The dedicated network of more than 150 local conservation groups helps us bring local issues across Ontario to the attention of the province. Together, we are a powerful collective voice for conservation.
Conservation updates for member groups.

New Video Highlights Transforming Conservation Gathering

A video showcasing the Transforming Conservation: Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) gathering is now available. Held last May in London, the gathering was hosted by Trent University’s Indigenous Environmental Studies and Sciences program, Plenty Canada, Walpole Island Land Trust and Ontario Nature. It brought together members of Indigenous communities, conservation and environmental organizations, government agencies and academic institutions to explore the concept of Ethical Space, the recommendations of the Indigenous Circle of Experts, opportunities to advance IPCAs, and the potential for partnerships and alliances. Read the full report from the three-day gathering.

Don’t Let the Provincial Government Eliminate Environmental Oversight

On November 15, the Government of Ontario announced plans to eliminate the office of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) and transfer much of its responsibility to the jurisdiction of the Auditor General. This misguided decision undercuts the power and independence of Ontario’s environmental watchdog. Please add your voice to tell Premier Ford, Finance Minister Fedeli and Cabinet Ministers that Ontarians need the office of the ECO and reject the slashing of this essential oversight and accountability role.

Join a Christmas Bird Count in Your Community

Each year, Christmas Bird Counts give bird lovers a reason to relish winter. This year the counting will take place between December 14 and January 5, and the results will inform long-term studies of bird migration and bird population trends. If your group is organizing a public Christmas Bird Count that you'd like us to help promote, contact Noah Cole with your count details. If you are interested in joining a community count, visit our website for a working list of Ontario Nature member groups running Christmas Bird Counts.

The Neonics Fight is On

Ontario Nature and our partners were back in court in November challenging Health Canada’s approval of harmful neonicotinoid pesticides for use in Canada. Since we launched our lawsuit in July 2016, the federal government and multinational pesticide companies have attempted to have the case dismissed twice. The November hearing focused specifically on thiamethoxam, for which Health Canada has maintained conditional registration without determining its risks to pollinators and without required public consultation. Learn more through our recent media release.

Save the Date for Ontario Nature's 2019 Annual Gathering

Mark your calendars and plan to attend Ontario Nature’s 88th Annual Gathering! Scheduled for the weekend of May 31 – June 2, 2019, the gathering will be held at Mohawk College in Hamilton and will feature a suite of engaging workshops and excursions to local nature hotspots. The weekend will also showcase the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019. Stay tuned for more details in the coming months.

Share the Joy of Nature

Nature inspires awe and wonder. Every day Ontario Nature protects the wild species and wild spaces that bring you and your loved ones such happiness. This holiday season, please consider making a special gift and ensure that we can continue to experience the joy of nature. Your gift will safeguard habitat, strengthen policies for the protection of wild species, connect young people to nature, and so much more. Thank you!


Nature Barrie
  • Barrie Christmas Bird Count, Saturday December 15 @ 8:00am; the count will be followed by a potluck supper at the Northwest Barrie United Church; for more information contact Chris Evans at 705-722-1136.
  • Christmas Bird Count for Kids, Saturday January 5 @ 9:00am at the Tiffin Centre for Conservation (8195 8th Line of Essa) between Barrie and Angus; for more information contact Chris Evans at 705-722-1136.
  • Ontario Turtles: Past, Present and Future with Peter Mills, Friday January 18 @7:30pm at North West Barrie United Church (464 Ferndale Drive North) in Barrie; for more information contact Alex Mills at 705-739-1094.
  • Minesing Raptors Outing, Saturday February 2 @ 8:30am; meet at the Little Lake Parking Lot; for more information contact Brian Gibbon at 705-721-4599.
  • Information in Mud with Jamie Summers, Friday February 15 @ 7:30pm at North West Barrie United Church (464 Ferndale Drive North) in Barrie; for more information contact Alex Mills at 705-739-1094.
Halton/North Peel Naturalist Club
  • Halton Hills Christmas Bird Count, Thursday December 27; for more information contact Bill McIlveen at or 519-853-3948.
Norfolk Field Naturalists
  • Winter Birding in Haldimand County, Sunday January 20 @ 2:00pm; meet in Port Dover at the base of the dock on the west side of the harbour; for more information contact Len at 519-428-6796.
York Simcoe Nature Club
  • Lake Simcoe Protection Plan: 2019 Review with Claire Malcolmson (Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition), Tuesday January 8 @ 7:30pm at Queensville Holland Landing United Church (20453 Leslie Street) in Queensville; for more information visit
Orillia Naturalists’ Club
  • Audubon Christmas Bird Count and Pot Luck Supper, Saturday December 15 at the Orillia Museum of Art and History (Peter Street South) in Orillia; for more information or to register contact Fern Splichal at 705-325-2952.
  • Parasitic Invertebrates of Local Parks with Phil Careless, Wednesday January 2 @ 7:30pm at the Orillia Museum of Art and History (Peter Street South) in Orillia; for more information contact Tanya Clark at 705-326-1620.
  • Advances in DNA Sequencing: How We Will Assess Water Quality in the Future with Dr. Tom Edge (McMaster University Dept. of Biology), Wednesday February 6 @ 7:30pm at the Orillia Museum of Art and History (Peter Street South) in Orillia.
  • Snowshoe Outing to East Coulson Nature Reserve, Saturday February 23 @ 9:30am; meet behind Zehr’s at 8:45am to carpool; for more information contact Leanore Wiancko at 705-326-5261.
Saugeen Nature
  • Snowshoe Hike to Look for Screech Owls, Saturday January 19 @ 7:00pm; meet in the parking lot of Sulphur Spring Conservation Area (261123 Grey Road 28) just south of Hanover; for more information contact
Midland-Penetang Field Naturalists Club
  • Audubon Christmas Bird Count and Potluck, Saturday December 15 at Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre; for more information or to register contact Dave Schandlen at 705-526-8320 or

Upcoming Deadlines

The next issue of the Nature Network News will be sent on January 15, 2019. The deadline for submissions is January 1, 2019. Submissions can be sent to naturenetwork@ontarionature.orgPlease note that events can be listed up to two months in advance – allowing others to put it on their calendar well in advance.

Ontario Nature publishes the Ontario Nature Network News every month with contributions from its member groups and staff. Ontario Nature grants permission for use of the information above in member group newsletters. Please credit either Ontario Nature or the member group.

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Photos © FreshShift Productions, Leslie Bol, Noah Cole, Thom Wilson, Conrad Kuiper