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Old Posted Oct 14, 2018, 12:49 PM
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Biodiversity and ecosystems in your city and region

Be interesting to see how are cities and their larger regions are doing when it comes to their ecosystems and the biodiversity within them. Whether it be new or pre-existing, the importance of both cannot be understated. Climate change and habitat loss a big concern these days. Things like urban forests and naturalized park land can go a long way in reducing our impact and increasing biodiversity and quality of life. Even something as simple as your backyard or balcony can help.

I will start with a Toronto example. It could be anything but this is a man made wildlife habitat.

The Leslie Street Spit, or Tommy Thompson Park, was originally intended as a breakwater for Toronto's outer harbour but for various reason it was never really needed for that purpose. Nature started claiming the land and now the emphasis is on expanding that usage. It is now an important birding area and nature refuge. Fill from construction around projects the GTA are dumped into the lake and it continues to grow to this day. It goes out 5 km into Lake Ontario.




Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
by Edward Kroc, on Flickr


191
by ontario photo connection, on Flickr


Leslie St. Spit - Toronto
by Garnett Plum, on Flickr
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2018, 4:52 PM
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Great idea for a thread. Unfortunately I can't really think of a positive way St. John's is handling the ecosystem. Natural forests are being clear-cut for suburban development. As for wildlife protection, once you take away seabirds and the occasional moose which makes it way into town, there is little to no wildlife within the city or its suburbs, minus pesky rats and mice.

That's a pretty somber realization.
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Old Posted Oct 14, 2018, 9:24 PM
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In Coquitlam they have taken the medians of the highway and filled them in with plants and trees to deal with stormwater and rain issues.



was just a grassy ditch now a planted ditch




A lot of the side streets have added Rain Gardens, where before it was just your standard storm drain is now a lush looking garden.

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Old Posted Oct 14, 2018, 11:41 PM
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While I certainly wouldn't call Calgary an exactly biodiverse spot, we do get a lot of wildlife in the city, and a few of our parks are home to permanent Deer herds.

We've had moose wander into the downtown core more than once...

Moose runs through downtown Calgary
A young male moose was spotted running around Calgary on Thursday.

CTV News



Quote:
At around 10:30 police received a call about the animal which was spotted at 37 Street & Glenmore Trail S.W.

By 11:30 the one-year-old moose had made its way to Crowchild Trail and Memorial Drive.

At 1 p.m., it was making its way through downtown Calgary along 9 Avenue.

"[It acted] almost like a tourist. He's seen all the highlights of Calgary. He's been to the Zoo, passed the construction of The Bow office complex, and the Palliser Hotel," says Duty Inspector Darren Cave from the Calgary Police Service.

...
Full story: https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/moose-run...lgary-1.512039



A couple pics of the deer herds of Nose Hill Park...


https://www.photography.canadaweb.ne...apes/i-4LBQzFL

https://www.flickr.com/photos/25403537@N08/2388845780

https://www.yelp.ca/biz_photos/nose-...z9zw04l47FCRgA

http://fonhs.org/



Along with an article about a Buck fight on Nose Hill...

Bucks battle at Nose Hill Park



Global News

Quote:
CALGARY – Two white-tailed bucks were spotted locking antlers at Nose Hill Park on Wednesday.

Fish and Wildlife was called to the popular park to break-up the battle.

They were going to try tranquilizing the combative deer, but the animals separated on their own as the officers approached.

Neither of the deer appeared to sustain any injuries during their clash.
Full story: https://globalnews.ca/news/1798658/w...ose-hill-park/



And the cutest lil black bear in Fish Creek Provincial Park (fully surrounded by the southern half of the city)...

Black bear warning issued for Fish Creek Park



CTV News

Quote:
Alberta Parks officials are warning the public to be cautious in Fish Creek Park in Calgary after a black bear was spotted in the area near Canyon Meadows.

According to reports, the animal was spotted on Friday in the popular Votier's Flats day use area.

Authorities say the bear hasn't been aggressive so far and no closures have been announced, but visitors are warned to remain alert and keep their pets on a leash while in the area.

