mail

Learn more here: http://rougenationalparkfriends.com/

Board Elections and Dr. Tyrone Hayes: Nov. 10

Hello SCB-Toronto Followers and Aficionados!

SCB-TO Board elections PLUS a talk by Dr. Tyrone Hayes, Risky Business: Hormones, Frogs, and You all on the evening of Nov. 10th. 

SCB-TO is partnering with Environmental Defence, Canada’s premier environmental action organization, to bring you Dr. Tyrone Hayes from UC Berkeley. Dr. Tyrone Hayes will share his experience researching endocrine-disrupting chemicals and how they can affect the environment and human health.  Learn about the challenges he faced when he tried to share his findings, and how this ties to contemporary debates surrounding the relationship between science and industry. More information including how to register for this event here.


2014-2015 Board Elections

Every year SCB-Toronto elects a new Board who help to direct and implement the goals of the Toronto Chapter of SCB. We are part of a growing number of local chapters who work in diverse ways to raise awareness of local conservation issues and provide an important linkage between the Society’s Global directives. Check out more about SCB Global, and read below for backgrounds of our candidates.

Remember, to vote, you need to be a SCB member. Check out the benefits of membership here.

Bios of the 2014-2015 Board Candidates

President: Michelle Dileo
Michelle is a PhD student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. Her research examines how fragmented landscapes shape gene flow and connectivity in calcareous grasslands. This is her third year on the SCB-TO board, and has played active roles in the SCB-TO Goes Rouge Project and fundraising events.

Vice-President: Amanda Xuereb
Amanda is a PhD student at the University of Toronto with a strong passion for conservation biology, in her own research and in promoting conservation awareness. Her previous research focused on management of a threatened snake species, and her current research centres on the implementation of marine protected areas on the Pacific coast of Canada. She served as Vice President of the SCB Toronto Chapter last year and is excited to continue in that role in the upcoming year.

Treasurer: Jen Chivers
Jen is currently working towards her BSc at York University and hopes to continue onto graduate studies. She was an active volunteer with the SCB-TO pollinator diversity project in Rouge Park, and served as communications coordinator in 2014, helping to organize a nature and wildlife photography contest. She is looking forward to continue engaging the public in local conservation issues.

Secretary: Ekaterina Hult
After completing her master’s degree at the University of Toronto in 2009, Ekaterina started working as a research technician in insect physiology. She has 2 years of experience in the environmental NGO sector, and was an active participant in SCB-TO’s Rouge Park project. As Conservation Chair she helped organize a variety of chapter events including a city wide nature and wildlife photography contest. She is excited to continue her involvement in the organization in the coming year.

 Event Details

Victoria College in the University of Toronto
73 Queen’s Park Crescent, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1K9
Accessible venue.

Date and Time: Nov. 10th, 7:00 PM talk
Election poll opens 6:45 and will continue throughout the talk, and after the talk finishes.

** Space is limited! Be sure to RSVP at http://www.environmentaldefence.ca/talks to save your spot!
SCB-Toronto Elections do not require an RSVP, but the talk does.

Photography Exhibit & Silent Auction

photo ExhibitWith our photo contest coming to an end, don’t forget that you can take some of those beautiful shots home with you! Photos will be on display at Baka Gallery and Cafe located at 2256 Bloor St W. (Bloor West Village) where you can bid on prints in a silent auction, from MAY 26 – MAY 30. The exhibit will wrap at our Award Ceremony 7:00pm on MAY 30th. Funds raised from the silent auction will be used to plant a native wildflower garden. So be sure to check out the display and bid on your favourites to support your local SCB chapter!

We hope you’ll join us!

To view the winners & more! visit www.scbtorontophotos.com