Herptology; What is a herptologist?

What a question in the middle of winter, however as spring approaches ~ “Where are the frogs?” is a most excellent query!!!

“Stewards of Saskatchewan” is a voluntary program of the provincial group Nature Saskatchewan.  With this program, volunteer stewards collectively monitor population data on various at risk species.  One of these is the Northern Leopard Frog, (Lithobates pipiens or Rana pipiens) designated as Special Concern in Canada

Please report to the Stewards of Saskatchewan SOS survey, if you sight one of the species on their list.  Did you know that April is Frog month? Celebrate Frog Month with your family!  Find out how to become an amateur herpetologist this April!

Where might be one of the places in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area where  a Northern Leopard Frog could be sighted?

The Chappell Marsh, the permanent wetlands of the West Swale contain water all the time.  But where are the temporary wetlands located?  This is exactly where the frogs are singing their merry songs.  This area for the lands east of  Chappell Marsh in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is marked as a yellow oval on the attached map.  The Northern Leopard Frog, sings just to the west of the southwest off leash recreation area.

FrogMap
Northern Leopard Frog, Rana Pipiens Map

Just as farmers watch the weather; “In dry years, arable agriculture can fail over large parts of the province, whilst in wet years, flooding has caused widespread damage to rural and urban infrastructure.” “(Pomeroy, 2005)

So, too, do the frogs seem to watch the weather.  During dry years such as those experienced 2015, 2016, and 2017 there were no frogs heard at the Richard St. Barbe  Baker Afforestation Area.  However in 2013 and 2014 frogs were a delight to the years, especially as the Northern Leopard Frog is a species of Special Concern.  As the weather cycles in the province, it can be expected that another year of flooding may follow the very dry years experienced 2015, 2016, and 2017.  The newspapers report the flooding damaging crops, basements and highways however the glorious thing which is missed on the years of high water tables, is that the frogs come back!

There are definitely other areas, such as where the old grid road is being swallowed up by Chappell Marsh near the road turn off to Chappell Marsh Conservation Area.  The old grid road is partially submerged, making it the perfect habitat for frogs [and ducks] as well.

Now then, it would be a very intriguing for a herpetologist,  volunteer ‘Steward of Saskatchewan’ or conservation officer to engage in a project to walk with a GPS app which records altitude.  This project would scan the entirety of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and ‘George Genereux’ Urban Regional park for altitude levels similar to the altitude of the meadow west of the South West Off Leash Recreation Area.  Other areas which provide a rich habitat for the Northern Leopard Frog could be identified in this method for the areas west of Chappell Marsh and in ‘George Genereux’ Urban Regional park.  In this way during years of flooding the Northern Leopard Frog could be surveyed and counted in identified Frog zones.  And accordingly in the years of drought, the environment could remain undisturbed awaiting their safe return.  🙂

Perhaps, just perhaps, this would be a way to ensure the Northern Leopard Frog’s survival.  An altitude test may just help to find the temporary wetlands conducive to the frog’s habitat, and could then be protected from development.  Either that, or developers would need wait until years of high water tables before developing land to determine the habitat for frogs.

Saskatchewan cycles through years of drought and high water tables.  The years 2013, and 2014, saw very,  very high rain levels, spring run off and flooding.  Chappell Marsh itself washed out a grid road, and water pumps were allocated to try to divert the flooding away from Saskatchewan Highway 7 west of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and CN Chappell Yards.  The cycle of very wet conditions was also seen historically over the years 2005, and 2006. (Garnet, 2012)

July 13, 2014, Emily Chan reported “In Saskatchewan, it’s estimated that a total of up to 3 million acres, including some farmland, have already flooded.”   “Highways closed and communities declared states of emergency …, ” reports the Canadian Press on June 30, 2014 due to a deluge of rain.

