March Photo Spotlight
Rare sighting of a Tundra Swan by Larry Hicks
New Wildflower Article Index!
We are delighted to introduce a new index of wildflower articles that have appeared in TFN newsletters. This index is an emblem of the significance and impact of TFN member Peter Money's contribution to the Newsletter, and to the TFN's overall mandate of helping people learn about nature.
Try out the index for yourself.
TFN Special Projects 2017-2018
The TFN Special Projects program is intended to support projects that further the TFN goals of 1) stimulating public interest in nature, 2) encouraging protection of nature in Toronto, and 3) disseminating knowledge of natural history. The program will fund selected projects initiated, carried out, or sponsored by TFN members.
In 2017-2018, the total amount of funding available is $19,500. Budgets for projects are expected to be within the $1000 - $3000 range.
Deadline for submission of applications (by mail or email) to the TFN office is April 14, 2017.
Those projects selected are expecting to provide a reports at conclusion of project, due no later than June 30, 2018.
Bumble Bees - Smarter Than You'd Think
Posted March 2017
Researchers studying insect behaviour have shown that bumble bees can learn actions that aren't part of "the job of being a bee." Plus they can learn these actions by observation and not by the incremental training usually used to teach animals complex skills.
The task was to move a wooden ball to the centre of a platform. The bees first watched the researchers do the task and earn a reward, then they got a chance and emulated the action. Then these trained bees performed the task while watched by test bees who had never seen the task before. The test bees were able to achieve the goal of moving the ball and getting the treat almost every time, which suggests they were using social cues from watching the trained bees.
More information (and a short video of the bees moving the ball) can be found here
More Species Protected under the Species at Risk Act
Posted March 2017
The federal government has recently added 18 species (all primarily western) to the Species at Risk Act list. This is the first step necessary to enable the protection benefits that come with the Act. Once listed, the government is tasked with creating long and short-term objectives in a recovery strategy and action plan. However, there is still a five-year backlog of species scientifically declared to be at risk that are not legally listed under the Act, so much more needs to be done.
For a list of the added species, click here
For more news and things you can do to make a difference click here