Park users are also advised to carry bear spray and make a lot of noise in areas with poor visibility to avoid surprising the bruin.
Full story: https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/black-bea...park-1.3657115




And of course every Calgarian's favourite, the jackrabbits that hop endlessly around every neighbourhood and street in the city


Freeze - I think she's seen me by Anne Elliott, on Flickr
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 12:49 AM
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^Any coyotes in the city?
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  #6  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 1:17 AM
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Pretty normal to see deer in Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg and Tuxedo Golf Course, especially at dawn or dusk. Both neighbour Assiniboine Forest - one of the largest inter-city forests areas in North America.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 1:26 AM
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In some areas of suburban Winnipeg it is unusual if you go for an extended walk or cycle and don't see deer.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 1:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Awesomesauce View Post
^Any coyotes in the city?
I saw one at 12:30 am on a residential street in Scarborough, near a small park.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 1:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr Awesomesauce View Post
^Any coyotes in the city?
Yes and they will occasionally attack dogs. Coyotes hunt in packs and are very cunning. I backed on to Fish Creek Park and would hear them howl at night. They would tear apart garbage almost like urban racoons do out east.

Calgary also sees the occasional Cougar wonder in from the foothills. One was shot a few years ago as it was lurking outside a hospital.

Calgary is at the junction of 3 ecological zones: mountain, aspen parkland and prairie so the diversity within about a 150 km radius is huge.

Calgary is also a great example of urban ecological succession. As the landscape has transformed from most treeless rangeland to suburban sprawl and naturalized parks, it has attracted more wildlife traditionally associated with forested regions, like skunks, racoons and porcupines. The foothills forest has advanced westward through the city in my lifetime. Fish Creek Park for example was virtually treeless east of Elbow Drive.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 1:37 AM
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that is fascinating, great post. I remember the Cougar shooting a couple years ago. Sad that is what it came to.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 2:05 AM
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That jackrabbit is a funny looking fella. Hadn't thought about what a jackrabbit looked like before. Didn't realize they were that big. And didn't know there was a difference between a hare and a rabbit.

Cottontail rabbits are pretty rampant around here, especially in Burlington and Oakville based on my experience. Would be rare if I went a week without seeing one in my backyard or front yard. From April through June of this year one kept lying down on my lawn 8 feet away from the car and not flinching while getting in or out of the car. Also had baby rabbits in the backyard last year.

I had one close encounter with a deer while wading the Credit River in Norval, next to Georgetown. I was in between two little islands in the river and one bolted out from the bushes in the bigger island and skipped in the shallow river about 5 feet from me to the smaller island. Same summer, same stretch of water, I had a beaver brush my leg while in my waders on the way back to his dam.

And I have seen deer several times while boating on Sixteen Mile Creek in Oakville. Also saw a family of them right on the edge of the gas station by Heart Lake Conservation Area in Brampton.

As for coyotes, four years ago came across one at 7:30 am at Appleby GO Station parking lot in Burlington. Two of us commuters turned back to our cars while he was wandering around. Then he turned down a different row of cars so we continued to the train. Then he came back out, but behind us now so we both looked at each other and wondered wtf are we gonna do if he starts coming towards us? Turns out he ran towards Fairview St. and that was the end of that.

Also, there was a wild turkey roaming my neighbourhood in Brampton for five days. Saw it three times. Once behind my backyard that backed onto a forest, the other two times on the sidewalk/someone's front yard.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 2:16 AM
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By the way, do you guys also feel that you're seeing way more birds of prey (eagles, hawks, falcons, ospreys, turkey vultures, etc.) in the city than before. About the past 10 years. It's gotten ridiculous. And ridiculously beautiful.

See them all the time on the light standards on the QEW. And hovering above any forested area in the city.

Damn turkey vulture was eating some road kill on Glenashton in Oakville last summer and I drove by him leaving only about five feet of space and he didn't budge.

Past three summers have had a coopers hawk perched on my fence waiting to pounce on sparrows at the feeder, then one that actually swooped down in front of my bay window and grab a sparrow from the feeder and take off, two perched on fence watching our football practice at the school, and a falcon grab a sparrow and eat in the in-law's backyard in Mississauga. Same in-laws have been getting a pair of ducks visit at least a dozen times every summer for three summers in a row despite not having a pool.

Before the past 10 years, I don't recall having nearly as much interaction with wildlife in cities that ain't squirrels, chipmunks or raccoons. And I grew up in Brampton where the backyard backs onto a big forest.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 2:29 AM
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Being an angler, the most interesting thing about Tommy Thompson Park, was when they built the carp barrier to protect the habitat for the rest of the fish or something. Reading on fishing forums, I read that some people were "shooting fish in a barrel" but with fishing tackle when this happened. Not sure if they eventually put a no fishing sign there.

Video Link



They made one also for Cootes Paradise to block the carp from Hamilton Harbour. Except it's not a simple gate. They have like a conveyor belt system that brings up all the big enough fish and some people sort the carp from the pike, trout, walleye, sheepshead, catfish, bass, etc. They throw the carp back but put the others on the Cootes side. As seen at 3:16 mark.