“From too much rain to not enough — and everyone baking in the heat — communities smashed weather records in July across Saskatchewan.”(Climenhaga, 2017)  Whereas, in direct contrast to the years of 2013 and 2014, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reported that 2016 was the hottest year on record, replacing the record set in 2015. In 2017, “Saskatchewan farmers say drought conditions in some parts of the province are the worst they have seen in decades “(Bridges, 2017)  “Record-breaking temperatures and extremely low rainfalls across Western Canada are causing chaos for farmers and firefighters this summer as they grapple with the worst drought in more than a decade.” {Sikierska, 2015)  Drought also ravaged Saskatchewan over the years 2001 to 2002. (Garnet, 2012)

“Nowhere else  in Canada does the lack or excess of water cause such widespread concern, nor are there many Canadian environments subject to greater seasonal change in precipitation and surface-water storage.”(Pomeroy, 2005)
Drought years have been recorded as 1961, 1967, 1979, 1980, 1985, 1988, 2003, 2009.  Whereas, the flood years are reported  as 1965, 1977, 1986, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2005, 2010.  (Garnet, 2012)
“The trees and vegetation which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are therefore performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. The glorious rich, colourful, quilted covering of vegetation is not there merely to feed and please us. Its presence is essential to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it is the ‘skin of the Earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life. ” Richard St. Barbe Baker.

Bibliography

2016 Annual Report of Agroclimate Conditions Across Canada Government of Canada Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Bridges, Alicia. Sask. farmers say drought conditions worst in decades. Farmers, ranchers face tough season due to hot, dry weather.  CBC News.

Chan, Emily.  Prairie farmers frustrated as flooding drowns crops.  Ctv News.  July 13, 2014

Climenhaga, Christy.   Regina experiences driest July in 130 years. July topped the charts for hot and dry weather in southern Saskatchewan. CBC News.  Aug. 1, 2017

Cross, Brian. Rising waters wash away land, farmers’ futures . The Western Producer. May 7, 2015

Flooding, highway closures as heavy rain pounds Prairies Canadian Press.  June 30, 2014.

Garnett, Ray and Madhav Khandekar.  From Drought to Wet Cycles The Changing Climate of the Canadian Prairies.  May 3, 2012.

Pomeroy, John, Dirk de Boer and Lawrence Martz.  Hydrology and Water Resources of Saskatchewan.  Centre for Hydrology Report #1.  Department of Geography, University of Saskatchewan February 2005.

Reeve warns flood water could flow over Hwy 11 in Lumsden area CBC News.  May 5, 2013

Saskatchewan flooding: 37 communities declare state of emergency CBC News.  June 30 2014

Sask. Flooding >Flood-battered roads crumbling around eastern Sask. Culverts, bridges, train tracks washed out over a wide area CBC News. July 2, 2014

Siekierska, Alicja.  Hot, dry and disastrous. Western Canada’s drought is taking a toll. Edmonton Journal.  July 25, 2015

Top ten weather stories for 2010: Story three. From Dry to Drenched on the Prairies.  Government of Canada.  Environment and Climate Change Canada.

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com

Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”.  Post to MVA 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5  Please and thank you!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society  “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition ~ an active group interested in forest management~ or make a donation to “Save our Saskatchewan” [SOS] Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 “We forget that we owe our existence to  the presence of Trees.   As far as forest  cover goes, we have never been in such a  vulnerable position as we are today.  The  only answer is to plant more Trees – to  Plant Trees for Our Lives.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

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Where are the frogs?

What a question in the middle of winter ~ “Where are the frogs?” indeed.

“Stewards of Saskatchewan” is a voluntary program of the provincial group Nature Saskatchewan. With this program, volunteer stewards collectively monitor population data on various at risk species. One of these is the Northern Leopard Frog, (Lithobates pipiens or Rana pipiens) designated as Special Concern in Canada.

Please report to the Stewards of Saskatchewan SOS survey, if you sight one of the species on their list.

Where might be one of the places in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area where a Northern Leopard Frog could be sighted?

The Chappell Marsh, the permanent wetlands of the West Swale contain water all the time. But where are the temporary wetlands located? This is exactly where the frogs are singing their merry songs. This area for the lands east of Chappell Marsh in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is marked as a yellow oval on the attached map. The Northern Leopard Frog, sings just to the west of the southwest off leash recreation area.

