Wednesday, December 31, 2014


HAPPY NEW YEAR to our friends at the CBD, GYBN, TUNZA, BIODIVERSITYMATTERS, and all other youth and biodiversity groups!  May 2015 be a good year for biodiversity everywhere!


January- A sharp-shinned hawk was seen several times over the month of January. 

February- Macoun Marsh was featured at the “Teaching Choices- Tomorrow’s Classroom 2014 “ Symposium at the University of Ottawa.  On February 3 there was a meeting at Ottawa City Hall to look at how Let’s Talk Science can work with local programs like the Macoun Marsh project to promote “backyard” biology.  A saw-whet owl was seen near the feeders on February 1.     

March- A sharp-shinned hawk continues to hunt at the marsh.  

April- April saw the first sighting ever of the rare American bittern at Macoun Marsh.  On Easter day neighbours witnessed it eating a gartersnake! A snowy owl was sighted being chased off by crows. 

May- The Macoun Marsh sub-committee under the Beechwood Cemetery Foundation began.   Twenty nine species of bird were seen on May 10!  Most of these were unusual migrants.  On May 21 forty grade 2/3 students from Lady Evelyn Alternative School enjoyed a fantastic tour by the St-Laurent Academy grade 6 students.  

June- June 7th was our first community marsh tour. Most people came from Dunbarton Court.  In late June VIPs Swetha (India) and Christian (Germany) were in Canada as part of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network. They were involved with the Montreal Working Group on the Review of the Implementation of the Convention on Biodiversity.  They had a private tour of our special marsh! 

July- St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences came out to do bat research at Macoun Marsh. Some students from St-Laurent Academy joined the group with a pizza and DQ picnic. Many night creatures were seen including two little brown bats, one hoary bat, four baby raccoons and a green heron.

August- St-Laurent Academy science teacher Mike Leveille began work on a detailed Macoun Marsh Summer Diorama for St-Laurent Academy School.  On August 19th we find the 1400th species recorded- the spotted tussock moth!

September- Local Cub Scouts and Rockcliffe Park Public School visit the marsh.

October- The NAAEE International Environmental Conference tour at Macoun Marsh was on October 8.  Ten delegates came out representing schools and museums from NWT, Alberta, California, New York, Chicago, and Florida.  Rain held off for most of the event.  Aquatic life, salamanders, migrant birds, and asters dominated the tour. 
The ANNUAL BIODIVERSITY MENTORSHIP PROGRAM with youth from local Public, Catholic, and Private schools met on October 18.  There was a student-led Macoun Marsh tour. The students received two messages from youth delegates at a UN Biodiversity gathering in the Republic of Korea.

November- Black-capped chickadees began feeding from local visitors. 

December- Unusually warm weather delay natural cycles with the absence of snow cover and the activity of invertebrates under the soil.  Some migrants are staying longer this winter such as the white-throated sparrow.  On December 12 St-Laurent Academy students witnessed a juvenile sharp-shinned hawk hunting a junco. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Residents of Rawalpindi district in northern Pakistan are suffering from severe energy crisis due to the dip in mercury. According to the locals, they are compelled to stop their business due to the low gas pressure and the price of coal and firewood are also increasing making their life even more miserable. Local government is not doing much to solve the problem.
December 23


A flock of Black Necked cranes were spotted for the first time in the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS) in Trashigang district, eastern Bhutan last week. However, the species have been appearing in several parts of Lhuentse districts in the previous years too. Such an unusual migration of these species according to wildlife conservationists could be the result of increasing global temperature and climate change.
December 24


Numbers of glaciers in Tibetan Plateau, southwestern China are retreating with the warming of temperature. As per the new and comprehensive inventory by Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, the glaciers in the central upper reach of Brahmaputra River are shrinking at a fastest rate. Those glaciers are source of water to China as well as several parts of India.
December 23


Timber smugglers are getting easy access to the timbers of Ajas forest range in Srinagar, Kashmir in absence of proper monitoring and supervision. Those timbers are meant for the public distribution but due to nexus between employees of Forest Department and smugglers, those timbers are being smuggled illegally. According to the forest protection force, they have recovered 60 logs from a house amounting to 800 square feet of timber
December 25