Research and Monitoring Activities

Distribution and Genetics of Flying Squirrel Populations in Ontario

Dr. Jeff Bowman of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and his students have been investigating the distributions in Ontario of two species, the northern (Glaucomys sabrinus) and the southern (G. volans) flying squirrel. A primary objective of their work is to use flying squirrel populations as a case study for the development of landscape genetics techniques. Landscape genetics is the application of population genetics to landscape ecology. Most recently, Ph.D. student Colin Garroway has been applying this approach to aid our understanding  as to how changing climate regimes and habitat alteration may impact the behavioural and genetic population structuring of small mammals in Ontario. This study has also been receiving national and international attention from their recent publication in the journal Global Change Biology with stories appearing in the Globe and Mail on the CBC television show, The Daily Planet. For further information please contact Dr. Jeff Bowman.

Saw-whet Owl Banding Program

The banding station at the James McLean Oliver Ecological Centre operated by Trent University caught 92 Northern Saw-whet Owls this year -- 86 new individuals were banded and six owls banded elsewhere were recaptured. Three of the recaptures were banded in Ontario (one each from 2005, 2006, and 2007), one was banded in Maryland in 2007, and we are still waiting on the locations and dates of the other two.

As for the new birds, 74 out of the 86 were females and we only caught four males (the other eight were of unknown sex). We caught 23 hatch years, 36 second years, and 22 after second years (and an additional five were aged as after hatch year). No injuries or fatalities occurred during the banding of the owls. A copy of the banding data are available if you would like them.

This year Trent University featured the banding project on their web site on September 25, 2008 which resulted in several media contacts that highlighted the educational value of the project.  A newspaper article appeared in the Biotechnology Focus and Peterborough This Week, and videos were made for the Daily Planet television show (Discovery Channel) and CHEX News. For more information please contact Dr. Erica Nol.

Ecology and Management of Aquatic plants

One of the most visual components of our Kawartha Lakes are the rooted aquatic macrophytes. Dr. Eric Sager has been partnering with the Kawartha Lakes Stewards Association (KLSA) to help increase our understanding of the ecological role that these plants play within the broader ecosystem of the different lakes of the Kawartha region. Some of this work was recently published in a lay-persons guide to the ecology and management of aquatic plants in the Kawartha Lakes and can be found on the KLSA web site.


Oliver Centre Weather Data

Below are links to download weather data that has been gathered to date. This data is in Microsoft Excel format, compressed into a .zip archive. Reported elements include hourly and daily max and min air and soil temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, total solar inputs, and precipitation. If you are interested in other data, please contact the Oliver Centre.