FrogMap
Northern Leopard Frog, Rana Pipiens Map

Just as farmers watch the weather; “In dry years, arable agriculture can fail over large parts of the province, whilst in wet years, flooding has caused widespread damage to rural and urban infrastructure.” “(Pomeroy, 2005)

So, too, do the frogs seem to watch the weather. During dry years such as those experienced 2015, 2016, and 2017 there were no frogs heard at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. However in 2013 and 2014 frogs were a delight to the years, especially as the Northern Leopard Frog is a species of Special Concern. As the weather cycles in the province, it can be expected that another year of flooding may follow the very dry years experienced 2015, 2016, and 2017. The newspapers report the flooding damaging crops, basements and highways however the glorious thing which is missed on the years of high water tables, is that the frogs come back!

 

There are definitely other areas, such as where the old grid road is being swallowed up by Chappell Marsh near the road turn off to Chappell Marsh Conservation Area. The old grid road is partially submerged, making it the perfect habitat for frogs [and ducks] as well.

Now then, it would be a very intriguing for a herpetologist, volunteer ‘Steward of Saskatchewan’ or conservation officer to engage in a project to walk with a GPS app which records altitude. This project would scan the entirety of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and ‘George Genereux’ Urban Regional park for altitude levels similar to the altitude of the meadow west of the South West Off Leash Recreation Area. Other areas which provide a rich habitat for the Northern Leopard Frog could be identified in this method for the areas west of Chappell Marsh and in ‘George Genereux’ Urban Regional park. In this way during years of flooding the Northern Leopard Frog could be surveyed and counted in identified Frog zones. And accordingly in the years of drought, the environment could remain undisturbed awaiting their safe return. 🙂

Perhaps, just perhaps, this would be a way to ensure the Northern Leopard Frog’s survival. An altitude test may just help to find the temporary wetlands conducive to the frog’s habitat, and could then be protected from development. Either that, or developers would need wait until years of high water tables before developing land to determine the habitat for frogs.

Saskatchewan cycles through years of drought and high water tables. The years 2013, and 2014, saw very, very high rain levels, spring run off and flooding. Chappell Marsh itself washed out a grid road, and water pumps were allocated to try to divert the flooding away from Saskatchewan Highway 7 west of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and CN Chappell Yards. The cycle of very wet conditions was also seen historically over the years 2005, and 2006. (Garnet, 2012)

July 13, 2014, Emily Chan reported “In Saskatchewan, it’s estimated that a total of up to 3 million acres, including some farmland, have already flooded.” “Highways closed and communities declared states of emergency …, ” reports the Canadian Press on June 30, 2014 due to a deluge of rain.

“From too much rain to not enough — and everyone baking in the heat — communities smashed weather records in July across Saskatchewan.”(Climenhaga, 2017) Whereas, in direct contrast to the years of 2013 and 2014, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reported that 2016 was the hottest year on record, replacing the record set in 2015. In 2017, “Saskatchewan farmers say drought conditions in some parts of the province are the worst they have seen in decades “(Bridges, 2017) “Record-breaking temperatures and extremely low rainfalls across Western Canada are causing chaos for farmers and firefighters this summer as they grapple with the worst drought in more than a decade.” {Sikierska, 2015) Drought also ravaged Saskatchewan over the years 2001 to 2002. (Garnet, 2012)

“Nowhere else in Canada does the lack or excess of water cause such widespread concern, nor are there many Canadian environments subject to greater seasonal change in precipitation and surface-water storage.”(Pomeroy, 2005)
Drought years have been recorded as 1961, 1967, 1979, 1980, 1985, 1988, 2003, 2009. Whereas, the flood years are reported as 1965, 1977, 1986, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2005, 2010. (Garnet, 2012)
Taiwan is privileged with the humid and rainy habitats favorable for frogs, and the profuse rain providing the frogs a long reproduction stage makes Taiwan one of the best places for frog-watching.”{Government of Taiwan}  And it follows, that in Saskatchewan, the frogs, also fare better during the years the province cycles into a year with a high water table, rain and humidity.  Just as the Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) is native to marshes, fens, ditches and wet woodland in temperate regions, the marsh marigold does not raise its yellow head in the years of drought, nor do the Northern Leopard Frogs sing merrily in the wetlands.  In the case of frogs, and marsh marigolds, both flora and fauna await seasons of moisture, and hunker down when drought and desert-like conditions appear.
“The trees and vegetation which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are therefore performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. The glorious rich, colourful, quilted covering of vegetation is not there merely to feed and please us. Its presence is essential to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it is the ‘skin of the Earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life. ” Richard St. Barbe Baker.

