Construction is almost finished on an interpretative display that will focus on educating visitors about the role of forest fires in traditional indigenous culture and in sustaining the red and white pine populations. The exhibit will update an aged interpretive display at the Dawson Trail Campground. The Friends of Quetico and the Quetico Foundation are working together to financially support this important project.
by: Dr. Michael Rennie, Canada Research Chair in Freshwater Ecology and Fisheries Assistant Professor
Quetico Provincial Park has been described as a ‘natural oasis’; with all the things going on in the world, in Quetico, you can get in a canoe, traverse a few portages, and the outside world quickly melts away leaving just you and nature. Unfortunately, even in this relatively untouched oasis, unwanted visitors have begun to appear. Several aquatic invasive species now inhabit various lakes in the park, with the most prominent and widely distributed likely being the spiny water flea (or Bythotrephes to us scientists, which is the genus that these organisms belong to).
by Katie Tripp and Kelsey Atalise
Although this year had a shorter than normal season, a lot was accomplished by the biologist assistant crew. They assisted with four main projects this season; assessed lake trout vulnerability to climate change, identified the location of Spiny Water flea, an invasive species in Quetico’s lakes with a Lakehead graduate student working with Dr. Michael Rennie under the Quetico Foundation grant. They also assess the recovery and regeneration of conifer stands after a fire that occurred in the park and helped former biology intern Jared Stachiw, collecting data for his master’s thesis based in Quetico on Red Pine ecology.
Quetico Foundation awarded Dr. Michael Rennie, Lakehead University, with a $75,000 grant over the next three years to evaluate how invasive spiny water flea and climate change are affecting the early growth rates and mercury loads of fish at Quetico Provincial Park.
Dr. Michael Rennie, an Associate Professor in Biology, Canada Research Chair in Freshwater Ecology and Fisheries, and Research Fellow at the Experimental Lakes Area, is looking specifically at Lake Herring and Walleye to help inform adaptive management plans for Quetico Park.
Ontario Backcountry Canoe Symposium launched the #paddlethanks initiative, to give people an opportunity to say thanks for the wonderful things that make paddling such an important part of life. The Quetico Foundation submitted a video by Abigail Laulman, Trustee. Laulman’s first canoe trip was sponsored by the Quetico Foundation, a paddling trip for new Canadians that began her love for the paddling life.
Monitoring the diversity and abundance of forest birds and their changes through time is part of assessing the ecological condition of an area. Within Quetico Provincial Park, a long-term monitoring program using equipment that records bird songs at permanent sample plots was established in 2014 to monitor songbirds in specific habitats. The data resulting from these efforts will contribute to broader programs that aim to assess the ecological integrity of Quetico Provincial Park and other areas in northwest Ontario.
The purpose of this report is to provide a summary of the data collected between the years 2014 and 2019 and identify broad patterns of bird-habitat association for the ecosites monitored in Quetico Provincial Park.
Art inspired by a Quetico experience can enhance connections between the park and the public through its various forms. The Art provides a means for those who visit the park to appreciate it on a deeper level and for those that do not venture into the park wilderness to experience it vicariously. The program is open to Canadian and International artists, working in any media, whose work relates to the natural environment. While the range of media can vary widely (poetry, sculpture etc.) the details of this program description are written with the visual artist as an example. Those working in other media should propose equivalent examples.
The Artist in Residence Program is one part of Quetico’s efforts to promote appreciation for and understanding of the environment through experience and education. This program is supported by the Quetico Foundation. Artists in Ontario may be able to gain additional support through the Ontario Arts Council. Quetico Provincial Park determines the participants in the program.
JOB POSTING – 2020 Research Field Team Program
Position: Research Field Team Lead (Assistant to the Park Biologist)
Location: Quetico Provincial Park, Atikokan ON, P0T 1C0
Length of Employment: 16 weeks – early May to the end of August
Application Deadline: March 2, 2020 or when position is filled
Position Description: This is a 16 week summer employment opportunity funded by The Quetico Foundation from the Margery J. Warren bequest, to provide a student in a field sciences or natural resource related undergraduate or graduate program with an opportunity to gain valuable experience in their chosen field. The successful candidate will lead a small field team under the direction of the Park Biologist assisting with the collection and analysis of ecological field data in a wilderness environment. Considerable time will be spent in the field in canoe accessible backcountry locations for extended periods. Rate of pay will be ($20 per hour). Accommodation is available at the Quetico Provincial Park Staff House for $25 per week. Camping gear is provided, and food expenses incurred while on backcountry work trips are reimbursed.
Field work may include ecological monitoring in support of the long term ecological monitoring framework for the Park such as setting up remote data collection devices (song meters, cameras, and temperature loggers), fire history data sampling, fish population and aquatic ecosystem assessment, and vegetation community monitoring. Additional work may include collection of habitat data, invasive species surveys, and bathymetric surveys.
Responsibilities as a team leader include, backcountry trip planning, following field safety and communications protocols, making day to day navigational, work planning and safety decisions in the field and supporting an inclusive and positive team environment.
Office work for the Research Field Team Lead will depend on the experience of the individual and may include a variety of backcountry canoe trip planning, scheduling, analytical work, identification, report writing and data entry as well as administrative tasks.
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.