BlogsCanada.ca
"The Pulse of Canada "

 
Please Give Stumble a Thumbs Up!
 

 
Ecology

Listening to nature: Protecting natural soundscapes

Posted April 16, 2014 by rabble staff

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The coming of spring brings sounds of water in motion — dripping of melting snow from rooftops, rivulets runni…

Full Story »

 
Activism

What Yoko Ono Knows About Fracking

Posted April 14, 2014 by Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Today we are fresh off the tar soaked heels of Enbridge’s lie and spin machine in Kitimat, leading to a vote AGAINST their toxic future. In Kitimat, in a non-binding plebiscite, the people of Kitimat, but not the first peoples who live outside the town boundary, voted about 60-40 to kick out Enbridge. They’re liars, […]

Full Story »

untitled
Allan's Perspective

Saturday Morning Confusion About XL Pipeline!

Posted April 12, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Dear Readers: First of all we have some news from the town of Kitimat, way out in the wilds of British Columbia. You know about Kitimat, that’s the place where the XL pipeline is supposed to feed into a marine terminal for shipping oil overseas! Well, the tree huggers have been poring all sorts of […]

Full Story »

 
Ecology

When feeding wildlife is fowl

Posted April 11, 2014 by Erich Jacoby-Hawkins
Did someone mention sauce?
What’s the difference between feeding a chipmunk and feeding a goose? In Barrie, one is illegal, the other is not.
Last year the City passed a bylaw wisely banning the feeding of wildlife, with the notable exception of well-maintained backyard bird feeders, because wildlife feeding causes many problems. It attracts animals that become habituated to humans, and can then be more aggressive. Their feces on our lawns and beaches can be a health risk. And the foods people commonly throw to them –bread, crackers, popcorn – is “junk food” not suited to their nutritional needs.

But in their wisdom, Council restricted the bylaw to mammals; feeding ducks and geese is still permitted, although discouraged in parks. Yet this is one of the more problematic feeding issues. It is one thing to attract squirrels or raccoons to your backyard – you (and your immediate neighbours) will suffer the direct consequences. But feeding waterfowl at Barrie’s waterfront ends up despoiling the area for all of us who share this wonderful natural feature.

As other cities like Mississauga and Oakville have shown, you can include waterfowl among animals prohibited to feed. Doing so is probably easier to enforce, too, because squirrel-feeding usually happens at home while duck-feeding is usually done in public parks and waterways. And even if the by-law isn’t aggressively enforced, visible signage can help reduce the harms.

And the harms will become more apparent. Canada goose populations are at an all-time peak, and continue to rise. These geese thrive under human development, which actually provides more convenient spaces for them to live & eat than nature does. Their increase is most noticeable at the waterfront upon which rest so many of Barrie’s hopes for economic growth and amenity improvement. Do we want to attract more geese, and their poop, to the same place we are drawing people? Will aggressive geese and ducks make visiting the waterfront more fun?

There are even some who feel it’s such a problem that the City should start aggressively reducing the goose population. In more rural areas, hunting them is permitted but I don’t think we want guns around our lakeshore. You can also destroy eggs or nests, or try to scare geese away periodically (usually with guns or aircraft – again, not great for our waterfront), or even have the birds relocated. But none of that works in the long term if we keep attracting them by feeding them junk food.

There may be options for bird relocation the City would not have to pay for, which would be a good way to get a handle on the problem, but when it comes to dealing with nature, prevention beats a cure. We should learn to watch wildlife behaving naturally, which for geese means eating plants and seeds, not running after us to eat a scattering of human food. It’s not like there will be a sudden shortage of these common birds; they are very capable of feeding themselves and don’t need our help.

So what do you think? Should Barrie expand its bylaw to disallow feeding geese and ducks? Should we look into ways to reduce excess birds, by increasing suitable natural spaces away from the parklands maintained for human use, and trying not to attract them to the places we use? Should we be more aggressive in removing geese to other locations? As spring finally lets us return to enjoying a cherished green lakeshore whose amenity value grows with our own population, this is a conversation worth having.

An accidentally-truncated version of this was published in the Barrie Examiner as “Should we keep feeding ducks and geese at the waterfront?
Erich Jacoby-Hawkins is a director of Living Green and the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation
Full Story »

 
Animals

Ravenous Deer Might Not Destroy Biodiversity After All

Posted April 9, 2014 by Greg Miller

Frequently cast as plant-gobbling, biodiversity-destroying villains, deer may actually play a vital role in making their forests more lush and vibrant.

Full Story »

lead_large
Allan's Perspective

North Americans Don’t Care About Climate Change Any More Than They Did in 1979!

Posted April 6, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Folks, just over one-third of north Americans worry “a great deal” about climate change, down one percent from 1989. That despite nearly every other climate change metric — temperatures, sea levels, carbon dioxide concentration, and major storms — continuing to steadily increase. By Philip Bump Gallup released the new data on Friday, noting that Canadians and Americans show […]

Full Story »

th
Commentary

Ya can’t fix stupid!

Posted March 25, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Folks, I would like to show an article here that I think exemplifies what is wrong with a lot of people in general! Here is a guy who was dead set against GMO’s (genetically modified foods) the same as some people are bent out of shape about fluoridation of water, immunization shots, climate change, nuclear […]

Full Story »

GAATJ601-128_2014_133853_high
Bizarre/Oddities

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Posted January 29, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Traffic inches along the connector of Interstate’s 75 and 85 as snow blankets Metro Atlanta on Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 28, 2014 as seen from the Pryor Street overpass. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is preparing to declare a state of emergency as a winter storm coats the region with snow and ice. State transportation officials said […]

Full Story »


 

Followers