Bibliography

2016 Annual Report of Agroclimate Conditions Across Canada Government of Canada Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Bridges, Alicia. Sask. farmers say drought conditions worst in decades. Farmers, ranchers face tough season due to hot, dry weather. CBC News.

Chan, Emily. Prairie farmers frustrated as flooding drowns crops. Ctv News. July 13, 2014

Climenhaga, Christy. Regina experiences driest July in 130 years. July topped the charts for hot and dry weather in southern Saskatchewan. CBC News. Aug. 1, 2017

Cross, Brian. Rising waters wash away land, farmers’ futures . The Western Producer. May 7, 2015

Flooding, highway closures as heavy rain pounds Prairies Canadian Press. June 30, 2014.

Garnett, Ray and Madhav Khandekar. From Drought to Wet Cycles The Changing Climate of the Canadian Prairies. May 3, 2012.

Pomeroy, John, Dirk de Boer and Lawrence Martz. Hydrology and Water Resources of Saskatchewan. Centre for Hydrology Report #1. Department of Geography, University of Saskatchewan February 2005.

Reeve warns flood water could flow over Hwy 11 in Lumsden area CBC News. May 5, 2013

Saskatchewan flooding: 37 communities declare state of emergency CBC News. June 30 2014

Sask. Flooding >Flood-battered roads crumbling around eastern Sask. Culverts, bridges, train tracks washed out over a wide area CBC News. July 2, 2014

Siekierska, Alicja. Hot, dry and disastrous. Western Canada’s drought is taking a toll. Edmonton Journal. July 25, 2015

Top ten weather stories for 2010: Story three. From Dry to Drenched on the Prairies. Government of Canada. Environment and Climate Change Canada.

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com

Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”. Post to MVA 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5 Please and thank you!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition ~ an active group interested in forest management~ or make a donation to “Save our Saskatchewan” [SOS] Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area 😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“We forget that we owe our existence to the presence of Trees. As far as forest cover goes, we have never been in such a vulnerable position as we are today. The only answer is to plant more Trees – to Plant Trees for Our Lives.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

Canadian Tire, Thank you!

As we come up to UN World Environment Day on June 5, it is with great appreciation and gratitude that Canadian Tire, Confederation Branch has lent a helping hand. Though we had close to 80 volunteers at the “Clean Green Community Scene” for the July 9, 2016 clean up, and 86 tires were found, removed and recycled.  The clean up was held in the summer when the grass was deep and there were a few additional tires thrown away in the bush were missed. The actions of Canadian Tire are very much appreciated in accepting those tires with rims discarded illegally in the bush, so that a beautiful and healthy forest and wildlife habitat corridor can be enjoyed now, and can be passed on to future generations. It is actions such as these, that do, indeed change the world.

When scrap tires are thrown away in the bush, they pose a real threat to the environment and to human health. Tires, left in the elements collect water. The standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Piles of tires can harbour rats and vermin. Accidental grass fires, which catch onto tires, are very difficult to extinguish as tires, themselves are a fuel source. If tires do catch fire they produce toxins and carcinogens such as benzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, butadiene, styrene, dioxins, and furans as well as heavy smoke. A combustible tire also increases the threat of a grass fire escalating into a forest fire. If this wasn’t bad enough, scrap tires also post environmental concerns as the rubber decomposes, polluting the water, air and soil. Tires contain oils, heavy metals and lead which leech into the soil and into the ground water. The marshlands, and wetlands of the West Swale are impacted, as are any animals which may imbibe of the polluted water. Now then, not only for these reasons, but who looks at a magnificent forest and says of the scenic beauty, that a tire would be visually appealing in this green landscape?

