Citizen Science Projects

There are many citizen science programs in Ontario and several of them are active in the Lake Simcoe watershed. All of them could use more citizen scientists collecting data!

Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas

The objective is to improve our knowledge of the distribution and status of Ontario’s reptiles and amphibians by collecting observation submissions from the public, carrying out field surveys and amalgamating existing databases.

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Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program

We have worked to prevent the introduction of invasive species through multiple pathways, including recreational watercraft, use of live bait, and the aquarium, water garden, live food fish, and horticulture industries.

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Project FeederWatch

At regular intervals from November to April, thousands of FeederWatchers count the kinds and numbers of birds at their feeders, then submit their observations to us. This information helps scientists study winter bird populations.

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Project NestWatch

Data gathered on nesting birds are used to follow the health of bird populations through monitoring of nesting activity and provide information on changes in the environment, as birds are good indicators of the condition of their habitat.

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Breeding Bird Surveys

Volunteers follow a predetermined, roadside route each year at the height of the breeding season. The data are used to determine long-term population trends in North America's breeding birds, which may indicate bird species that are in decline and require conservation action or reveal long-term changes in land-use, environmental contaminants, or climate.

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Christmas Bird Count

In 1900, ornithologist Frank Chapman asked birders to count the birds in their home towns on Christmas Day and submit the results. Now the Christmas Bird Count is conducted in over 2000 localities across Canada, the US, Latin America, and the Caribbean. These bird observations reflect the distribution and numbers of winter birds over time.

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eBird

eBird is helping to update the population data for Important Bird Areas, either by design (IBA Caretakers in Canada are explicitly asked to enter their bird data on eBird) or incidentally (birders enter their data, not realizing they are within an IBA).

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Baillie Birdathon

The Baillie BIRDATHON is the oldest sponsored bird count in North America, raising money for bird research and conservation. The challenge is to identify as many bird species as possible within a 24-hour period, during the month of May.

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Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program

The program is designed to collect information about the presence and abundance of bird and amphibian species in Great Lakes coastal and inland marshes, to contribute to our understanding of these species and their habitat needs.

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Ontario Nocturnal Owl Survey

The goal is to monitor owl populations in Ontario to determine whether owls are being affected by logging practices. The four main target species are Great Grey Owl, Barred Owl, Boreal Owl and Northern Saw-whet Owl. Participants conduct roadside surveys of owls in forested areas in central and northern Ontario.

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Reporting Species at Risk Observations

The Natural Heritage Information Centre has a list of 13,000+ species in Ontario and tracks the locations/conditions of 2,000+ species, plant communities and wildlife concentration areas. Observations of rare species, plant communities, wildlife concentration areas and natural areas should be reported to NHIC.

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Ontario Turtle Tally

The purpose is to collect, record and store location and species information on Ontario turtles. Turtles are most often seen in June when they are travelling to reach their nesting sites. The information collected in this database will be submitted to the Natural Heritage Information Centre and will be used to learn more about turtle distributions.

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FrogWatch Ontario

FrogWatch Ontario is a fun, easy amphibian monitoring project for people of all ages. It's a great activity for schools, families, landowners, agricultural groups, cottagers, and community and naturalist groups across the province.

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Wetland Guardians Registry

An informational resource for people who are interested in wetland stewardship. If you have undertaken stewardship activities in a local wetland, we encourage you to register provide details on how you completed your stewardship projects.

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RinkWatch

We want outdoor rink lovers across North America and anywhere else in the world to tell us about their rinks. We want you to pin the location of your rink on our map, and then each winter record every day that your rink is skateable. Think of it as a rink conditions logbook. We will gather up all the information from all the backyard rinks and use it to track the changes in our climate.

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See the grand plan

To protect and restore the ecological health of Lake Simcoe and its watershed.

How to Plant a Tree

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New for Contractors

Stewardship

A guide with input from contractors to help prepare for work along shorelines. Click here.

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