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Hello Radicles!

My name is Hashveenah Manoharan. I’m in 3B SERS at UWaterloo and minoring in Urban Planning with a diploma in Ecological Restoration. I work a lot with Species at Risk management and am currently studying in BC. I’m especially interested in studying how nature accessibility and literacy intersect with minority groups in Canada, and the implications of this for creating socioecological resilience in urban centers. I think art is a really powerful educational tool for environmental issues, and think it’s important to create platforms to showcase that. 

The Great Blue Heron

I’ve drawn and painted 4 Great Blue Herons (by request) over the past year. I think that their stoicism and beauty are universally appraised in every stance – while they patiently hunt their prey, stand tall in still waters, and in the familiarity of their flight. Great Blue Herons are solitary predators that thrive in wet habitats, capable of hunting with remarkable patience and speed. They are vulnerable to habitat degradation and pesticide pollution, as well as the loss of prey species (mainly amphibians). Across Canada, some Great Blue Heron populations have been listed as priority species for conservation and stewardship under various Bird Conservation Region Strategies.

Blanding’s Turtle

The Blanding’s Turtle is considered Threatened in Ontario under the Species at Risk Act. It is identifiable by its vibrant yellow chin and helmet-like domed shell. Blanding’s Turtles – like many of Ontario’s reptiles – are threatened by habitat loss, road mortality, poaching, mammalian egg predation by raccoons, foxes, and others. They are especially at risk due to their slow fecundity – it can take over a decade for a Blanding’s Turtle to start breeding. Loss of mature breeding individuals can severely impact the population’s survivability. 

If you see a Species at Risk, please remember to be careful about to whom you disclose its location. You can report your findings to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Otherwise, make sure you continue to brake for turtles on the road, report any sale of native turtles, and support wetland conservation projects near you.

The Gray Ratsnake

The Gray Ratsnake (Pantherophis spiloides) is one of Ontario’s 10 Species-at-Risk snakes. There are only two known populations left in the province (Carolinian population – Endangered, and Frontenac Axis population – Threatened) – the northernmost range for the snake. The Gray Ratsnake is Canada’s largest snake and can be found in a variety of habitat types, including basking on tree tops, in meadows, farm fields, and travelling through Carolinian forest. The Gray Ratsnake can be up to 2-2.5m long(!), black and faintly patterned at maturity, with a black/white checked underbelly. Limited distribution, habitat fragmentation, and poaching severely threaten Gray Ratsnakes in Ontario. This species helped me fall in love with herpetofauna- with no lack of help from @_queensnake_, who you need to follow immediately.

Do you have art or photography to share? Email us at!


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