So, the legacy pollution, of unknown folks who dumped the scrap tires illegally in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area has been remedied and alleviated by the Canadian Tire Automotive Department. This is truly and gratefully appreciated by the many and several environmental, recreational and community groups who are involved with the care and stewardship of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. When tires are taken in for recycling, they may be re-purposed as insulation blocks, drainage aggregate, playground surfacing, rubber modified asphalt, floor and truck mats, belts, gaskets, soles for shoes, rubber washers or garden edging.

The next time you are at Canadian Tire Confederation, thank this leading business for standing beside the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. When voices such as Canadian Tire take stand for the environment, it truly does have far-reaching ripple effects. Protecting our environment, human health and the community is a wonderful support, and we have no qualms saying that we are truly grateful to Canadian Tire for your assistance in helping to recycle these tires, and care for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and its semi-wilderness wildlife habitat.

Canadian Tire
Located in: Confederation Mall
Address: 300 Confederation Dr #1, Saskatoon, SK S7L 4R6
Phone: (306) 384-1212
Province: Saskatchewan

Help us tell Canadian Tire how they did today! It was phenomenal!!!

We feel that our greatest victory remains to be won when man will realize his oneness with the trees, the creatures and with all living things, not ours to destroy, but to be handed on for the enjoyment of future generations. – Richard St. Barbe Baker.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Bloch, Michael. Tires, recycling and our planet. Green Living Tips. March 17, 2013

Bylaw No. 5713. the “Anti-Dumping Bylaw.”
Bylaw No. 8310 The Waste Bylaw The City of Saskatoon. 2004. Codified to Bylaw No. 9410 Dec. 12, 2016

Keeping your neighbourhood clean What you need to know. The Waste Bylaw no 8310. City of Saskatoon Residential Bylaw brochure.

Tire recycling. Wikipedia.

For more information:

You Tube Video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com

Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
Twitter: St Barbe Baker

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1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

For more information on keeping Saskatoon green, you may call the City of Saskatoon “Solid Waste Information Line” (306) 975-2486. If you think there is a problem with waste in the city, please also call the City of Saskatoon Trash Tips hot line at (306) 975-2486.

Any person who dumps or disposes of Waste contrary to Bylaw 5713, “The Waste Dumping” bylaw is liable to a fine of not less than $100.00, nor more than $500.00. Additionally, the person charged is responsible for the removal of the waste dumped improperly.

“You can come across a precipice not only in the mountains but in everywhere! ….When you come across a precipice, look for the bridge; it is somewhere there!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan In this case, the bridge for the precipice at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, in recycling tires, came in the form of Canadian Tire, providing a bridge to recycle the tires safely protecting the environment. Thank you!

Basic Consideration : Water

Water must be a basic consideration in everything~Richard St. Barbe Baker

Horned Grebe

Podiceps Auritus “Members of the family of Grebes are to be found in the temperate zones of both hemispheres, beyond which they do not extend very far either to the north or south. They are usually found on ponds or large sheets of stagnant water, sometimes on deep, slow-moving streams; but always where sedges and rushes are abundant. Probably there are no birds better entitled to the name of water fowl than the Grebes—at least, observers state that they know of no others that do not on some occasions appear on dry land. It is only under the most urgent circumstances, as, for instance, when wounded, that they approach the shore, and even then they keep so close to the brink that on the slightest alarm they can at once plunge into the water. Whatever they do must be done in the water; they cannot even rise upon the wing without a preliminary rush over the surface of the lake. From dry land they cannot begin their flight. Their whole life is spent in swimming and diving. They even repose floating upon the water, and when thus asleep float as buoyantly as if they were made of cork, the legs raised to the edges of the wings, and the head comfortably buried among the feathers between the back and shoulder. Should a storm arise, they at once turn to face the blast, and are usually able, with their paddle-like feet, to maintain themselves in the same place. They dive with great facility, and make their way more swiftly when under water than when swimming at the top. When flying the long neck is stretched out straight forwards and the feet backwards. In the absence of any tail, they steer their course by means of their feet. When alarmed they instantly dive.

