Songbird and Wetland Bird Monitoring 2019

Jared Walter Stachiw and Cat Langille, Quetico Foundation Biology Interns/Quetico Provincial Park Assistant Biologists, paddling. Credit: Jill Legault

Songbird Monitoring update…1

Wetland Bird Monitoring introduction…2

An acoustic recording device setup at a permanent songbird plot in Quetico Provincial Park. Credit: Jared Walter Stachiw

Songbird Monitoring update:

Songbirds are often known for their beautiful songs, brilliant colours, and being a welcome sight in parks, at bird feeders, and in the wild. These birds aren’t only beautiful, their songs are also a convenient indicator of the health of the surrounding forest. Monitoring the richness and diversity of songbird species, and their changes through time, is useful for assessing the ecological condition, or health, of an area. The monitoring of songbirds within Quetico Provincial Park is a long-term study that began in 2014, with the collected data being used to assess the health of Quetico’s forests and songbird communities.

Jared Walter Stachiw and Cat Langille, Quetico Provincial Park Assistant Biologists/Quetico Foundation Biology Interns, getting ready for their excursion into Quetico Park to set up acoustic recording devices. Credit: Michael Davidson

This year the Quetico Foundation Biology Interns/ Quetico Provincial Park Biology team, Jared Stachiw and Cat Langille are helping to collect songbird data using audio recording equipment that records songbird’s calls at permanent songbird plots. This audio data is recorded at dawn, when songbirds are most vocal, ten times a year. Once the data is collected we can determine which birds are present within the forest during the recording. Collecting data for several years is important in order to analyze the trends and patterns in songbird populations over time. This data will provide information on the impacts of fire and other disturbances on songbird communities, information on avian species at risk that are present within the Park, and provide a better understanding of how fragmented landscapes impact songbird migration.

Wild Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis). Credit: Jared Walter Stachiw

Cat Langille, listening carefully for marsh bird calls. Credit: Jared Walter Stachiw

Wetland Bird Monitoring introduction:

Across Canada many wetlands are being lost due to human activity, such as development and pollution, especially in the densely populated Great Lakes basin. 2019 marks the inaugural year for marsh monitoring, using marsh birds as a surrogate for marsh health, in Quetico Provincial Park. Marsh birds are avian species that depend on marsh habitat for breeding and foraging. The presence of particular species of marsh birds, such as the least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), sora (Porzana carolina), and pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), provide an important indicator of marsh health.

The Pickerel River marsh. Credit: Brian Jackson

The Quetico Foundation Biology Interns/ Quetico Provincial Park Biology team, Jared Stachiw and Cat Langille, are carrying out canoe surveys of the Pickerel River marsh to track which species are found in this wetland area. These surveys will occur three times this summer to gain an understanding of the health of this wetland. Canoes surveys of the Pickerel River marsh will continue for the foreseeable future to create a long-term data set which will allow for year-to-year comparisons of which marsh birds are present and what this means for marsh health.

Marsh cinquefoil (Comarum palustre), a beautiful wetland shrub found throughout the Quetico-Superior area. Credit: Brian Jackson

You too can assist with marsh bird monitoring via the Marsh Monitoring Program, which offers everyone, from novice to professional, the opportunity to contribute to the conservation of marsh ecosystems. To learn more about this program visit https://www.birdscanada.org/volunteer/glmmp/.

By: Jared Walter Stachiw

A species of bluet damselfly (Enallagma). Credit: Jared Walter Stachiw

By |July 17th, 2019|Park News|0 Comments

Acoustic Bat Surveys in Quetico Provincial Park

Big brown bat, Angell Williams CC BY 2.0

Bat surveys are done three times a summer with an ultra high frequency microphone that picks up bats ultrasonic calls. The survey crew, composed of Cat Langille and Jared Stachiw, canoe from The Pines on Pickerel Lake to the north shore of French Lake just after sunset, slowly following the shoreline to pick up bat calls while they do their evening hunting. Computer software is then used to identify the number and species of bats detected or “heard” along the route based on collected audio information.

By |July 4th, 2019|Foundation News, Local news, Park News|0 Comments

Results of Broadscale Monitoring 2010-2017

It is field season for biologists again, including our biology interns! Did you know that Broadscale monitoring is the standard aquatic ecosystem monitoring program in Ontario? Our Quetico Foundation summer biology internship program participants helped with the aquatic monitoring! That’s Amy Adair, 2017 biology intern holding a  lake trout shown in the broadscale monitoring summary!

