Bats: Facts on the Fly

Compiled from information published by: Bat Conservation Internationals Last October we had the opportunity to hear Lesley Hale from the Ministry of Natural Resources speak on the subject of Ontario's Bats: Conservation Issues and Monitoring Programs. Leslie talked about two recent introductions of environmental threats to bats, wind turbines and white-nose syndrome (WNS) and outlined the conservation strategies for these fascinating night fliers. Eight species of bats are found in this province. Some (those affected by white-nose syndrome) hibernate in caves while others migrate as far as the Gulf of Mexico for our winter. Bats are the only mammals that can fly, some as fast as 35 km an hour. Some Ontario bats can live for 30 years, though most have much shorter lives. They usually have only one or two offspring in a year. How do bats move around…
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Birding in Cuba: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

by: Bernie Solymár My first trip to Cuba was in 2004, as part of a group of Canadian agronomists studying sustainable agriculture methods in Cuba. I was so enthralled with the wonderful habitats and biodiversity of the island that I contacted Luis and Yane, the company’s Cuban directors (now living in Toronto) to see about organizing nature-based tours. Eight years later, and several more visits as a tour leader, and I have thoroughly fallen for this tropical jewel that has been largely stalled in time for the past 50 years. Away from the white sand beaches and opulent resorts, there are numerous natural parks and nature reserves, as well as other natural areas that lend themselves to once-in-a-lifetime birding and other nature-related activities. Canadians Graham Gibson and Margaret Atwood discovered several decades ago that birding in this largest tropical island…
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