Their food consists of small fishes, insects, frogs, and tadpoles. Grebes are peculiar in their manner of breeding. They live in pairs, and are very affectionate, keeping in each other’s company during their migrations, and always returning together to the same pond. The nest is a floating one, a mass of wet weeds, in which the eggs are not only kept damp, but in the water. The weeds used in building the nests are procured by diving, and put together so as to resemble a floating heap of rubbish, and fastened to some old upright reeds. The eggs are from three to six, at first greenish white in color, but soon become dirty, and are then of a yellowish red or olive-brown tint, sometimes marbled.

The male and female both sit upon the nest, and the young are hatched in three weeks. From the first moment they are able to swim, and in a few days to dive. Having once quitted the nest they seldom return to it, a comfortable resting and sleeping place being afforded them on the backs of their parents. “It is a treat to watch the little family as now one, now another of the young brood, tired with the exertion of swimming or of struggling against the rippling water, mount as to a resting place on their mother’s back; to see how gently, when they have recovered their strength, she returns them to the water; to hear the anxious, plaintive notes of the little warblers when they have ventured too far from the nest; to see their food laid before them by the old birds; or to witness the tenderness with which they are taught to dive.Col. F. M. Woodruff.

Designated Special Concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada COSEWIC, “because over 90% of this bird’s breeding grounds are within Western Canadian wetlands, the continued destruction of marshes and waterways is a major threat to the survival of this species.”Nature Canada “Threats include degradation of wetland breeding habitat, droughts, increasing populations of nest predators (mostly in the Prairies), and oil spills on their wintering grounds in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. COSEWIC

“The global population has been declined by 30% over the last three decades and by 79% within North America. Within 1985 and 2001, grassland and wetland drainage amounted to 5% global habitat loss. Due to global declines, the Horned Grebe has been unlisted from least concern to vulnerable resulting in conservation and research action plans.*

According to the Ministry of the Environment, A breeding bird or breeding Grebe colony is protected May 15 through to July 15 of the year, foot traffic, and other low disturbances must maintain a distance of 100 meters. Medium disturbances such as vehicles and ATVs as well as high disturbances, roads, drilling both must maintain a distance of 200m from loons and any Colonial Nesting Grebes.  The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and the Afforestation Area formerly known as George Genereux Park are both located in the West Swale which drains into the South Saskatchewan River at Yorath Island/Maple Grove.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Nature Canada suggests:

  • “Tell elected officials that you support the protection of at least half of Canada’s Boreal forest.” “The eco-system of a forest is very fragile. It is very easily upset. This would be a fifth reason why tree cover should be maintained…It is not enough for a mayor to put on his chain and plant a tree but he must plant forest trees for our lives”~Richard St. Barbe Baker The afforestation areas of Saskatoon are a vital heritage site, and a true testament to the Parks Department of Saskatoon.
  • Dan Kraus,Weston conservation scientist and senior director of conservation program development for the Nature Conservancy of Canada, writes about the temperate prairies, and the endangered grasslands ~ the World’s most endangered eco-system. So it certainly would not hurt to tell your elected officials that you support the protection, as well, of the native grasslands of the West Swale, including those of the Afforestation area formerly known as George Genereux Urban Regional Park, and the native grasslands of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.
  • “When viewed in the context of our climate and geological history, it is evident that prairie wetlands are integral and irreplaceable parts of the Saskatchewan landscape.The challenge is to find a place for these wetlands in our social, economic and land-use systems – a place where their protection and conservation is assured by their inherent value.Managing Saskatchewan’s Wetlands Is there not truly a great symbiosis between woodlands, grasslands and wetlands?
  • “Advocate for greater protection of Important Bird Areas (IBA) in your community and across the country.”
  • “Learn more about IBAs.” Do you consider Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, the West Swale, and the many and several wetlands around Chappell Marsh an important bird area? Chappell Marsh is huge, extending from Chappell Marsh Conservation Area managed by Ducks Unlimited, into Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area managed by the City of Saskatoon and the Meewasin Valley.
  • “Stay informed about endangered birds and other species”
  • “Thousands of volunteers have helped conserve Important Bird Areas by surveying bird populations, building nest boxes, erecting signs, removing invasive species, planting native grasses, and promoting awareness of the value of wildlife.”