More information: https://queticofoundation.org/research-and-publications/

By |June 12th, 2019|Foundation News, Park News|0 Comments

Pay to Slay is Not the Way!

Lake sturgeon (Jeopardized Species At Risk) , Robert Elliott/USFWS

The province, northern Ontario and jeopardized wildlife in Ontario need your help. Ontario’s government announced its intention to gut the province’s Endangered Species Act (ESA). Please send an email to your MPP, make your views on the ESA known through the Environmental Registry or through Ontario Nature’s petition here: https://ontarionature.good.do/esa2/sign/ or https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/013-5033.


It’s easy to believe in a world of simplicity, where being “open for business” trumps all else. We all have to deal with complexity in our lives, with nuance, with ambiguity. We all want to live in a world where human livelihoods and nature can coexist.

We know that’s important when, in this very week, the UN issued a devastating report. It demonstrates that extinctions of organisms are now occurring at rates “tens to hundreds of times higher than the average over the last 10 million years”. As many as a million species are at risk of disappearing in the next few decades – About an eighth of all Earth’s life forms. For a summary, see: popsci.com/un-extinction-report-stats-climate#page-2.

However, just last month Ontario’s government announced its intention to gut the province’s Endangered Species Act (ESA). The provisions include: allowing developers to pay into a fund rather than do what is necessary to ensure the survival of an endangered species on a site; allowing sweeping authorizations for developers to undertake harmful activities in multiple locations; removing the requirement of the Minister to consult scientific experts on endangered species; allowing the appointment of non-scientists to the technical panel on endangered species conservation (COSSARO); allowing the minister to ask COSSARO to reconsider its recommendations on an arbitrary basis and on… and….. on. A commentary by Ontario Nature can be found at ontarionature.org/endangered-species-act-review-top-ten/.

By |May 13th, 2019|Action, Foundation News, Local news|0 Comments

Quetico Foundation 2019 AGM and Canoe Day walk

Group photo of Quetico Foundation trustees and trustees emeriti, Annual General Meeting 2019, May 3 2019 -credit: Delia Dobson

Group photo of Quetico Foundation trustees and trustees emeriti, Annual General Meeting 2019, May 3 2019 -credit: Delia Dobson

By |May 7th, 2019|Events, Foundation News|0 Comments

Quetico Foundation celebrates 65 years

We Are Canada United By Canoe, August 2017 credit Marla Larson

Quetico’s wilderness has been the focus of conservation action, backcountry exploration, engaging leadership skills and local environmental studies by Quetico Foundation for 65 years and advancing!

Please email us your favourite experiences with the Quetico Foundation with us or your favourite Quetico wilderness memories at queticofoundation@gmail.com or post them with this blog.

By |March 7th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

2019 Artist In Residence application deadline March 31

Photo credit: Cass Atatise

Enjoy creating wonderful inspired art in the wilderness of Quetico Provincial Park! Apply now to be a Quetico 2019 Artist in Residence, the deadline is March 31st. The Quetico Foundation can also pay for part of these travel expenses and initiated the artist in residence cabin. Please see https://queticofoundation.org/what-we-do/arts-culture/ for more information.

By |January 5th, 2019|Foundation News, Local news, Park News|Comments Off on 2019 Artist In Residence application deadline March 31

Oh my magpies! Christmas Bird Count locally coordinated by Quetico Foundation trustee emeriti

Do you love science and observing birds?

Read about Dave Elder’s sighting of black-billed magpies, a species typically found further west, in Atikokan as well and his contributions to the Atikokan Christmas Bird Count here: https://view.publitas.com/on-nature/winter-2018/page/6-7. Dave Elder is a former Quetico Provincial Park superintendent and a Quetico Foundation Trustee Emeriti.

Amazing work Dave!!!

By |January 5th, 2019|Events, Foundation News, Local news|Comments Off on Oh my magpies! Christmas Bird Count locally coordinated by Quetico Foundation trustee emeriti

Happy holidays from the Quetico Foundation!

The yuletide holiday season has begun!

Days we can be grateful for wonderful on-the-lake memories under the sun.

Days when we reflect on the gorgeous portages, hard won.

Days when there will be lots of fun in the snow under the pines to come!

Wishing a merry, joyous, inspired and happy festive season to everyone!

Happy Festivus from the rest of us at the Quetico Foundation

By |December 11th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Happy holidays from the Quetico Foundation!

A Quetico Foundation Halloween

Happy Halloween!

We think about the wilderness of Quetico and The Foundation at every moment!

By |October 31st, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on A Quetico Foundation Halloween