Glossary

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  L  M  O  P  R  S  T  V  W  Z 


A


Accipiter - Accipiters are raptors with short, broad, round wings and a long tail. They usually nest in forests. Members of the accipiter family include: Cooper's Hawk, The Sharp-shinned Hawk, and the Northern Goshawk.


Aquatic - Species (plant, animal, or fish) that lives or grows in the water.


Arthropods - The largest group of animals on Earth. Arthropods are a type of invertebrate. Common examples include: spiders, ants, butterflies, crabs and dragonflies.


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B


Biodiversity - The variety of life on the planet, including the different habitats and types of plants, animals, fish, and insects.


Bog - A type of wetland. Bogs are usually covered in peat, are highly acidic, and low in nutrients. Bogs are home to vegetation like Sphagnum Moss, and trees such as Pin Oak. They are more common in northern Ontario. Ontario bogs support species at risk such as the Spotted Turtle, and the Massassauga Rattlesnake.


Buteo - Group of medium sized raptors that include: the Red-tailed Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, and the Rough-legged Hawk. This genus of raptors has broad wings for soaring, and large, fan shaped tails.


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C


Carapace - The hard upper or top shell of turtles or tortoises. The bottom part of the shell is called the plastron.


Carrion - The remains of a dead animal. Carrion provides food for many types of wildlife.


Cervids - Members of the cervidae or deer family; a group of hoofed animals that includes White-tailed Deer, Moose, Woodland Caribou and American Elk.


Coniferous - Cone bearing trees. These trees have needles instead of leaves. Examples of conifers are fir, pine and spruce trees.


Crustaceans - A type of arthropod. Crustaceans have a hard outer shell ("exoskeleton"). Most live in the water. Familiar examples include crayfish, crabs and shrimp.


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D


Dabbling Ducks - Ducks that feed by dabbling in water or land for food, instead of diving underwater. Mallards and Wood Ducks are examples of dabbling ducks.


Deciduous - Deciduous plants or trees lose their leaves for part of the year (i.e. winter). Examples of deciduous trees include maple, birch, oak and aspen.


Density - The population or number of a species in a certain area. If an area has a "high density" that means a large number of particular species lives there.


Diving Ducks - Ducks that tend to live near large bodies of water. They feed by diving completely underwater, sometimes to great depths. They feed on fish, snails, and aquatic plants. Examples of diving ducks include Mergansers and Scaups.


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E


Ecosystem - A group of living things interacting with one another and with their physical environment (air, water, soil, wind, etc.). An ecosystem can be a plant, forest, lake or a fallen log.


Ecosystem Approach - A resource planning and management approach that recognizes the connections between land, air, water and all living things, including people, their activities and institutions.


Ecosystem Health - The condition of an ecosystem, its individual parts, and their connections.


Emergent Plants - Plants that are rooted in the water, but stick out of the surface of the water into the air.


Endangered Species Act (E.S.A.) - A provincial act first passed in 1971 to protect the province's endangered native species and their habitats. It was updated in 2007 to include stronger protection and increased stewardship programs. The updated E.S.A. replaces the Endangered Species Act, R.S.O. 1990.


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F


Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (FWCA) - The Provincial Act governing much of wildlife management in Ontario. This Act covers the management of most native wildlife in Ontario. It also regulates hunting, trapping, and fishing, and related activities, such as licensing, and enforcement. The current act replaces the earlier Game and Fish Act. The province's Conservation Officers have the authority to enforce the FWCA.


Food Web - The relationship of "who eats who" in nature.


Fragmentation - Usually refers to habitat fragmentation, which means to divide habitat into smaller pieces. Fragmentation is often the result of clearing land for cities, roads, and agriculture.


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G


Game seal - The sticker that must be attached to a Moose, White-tailed Deer, Wild Turkey, Black Bear, Wolf, or Coyote as soon as the animal is killed. Hunters notch out the date and time of the kill on the game seal. The seal must remain attached to the animal while it is transported.


Global Positioning System (G.P.S.) - An electronic device that uses satellites to determine your location.


Gravid - Term for female reptiles carrying eggs or pregnant with young.


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H


Hunter Orange - Under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, most hunters are required to wear Hunter Orange. The actual type and amount of Hunter Orange you must legally wear is outlined in the Provincial Hunting Regulations. Hunter Orange colour standards are generally the same throughout North America.


Hunting Regulations Summary - A Ministry of Natural Resources publication that summarizes the information dealing with hunting licences and hunting laws.


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I


Invasive Species - Alien species whose introduction or spread threatens the environment, the economy, and /or society, including human health.


Invertebrate - An animal without a backbone (spinal column). This group of animals includes butterflies, worms, insects, spiders, and aquatic species such as snails, crabs and jellyfish.


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L


Licence tag - Is a tag which, when attached to an Outdoors Card, is a license to hunt the animals or birds specified on the tag.


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M


Metamorphosis - A biological process that some species go through. Metamorphosis is characterized by abrupt and distinct changes in what a species looks like. An example is the change from tadpole to adult frog, or from caterpillar to butterfly.


Mustelid - Member of the weasel family. This varied group of animals includes the Least Weasel, River Otter, Wolverine, Mink, Marten, American Badger, Striped Skunk, and ferret. These mammals share characteristics such as short legs and thick fur.


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O


Omnivorous - A species whose diet includes both plants and animals.


Ontario's Biodiversity Strategy (Protecting What Sustains Us) - Ministry of Natural Resources' strategy to protect and conserve biodiversity in Ontario.


Our Sustainable Future - A Ministry of Natural Resources strategic direction document, providing specific strategies and actions to help the MNR plan for sustainable use of natural resources.


Outdoors Card - A plastic wallet-sized card issued by the Government of Ontario. This card is a license to hunt or fish - IF the appropriate license tags are attached to the card, the card is accompanied by applicable paper hunting licences and game seals and/or validation tags. Outdoors cards are valid for 3 years, expiring on December 31st of the third year.


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P


Plastron - The bottom or lower shell of turtles and tortoises.


Precambrian Shield - An area of Ontario located north of the French River and West of the Ottawa, typically with shallow soils, rocky outcrops, and pine, spruce and poplar forests.


Predators - A species that kills and feeds on other animals.


Pupates - Act of going through life stage of pupation. Certain insects go through the stage of pupation as they change into their adult forms.


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R


Riparian - The areas where land and water meet. The area along a stream, river, creek, lake or other water body is the "riparian zone".


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S


Scutes - The bony "plates" on turtles' shells (also found on crocodiles). Turtles have scutes on both the plastron (bottom) and carapace (upper) shells.


Semi-aquatic - Any species that lives or grows on land and in the water.


Species at Risk - This term refers to any species that is at risk of extinction, or of becoming endangered. Species at risk are designated by both provincial and federal committees made up of scientists and other experts. Species at Risk designations in Ontario and Canada include: Special Concern , Threatened, Endangered, Extirpated, Extinct


Stewardship - Refers to our responsibility to care for our natural resources - land, air, wildlife and water - sustainably, so future generations can enjoy them.


Sustainable development - Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.


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T


Terrestrial - Plants or animals live or grow on land (as opposed to species that are aquatic - meaning "of the water")


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V


Validation tag - A tag or certificate necessary to hunt certain species. This tag states the number, age, sex or area you are allowed to hunt in. Not all game species require a validation tag. Please refer to the Hunting Regulations for more details.


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W


Wildlife Management Units - Geographic units of land on which MNR bases the sustainable management of species, hunting seasons and harvest limits.


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Z


Zoonosis - A disease or infection that can be transmitted from a wild or domestic animal to people.


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