What will you do?

From the account above, can you recognize the Horned Grebe, now on your travels into the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and around about the West Swale wetlands, the series of marshes alongside Chappell Marsh?

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

The elected officials are:

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau,, P.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Canada, Ottawa

The Honourable Catherine McKenna Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Her Honour the Honourable Vaughn Solomon Schofield, S.O.M., S.V.M., Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan

Honorable Sheri Benson, Member of Parliament Constituency:Saskatoon West Email:Sheri.Benson@parl.gc.ca

The Honourable Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan. Email premier@gov.sk.ca

Ms. Jennifer Campeau. Saskatchewan Party Saskatoon Fairview ~ representing the regions for the West Swale and Afforestation areas. Members of the Legislative Assembly. casaskatoonfairview@shaw.ca

His Worship Mayor Charlie Clark

Saskatoon City Councillors. Ward 2 – Councillor Hilary Gough and Ward 3 – Councillor Ann Iwanchuk

Shaping Saskatoon Email communications Division

“From water and earth we came, and the future of mankind on this planet will be determined by respectful or disrespectful treatment of these basic elements.

Water must be a basic consideration in everything: forestry, agriculture and industry. The forest is the mother of the rivers. First we must restore the tree cover to fix the soil, prevent too quick run-off, and steady springs, streams and rivers. We must restore the natural motion of our rivers and, in so doing, we shall restore their vitalizing functions. A river flowing naturally, with its bends, broads and narrows, has the motion of the blood in our arteries, with its inward rotation, tension and relaxation.” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Collins, Henry Hill Editor. Harper and Row’s Complete Field Guide to North American Wildlife. Harper and Row Publishers. New York. 1981. ISBN 0-06-181163-7 page 12.
Continuing Horned Grebe and Snow Buntings sullivancountybirder, Sullivan & Delaware County Birder’s Blog

COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Horned Grebe Podiceps Auritus. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. COSEWIC. 2009. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus Western population and Magdalen Islands population, in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vii + 42 pp.
(www.sararegistry.gc.ca/
status/status_e.cfm)

Audubon Mural Project 2016. New York, NY. Bird #20: Horned Grebe: Giannina Gutierrez. Aug 13, 2016 street artstreet artistsNew York

David Krughoff’s Horned Grebe Prairies North Magazine.

Horned Grebe v.s. Highways. CBC.ca The Afternoon Edition. [Saskatchewan Highways and infrastructure have run into a different kind of roadblock at the site of one of their construction projects: the Horned Grebe.]

Horned Grebe. All About Birds Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Horned Grebe Audubon Field Guide

October birding around Victoria on a wonderful weekend hazel, FOSSILS & FAUNA
Dec 4, 2016 birdsbcnature

Horned Grebe videos, photos, and facts. Podiceps auritus. |ARKive

Species Profile Horned Grebe Western population Species at Risk Public Registry. SARA Government of Canada.

Species Profile Horned Grebe Species at Risk Public Registry. SARA Government of Canada.

Horned Grebe Bird Web.

Horned Grebe: Life History All About Birds.

Horned Grebe Bird Watcher’s Digest.

Horned Grebe. Birdinginformation.com

Horned Grebe Wikipedia.

Peterson, Roger Tory. A Field Guide to Western Birds. A completely new guide to Field Marks of All Species Found in North America West of the 100th Meridian and North of Mexico. Peterson Field Guides. Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company Boston. 1990. ISBN 0-395-51749-4. page 26

Nature Canada ~ Horned Grebe Species Spotlight

Sibley, David Allen. Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 2003. ISBN 0-679-45121-8. Page 30.

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com

Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
Twitter: St Barbe Baker

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“In the wealth of the woods since the world began The trees have offered their gifts to man.” – Henry van Dyke

The greatest gift of all is life. For millions of years the trees were paving the way for life on this planet, absorbing impurities, clearing up the foetid atmosphere and the swamp breath, absorbing carbon dioxide and giving off the life giving oxygen that
we breathe.” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker