Biosphere Member Profile: Carling Township

Perched on the edge of the Sweetwater Sea in the heart of the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, the Township of Carling is a rural-recreational municipality committed to preserving, enhancing and promoting sound development in harmony with the natural environment.  Carling’s leadership and residents recognize the inter-relationship of ecological, biological, economic and social systems and the importance of minimizing interference with the complex and precarious balance of our ecosystems.

With more than 75 kilometres of shoreline along Georgian Bay, thousands of islands, popular Killbear Provincial Park, 30,000+ acres of Crown Land and many businesses dedicated to supporting recreational tourism, the opportunities for exploration and excitement in Carling are endless in any season.   It’s no wonder our residents are so fiercely Carling Proud!

The Township of Carling is a proud supporter of the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve and the important work they undertake on behalf of all who live and play here.

Brew Ha Ha Tickets Now on Sale!

Note $5 is added per ticket when paying online. Please bring your receipt to Brew Ha Ha at Seguin Valley Golf Course, Sat. October 14th, doors open 6:00pm. Or pick up your tickets from the Biosphere office at 11 James Street, Parry Sound prior to October 13th. Tickets will not be sold at the event.

Brew Ha Ha Tickets

Biosphere Member Profile: Otter Lake Ratepayers’ Association

Otter Lake Ratepayers’ Association (OLRA) was established in 1962 as the Otter Lake Cottagers’ Association, and in 1965 it changed to name. OLRA has been a Biosphere Member since 2012.
OLRA is a dedicated group of individuals whose interests are in protecting all the natural attributes of Otter Lake. In 2016, OLRA completed a survey of its members and the top 4 priorities were: lake water quality; ecology of Otter Lake and area; maintaining property values; and safety when boating and swimming.
In 2017 OLRA has launched a water quality testing program to obtain better data on our complex lake system. OLRA objectives are to:
  1. Work to promote and preserve water quality and water levels through monitoring and by taking appropriate actions to maintain the ecological integrity of the Otter Lake watershed;
  2. Inform and educate Otter Lake residents, and where possible, their guests and transient users of the lake, about the ecology of the area and ways to protect and sustain it;
  3. Advocate on behalf of Otter Lake residents and inform them of issues that concern them. We do this by working with the relevant levels of government and non-government agencies wherever possible to voice the concerns of Otter Lake residents on issues affecting them and the lake environment; and
  4. Promote a friendly, social and considerate Otter Lake community.
OLRA is also a member of FOCA and supports the efforts of Safe Quiet Lakes.

Local bats a concern for new research

A two-year research project has begun to understand the species, populations and ranges of local bats that are considered species-at-risk. The Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve is undertaking a broad survey as a first step in strengthening the knowledge base for biologists and the public concerning bats in eastern Georgian Bay.

For this project, a “bat mobile” is equipped with a wooden tripod on the roof and acoustic monitoring equipment to record high-frequency bat ‘chirps’ emitted as part of bat’s echolocation. The two-hour surveys begin at dusk along area roadsides.

“We are conducting multiple surveys each week, but the more eyes and ears that can help us the better,” says Delaina Arnold, GBBR’s Education & Stewardship Coordinator. “We welcome information from anyone who has a bat sighting or bat house at their cottage, home, school, or business. Historical information is also important,” says Arnold. “Many people tell us their bat boxes used to be busy with bats, but are no longer. We would like to receive as many of these reports as possible.”

Eight of the world’s 1,300 bat species call Ontario home. Insect-eating bats, like our local species, catch their food on the wing – they scoop up moths, crickets, beetles, and mosquitoes. A bat can consume over 100% of its body weight during a summer night, providing natural pest control for people and playing an essential role in our ecosystems.

Four of Ontario’s bat species are now endangered including: little brown myotis, northern myotis, tri-coloured and eastern small-footed bats. These species experienced mass die-off because of white-nosed syndrome – a fungus introduced to North America from Europe. The fungus grows in humid and cold environments, such as caves. An infected bat wakes up frequently during hibernation. This depletes their fat stores and the bat emerges too early from hibernation to seek food. These bats usually succumb to freezing or starvation. At some hibernation sites, white-nosed syndrome has wiped out over 90 percent of local populations. 

How to Help

  • Report sightings of unusual bat behaviour (such as flying bats in winter) or deaths to Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre (1-866-673-4781)
  • Volunteer and support local bat conservation
  • Install a bat house on your property (designs available online)

To report bat sightings or share information on bat house locations, please contact Delaina at [email protected] or 705.774.0978. For information on other local species at risk, visit This project is funded by the Ontario Species at Risk Stewardship Fund from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) and Environment & Climate Change Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk.