Arthur News School of Fish
"Trent University in the summer" by Sean_Marshall is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

On Trent Land: The Costs of Expansion

Written by
Francene Francis
and
January 21, 2021

This is the first article in a series produced by Arthur placement student, Francene Francis. She will be exploring the biological diversity present on campus and considering big questions about development, conservation, and stewardship--on Trent land.

On Trent Land: The Costs of Expansion
"Trent University in the summer" by Sean_Marshall is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

As many of us know, Trent is planning to expand the campus and have outlined their objectives in the Trent Lands Plan. The Plan claims not only to expand the campus but also make Trent a greener campus. But what are the risks of expansion? With the combined effects of these ecological changes, will Trent truly be more environmentally friendly?

The Trent campus and Nature Areas sit on the Otonabee River drainage basin comprised of several drumlins and wetlands. Because the plan outlines some large-scale development projects, it’s important to note its effects. In this article series, the ecological impacts of the Trent Lands Plan will be assessed; first are threatened or at-risk bird species that will be affected by the construction process and results. Cross-referencing the Trent University Bioblitz iNaturalist page and the Trent Research and Innovation Park Species at Risk (SAR) Screening Assessment, three avian species that are either listed as “special concern” or “threatened” by the province will be briefly profiled.First is the bald eagle (aHaliaeeBtus leucocephalus). Adult eagles are characteristically known for their white head, neck, and tail and dark brown body with bright yellow beaks and feet. Juveniles are mostly brown and sometimes white speckled as their plumage turns white with maturity. Bald eagles are listed as “special concern” (at risk) under provincial status and can be found throughout much of Southern Ontario. They are carnivorous birds and prey on mostly fish as well as dead animal carcasses. They live in a variety of habitats with one major commonality, bald eagle nests can almost always be found near a major river or lake for their hunting needs. These large birds of prey are most threatened by habitat depletion and pollution by shoreline development. 

Bald Eagle Facts, Information, and Photos
Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Photo credit: https://forum.americanexpedition.us/bald-eagle-information-facts-photos-and-artwork

First is the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Adult eagles are characteristically known for their white head, neck, and tail and dark brown body with bright yellow beaks and feet. Juveniles are mostly brown and sometimes white speckled as their plumage turns white with maturity. Bald eagles are listed as “special concern” (at risk) under provincial status and can be found throughout much of Southern Ontario. They are carnivorous birds and prey on mostly fish as well as dead animal carcasses. They live in a variety of habitats with one major commonality, bald eagle nests can almost always be found near a major river or lake for their hunting needs. These large birds of prey are most threatened by habitat depletion and pollution by shoreline development.

Appearance - Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica - Birds of the World
Barn swallow (Hirundo rustica). Photo credit: Mary B. Brown & Charles R. Brown. (2020). https://birdsoftheworld.org/bow/species/barswa/curl/introduction

Next is the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica), which is “threatened” under provincial status. Barn swallows are medium-sized migratory songbirds; adults have a deep blue back and rump, rust coloured throat, and cinnamon coloured undercarriage. Juveniles generally have the same colouring apart from dark brown backs. Barn swallows are distinguished from other swallows by their slender body and deeply forked tail. They are omnivorous, mostly feeding on land and water insects and occasionally berries and seeds. Barn swallows  have a wide range of distribution and can be found on every continent except for Antarctica, usually found in close association with humans, making their nests on buildings or other manmade structures. Despite their wide distribution, they’re considered threatened in Ontario due to their rapid population decline with the increasing use of pesticides, especially neonicotinoids. Other population and nesting threats include degradation to their foraging habitat and demolition or renovation of human-made structures to newer designs that no longer provide access to nesting sites. Under the Endangered Species (2007), barn swallows are protected from harm and harassment, and their habitats are protected from damage or destruction.

Wood thrush (Hylocichla mustelina). Photo credit: Fernando Burgalin Sequeria. (2019). https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Wood_Thrush/id

Last is the wood thrush (Hylocichla mustelina). The wood thrush is also a medium-sized, migratory songbird, slightly larger than the barn swallow. Adults and juveniles have similar appearances, both have rusty-brown upper parts, a white belly with large black spots on their breast and back. They are commonly found in mature deciduous and mixed forests throughout Southern Ontario during fall and summer, wintering in Central America. They are omnivorous and commonly feed on soil insects and fruits. Wood thrush populations are listed as “special concern” by the province and are threatened by habitat fragmentation via human development and competition from larger animal species which outcompete the wood thrush for food and habitat.

Though species listed as special concern aren’t provincially or federally protected, we must protect their habitat in any way possible before their populations further decline to a point where protection is necessary to conserve the species. Expansion and development sometimes a seen as a necessity, but we have to ask ourselves, are the environmental costs worth it?

Arthur News School of Fish
Sponsored
Arthur News School of Fish

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 5
Caption text

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

"Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system."
  • adfasdfa
  • asdfasdfasd
  • asfdasdf
  • asdfasdf