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Hiking and Howling in the Moonlight

On July 11, 2014, another Moonlight Hike & Wolf Howl will begin at Gordon’s Park Eco Resort on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. This is one in a series of guided hikes lit by a full moon that includes an educational orientation into northern grey wolves, their habits, their habitats, along with signs of other nightlife such as bats, owls, Whippoorwills, night hawks, and flying squirrels.

She- and puppy-wolf howl practice for the Moonlight-Hike-and-Wolf-Howl
She- and puppy-wolf howl practice for the Moonlight-Hike-and-Wolf-Howl

Manitoulin Island, a dramatically varied expanse of limestone bedrock, includes unique Great Lakes basin biodiversity. The largest sweet-water island in the world, it contains over 100 of its own lakes, many with their own islands! The Manitoulin has wetlands, lake & river biomes and both mixed and boreal forest biomes. A great place for the occasional wolf family.

Gordon’s Park Eco Resort is an example of how the management of one environment can provide an education to the wider public, focus ecology orientation, and share a view of conservation that can create a greener economy. There are self-guided bird-watching opportunities that take in 70 species, 30 of which breed within the park. There is a series of fossil “walks” on the exposed limestone reef during which park visitors can see prehistoric brachiopods, bryozoans, invertebrate corals, and others. There are Owl Prowls and a Geocaching extravaganza. The park offers year-round stargazing activities and is the first commercial Dark Sky Preserve designated by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. This ecopark even provides late model equipment for day and night nature walks and field observations – parabolic ears for listening focus, binoculars, and a range of telescopy equipment.

Gordon’s Park Dark-Sky Preserve look at part of the Milky Way during a Perseid Shower
Gordon’s Park Dark-Sky Preserve look at part of the Milky Way during a Perseid Shower

What about the Wolf Howl part of tonight’s program? Wolves are social animals and so are hikers. After the Moonlight Hike, the hikers will rally around a campfire and compete in their own wolf howling competition!

B Bondar / Real World Content Advantage