Highlights of Quetico Provincial Park Bat/Bapakwaanaajiinh Survey: 2017-19

Hoary bat, Credit: J.N. Stuart CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Hoary bat, Credit: J.N. Stuart CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Introduction:

Bats (bapakwaanaajiinh in Anishinaabemowin) are an important component of biodiversity, particularly as a
voracious insect predator. Five species of bat have been reported in Quetico, including three species of
migratory bats – Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinerius), Silver-haired Bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans) and Eastern Red Bat
(Lasiurus borealis) as well as two non-migratory species – Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) and Little Brown
Myotis (Myotis lucifugus). In addition, Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis), another non-migratory species, has
been confirmed immediately north of Quetico but has not been identified from within the Park. However very
little is known about their population status or habitat use in the Quetico Provincial Park.

Due to the high risk of White-nose Syndrome (WNS), non-migratory species which hibernate in colonies such
as Little Brown Myotis and Northern Myotis have been classed as Endangered in Ontario. White-nose
Syndrome is caused by a cold and damp-loving fungus (Pseudogumnoascus destrutcans) that causes a skin infection
in bats. Discomfort from the infection causes hibernating bats to wake up more frequently during the winter.
when food and water is not available, causes bats to dehydrate and use up fat reserves prematurely, often
resulting in death. Initially identified in North America in the winter of 2006-07, White-nose Syndrome was
first observed in northwestern Ontario during 2014-2015 and has expanded across the region since then.

The purpose of this project was to determine the presence and abundance of Species At Risk bats (i.e. Little
Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus) and potentially Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis)) relative to other bat
species in Quetico Provincial Park. and compare distribution of identified bat species along survey route.

Read the full summary here

By |January 23rd, 2020|Foundation News, Park News|0 Comments

Applicants considered for Quetico Foundation’s Communications Lead

Quetico Foundation is accepting applications from interested candidates to become and lead as Quetico Foundation’s newest Communications Committee Chair.

By |December 17th, 2019|Foundation News, Jobs|0 Comments

Species At Risk in Quetico Provincial Park

A plant or animal is considered a Species at Risk when it is in danger of being either extirpated (disappearing from an area it currently occupies) or becoming extinct. Species can also be considered of “Special Concern” if their populations are threatened, for example by significant loss of habitat. Species within Quetico Provincial Park that are listed as Species at Risk are protected under the Endangered Species Act and Provincial Park policies. The QPP Biologist assesses and monitors these species to develop management strategies that will support their habitat and existence in the Park.

Within Quetico Park there are bird, fish, reptile, and mammal species that are being monitored to help with their recovery or to prevent them from becoming further at risk. Quetico Foundation summer employees have assisted with long-term monitoring of several Species at Risk within Quetico, and their work has contributed to understanding of these species’ populations and determining what management actions need to occur to protect these important species.

Big brown bat, Angell Williams CC BY 2.0

Through nighttime acoustic bat surveys Quetico Foundation staff have worked to understand the populations of endangered bat species in Quetico. Non-migrating species of bat within the park are currently facing threats from White Nose Syndrome.

By |October 9th, 2019|Foundation News, Local news, Park News|0 Comments

Agnes-Kawnipi Lake Red Pine Post-Event Fire Scar Study

Brian Jackson (QPP Biologist) and Jared Walter Stachiw (QPP Assistant Biologist) surveying the shoreline of Kawnipi Lake for a stand of red pine to investigate for fire scars. Credit: Jill Legault.

Brian Jackson (QPP Biologist) and Jared Walter Stachiw (QPP Assistant Biologist) surveying the shoreline of Kawnipi Lake for a stand of red pine to investigate for fire scars. Credit: Jill Legault.

In mid-June the Quetico Park Biology team (Park Biologist Brian Jackson and the Assistant Biologists Jared Walter Stachiw and Cat Langillle) along with QPP Information Specialist Jill Legault surveyed the red pine forest stands along Agnes and Kawnipi Lakes for fire-scarred tree samples. When a fire injures a tree, it creates a scar at the base of the tree referred to as a fire scar. Fire scars record the exact year and season that a fire occurred, which allows us to figure out how many times fire happened in an area. Fire is a natural and necessary process in Quetico’s forests and provides opportunity for regeneration of pine species and rejuvenation of available nutrients in the soil (to name just a couple of the numerous positive impacts of fire in Quetico’s forests).

By |September 19th, 2019|Foundation News, Park News|0 Comments

Reflections on Quetico from Long-time Assistant Biologist

Jared Walter Stachiw paddling

Jared Walter Stachiw paddling, Credit: Jill Legault

As an assistant biologist in Quetico Provincial Park for the last three years, working on
behalf of the Quetico Foundation, it has been both my job and my pleasure to collect
scientific data in the remote wilderness of Quetico. The work I have done has been
varied, including vegetation surveys, bat monitoring, and dendrochronology, which has
provided me with innumerable, invaluable experience in my career path. The work done
by the assistant biologist supports the efforts of Quetico Park’s biologist to manage this
wilderness area with the primary goal of maintaining and/or increasing ecological
integrity. Being able to support this endeavour has given me immense personal
satisfaction as I feel like I am helping to manage this rugged corner of Canada that I
have fallen in love with.

By |August 28th, 2019|Foundation News, 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

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