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October 15, 2009
Toronto’s new Biodiversity Series kicks off with launch of book Birds of Toronto
Birds of Toronto, the first book in the City of Toronto’s new Biodiversity Series, is a guide that introduces Toronto residents and visitors to the world of birds. The book will be officially launched Sunday, October 18 at 1 p.m. at the Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park. Media are invited to attend the launch, and can enter free of charge from the Queen’s Park side of the building.

The book launch will take place at the beginning of the lecture Miraculous Migrants: Why Songbird Conservation Begins at Home, delivered by Dr. Bridget Stutchbury of York University and Christina Sharma of Project CHIRP.

Birds of Toronto introduces readers to many of the bird species found in Toronto, including breeding birds, migrating birds and winter birds. The book also shows readers where to find exceptional bird-viewing locations in the city and it outlines a typical year for birds in Toronto. Making the city safer for birds enhances the natural biodiversity of our urban environment and helps reduce the decline in bird populations. Many of North America’s birds are facing significant population decline. At least 62 of the 162 species of birds found killed by collisions with Toronto buildings are threatened.

“The City of Toronto is actively engaged in the protection of plant and animal life in our urban environment and the restoration of natural species,” said Mayor David Miller. “Birds of Toronto is an excellent first edition in a series of books on the subject of biodiversity, which will include several guides dedicated to understanding the species that live among us.”

The City of Toronto encourages the protection of birds through its Bird-friendly Development Guidelines, rating system and acknowledgement program. Residents can help by making their homes, gardens and offices bird-friendly - from window treatments to lighting to bird feeders, learn what you need to know by picking up a copy of the book.

Copies of Birds of Toronto are free to the public at any Toronto Public Library branch and will be given to each attendee at the book launch. Birds of Toronto is the result of collaboration between the City of Toronto’s City Planning Division, Toronto Field Naturalists, Toronto Ornithological Club, Canadian Peregrine Foundation, Toronto Zoo, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario Science Centre, and the Fatal Light Awareness Program.

The goal of the Biodiversity Series is to cultivate a sense of environmental stewardship in residents by presenting opportunities for readers to appreciate the variety of nature within Toronto. Future books in the series may consider butterflies and dragonflies, reptiles and amphibians, trees, wildflowers, fish and aquatic life, bees, wasps and ants, mammals and possibly other species groups.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Kelly Snow, Planner, Policy & Research, City Planning, City of Toronto 416-392-4787,
Bruce Hawkins, Senior Communications Coordinator, City of Toronto 416-392-3496,



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