Video Link
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megadude View Post
By the way, do you guys also feel that you're seeing way more birds of prey (eagles, hawks, falcons, ospreys, turkey vultures, etc.) in the city than before. About the past 10 years. It's gotten ridiculous. And ridiculously beautiful.

See them all the time on the light standards on the QEW. And hovering above any forested area in the city.

Damn turkey vulture was eating some road kill on Glenashton in Oakville last summer and I drove by him leaving only about five feet of space and he didn't budge.

Past three summers have had a coopers hawk perched on my fence waiting to pounce on sparrows at the feeder, then one that actually swooped down in front of my bay window and grab a sparrow from the feeder and take off, two perched on fence watching our football practice at the school, and a falcon grab a sparrow and eat in the in-law's backyard in Mississauga. Same in-laws have been getting a pair of ducks visit at least a dozen times every summer for three summers in a row despite not having a pool.

Before the past 10 years, I don't recall having nearly as much interaction with wildlife in cities that ain't squirrels, chipmunks or raccoons. And I grew up in Brampton where the backyard backs onto a big forest.
Absolutely. It has taken decades, but they are definitely making a comeback.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 6:09 PM
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Calgary actually does quite well for nature and wildlife. One of the things that makes this city so spread out is the massive amount of park space we have, Nose Hill and Fish Creek are 2 of the largest city parks on the continent (each about 3x the size of Stanley Park in Vancouver) and both are located entirely within city limits. Add in places like Edworthy Park, Beaver Dam Flats, 12 mile coulee, Confederation Park and you get lots of places for wildlife. I hiked the Douglas Fir Trail yesterday (very tall, old trees on a 200' tall escarpment, kind of the Calgary version of old growth as some trees are more than 400 years old) and felt like I was in the mountains, such a great spot in the city . Didn't see any animals aside from squirrels and chipmunks, but the last time I was in there I saw 2 Great Grey Owls (and the chipmunk they were watching losing his shit! ). I live close to Edworthy park in the river valley and am really hoping I get to see a Bobcat at some point, one of my neighbours saw a pair of them in the spring. Aside from that, it's mostly deer, rabbits and Hares we see, not to mention typical city birds like pigeons and crows (and the always annoying Magpie). I did see a Bald Eagle in the city this summer, never seen one of them in Calgary before, usually it's Red Tailed Hawks and Falcons for predatory birds. I've seen a million Coyotes and a few foxes in the city as well, never seen a Cougar anywhere, though they do come into the city on occasion as was mentioned above. The other thing we have a million of in this city is Ground Squirrels (colloquially referred to as Gophers, though they are different).
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 6:19 PM
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St. John's is part of the Maritime Barrens ecoregion, which is typically characterized by frequent fog, cool summers, and mild winters.



Seagulls and rats account for most wildlife. Whales, puffins (and other seabirds), foxes on Signal Hill, recently-arrived coyotes in the suburbs, and the occasional moose round out the rest.

We are doing nothing to protect the environment. The only relevant recent controversy here was over development in wetland areas, but due to drainage concerns as opposed to environmental ones.

St. John's is a dirty, littered city. It's the closest thing to Naples you'll find in Canada. It is shockingly, distractingly filthy. Hence the cat-sized rats.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 7:49 PM
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Materials for the Cherry Street Lakefilling project arriving at Essroc Quay. This stone is being used to create berms that will contain clean fill material taken from other local construction sites. This lakefilling will create new land around Essroc Quay to make room to realign Cherry Street and build a new Cherry Street Bridge over the Keating Channel. It's all part of a plan to better manage stormwater and avoid flooding during major storms. We're also creating new fish habitats in two coves along the new shoreline.

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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 7:52 PM
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And the goal, mixing new wetlands with urban growth.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 8:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Dengler Avenue View Post
I saw one at 12:30 am on a residential street in Scarborough, near a small park.
Edmonton gets quite a bit of wild life as well. with the river valley and ravines that cut deep into the city it is not unusual to see wild critters regularly.

Cougars in peoples yards seem to be the new one. Bobcats have been seen in various parks and along road ways. Moose are now part of the traffic reports. Since they are quite regular visitors. And since there is a large provincial park on the NW side we have more access points for wild life.

I have had coyotes in my yard as well as foxes.

In my yard.
[IMG]Urban Coyote, a good scratch. by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[/url], on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2018, 8:58 PM
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Coyotes are a permanent feature now in Tommy Thompson Park. With no dogs or motorized vehicles to stress them, and an all you can eat buffet of rabbits and birds it's the perfect home for them. I see them 1/3 times I go for a ride there.
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