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Resources and Publications

Great blue heron © Adam Mooz CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Through our publications and resources, we promote nature conservation and build awareness. Most of the publications are the result of years of research and help support the fight to protect Ontario’s wild spaces and species.

Read the current and back issues of our award-winning magazine, ON Nature.

Resources | Reports | Atlases | Nature Guides | Videos | Toolkits | Government Communications | Youth Program Communications




Nature Guides

Nature of the North: A Traveler’s Guide to Nature in Northern Ontario
This guide is intended as a starting point for learning more about the many wonderful natural features that northern Ontario has to offer.

A Guide to Some of Ontario’s Spiders
Get to know some of Ontario’s spiders. Spiders live among us in almost every conceivable habitat. Their ecological role, one that benefits us, is as the ultimate predators of insects. The guide highlights species and families to represent commonly observed spiders, distinctive and dramatic species, and examples of some unusual families that make our arachnofauna so diverse and interesting.

Species At Risk in Northern Ontario Guide
There are more than 200 species at risk in Ontario, meaning that these species are in danger of becoming extinct or of disappearing from the province, and more than 50 species at risk in northern Ontario. Familiarize yourself with them through descriptions, ranges, threats and existing protections.

Northern Forest Foraging Guide
Ontario’s forests, meadows, and waters provide an incredible range of nutritious and delicious edible wild plants. Ontario Nature has prepared this foraging guide as an introduction to this local resource, and to encourage people to get outside and experience the wonders the natural world provides.

Harvesting and Processing Edible Wild Plants Guide
A best practices guide on sustainable harvesting, and proper handling and packaging methods for edible wild plants.

Edible Wild Plants in Northwestern Ontario
A primer about the rules and species.

Dragonfly and Damselfly Guide
Learn to identify some of Ontario’s dragonflies and damselflies, this popular guide includes more than 40 species.

Butterfly and Moth Guide
Learn to identify some of Ontario’s butterflies and moths, this popular online guide includes more than 24 species.

Crayfish of Ontario ID Guide
Did you know that Ontario has nine species of crayfish? Elusive and all too often overlooked, these fascinating creatures can tell us a lot about what is happening in our aquatic ecosystems. These beautiful guides assist the study of crayfish in the field, highlighting the unique characteristics of each species.

Black Bears
Seeing a wild black bear is a memorable event. But the best sighting “for you and the bear” is a fleeting glimpse because problems begin when bears and people meet. You can protect your belongings and Ontario’s black bears if you know some basic biology and take precautions in bear country.

Backyard Habitats
Regardless of where you live, you can turn your garden into a small wildlife refuge. Learn how you can help preserve valuable wildlife habitat, and maintain plant and animal populations that are decreasing due to urbanization.

Natural Invaders
Did you know that many common flowers and nursery varieties threaten to replace our native vegetation? These natural invaders may be growing in your own backyard!



A Citizens’ Toolkit for Nature Conservation

A Citizen’s Guide to Protecting Wetlands and Woodlands
The Federation of Ontario Naturalists published this guide to provide information as well as motivation to anyone wanting to save a natural area.

A Greenprint for Action 
You have just learned that a favourite wetland or woodland will soon be destroyed by development unless you do something. Fast action is needed to save the area. What do you do? Here are the important steps that you should take.

Making a Delegation to a Municipal Council or Standing Committee
Whether you live in a big city with a large municipal council or a small municipality with only a few councillors, you, too, can make your voice heard by your local officials. Council delegations allow citizens to get local issues into the public arena and are a basic component of the municipal democratic process.

Influencing Decision-Makers for Nature Protection 
Influencing the corporate or government decision-making process is not easy. As a person attempting to influence the process, you need to be aware that there are potentially hundreds of variables; however, some are more important than others. Here are some basic guidelines to get the types of decision you want.

Effective Letter-Writing 
So you’re upset with the government’s record on protecting woodlands. Or maybe they’ve just caved in again to yet another sprawling development proposal. You want to do something to help change their ways, but the enormity of the task makes success look hopeless. What can you do? One of the most effective weapons, readily available and proven by the test of time, is a letter.

Writing a News Release
An effective news release is one of the most common ways of getting media coverage. At major news outlets, the same story will likely have to compete with hundreds of other news releases every day, so yours has to stand out.

Government Communications

Youth Program Communications