The 2015 Carden Challenge

In Uncategorized by couchiching

Join us on Friday, May 22 – Saturday, May 23 for the 10th Annual Carden Challenge.

Put together a team of four and join us for a great annual event – The Carden Challenge!

The goal of the Carden Challenge is simple: raise funds to support the stewardship of Carden’s alvar and habitats by counting as many species as possible during a 24-hour period. Again this year, we are bringing back a twist – you can choose to enter the Carden Critters Challenge, which counts birds, mammals, herptiles, butterflies and dragonflies, with bonus points for species at risk. Raising pledges is easy – we can provide you with a special flyer (below) to email to your friends and colleagues. They can give you cash, a cheque or donate online through Canada Helps. After the Challenge, we will send you a summary of the results to forward to your pledgers and the Conservancy will provide charitable receipts for donations over $20.

The Challenge finishes off with a well-deserved dinner, care of the Lake Dalrymple church ladies. Not to be missed – they make the best pies!

What are we tweeting about?

Team members tweet during the Carden Challenge (as in on Twitter…not mimicking the birds). You can see them online here: @couchconserv (no account needed).


What kinds of birds could we see during the 10th Annual Challenge?

Ethan Meleg and Ron Reid have compiled lists of all bird species seen during the Challenge…

and here it is!

Celebrity Birder

Monte HummelThis year we will be joined by celebrity birder Monte Hummel.

As a young boy, Monte moved to White Dog Falls where his father worked in a hydro camp in the bush north of Kenora, Ontario. Ten years after leaving, he revisited his home river to discover it had been contaminated with mercury, leaving the Ojibway community there in social and economic despair. This personal experience led to a lifelong career of environmental advocacy.

In 1978, he joined World Wildlife Fund Canada as Executive Director, later to become President. During his leadership, WWF helped downlist over 30 wildlife species from Canada’s official Species at Risk list, and through WWF’s Endangered Spaces Campaign, over 1000 new parks and wilderness areas were designated, doubling the amount of protected area in Canada. After 26 years as executive head of WWF-Canada, Monte became President Emeritus in 2004. However, he remains active on the organization’s Arctic and Freshwater conservation files. A former Chair of the Boreal Leadership Council, in 2012-13 Monte also served as Chair of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement.

A well known public speaker, Monte Hummel is author of over one hundred popular articles or scientific journal publications, contributor to many book chapters, and author or editor of six books. His most recent book was “Caribou and the North: A Shared Future” Dundurn Press, 2008.

The Challenge Teams

Green Snakes on The Plain Green Snakes on the Plain

The 2014 Biodiversity Challenge winners (174 species, 201 points) are returning this year as a revised team with a revised name, the GREEN SNAKES ON THE PLAIN, because we will be searching  for species ON BICYCLES. We are determined to realize the FUN in fundraising.while reducing our carbon footprint.

Please support our quest to count as many birds, butterflies, dragonflies, mammals, reptiles and amphibians amidst the abundant biodiversity of the Carden Plain.Help us raise funds to allow the Couchiching Conservancy to continue its stellar work, preserving habitat for Species At Risk.

Support this team through Canada Helps.

2015 Couch Potatoes Team PictureThe Couch Potatoes

Team Couch Potatoes, made up of Monte Hummel, Ron Reid, Luke Hewitt and Tanya Clark are heading out on the Carden Plain in search of as many bird species as possible. Our team is taking part in the Comp

etitive bird category.

Support this team through Canada Helps.



2015 PosterPedalling for Nature

It’s on… Team Pedalling for Nature is ready to roll and get this human-powered bird-a-thon on the road. Your donations will help protect the Carden Alvar. Our team does it all by bike, and does it all for the Alvar.  This year our team is John Challis, Anne Ross, Jamie Ross and Dorthea Hangaard.

Support this team through Canada Helps

The Basketcases

Kristyn Ferguson, Ginny Moore, Kathy Parker, Tricia Stinnessen and Bob Bowles

Ginny’s Fundraising page


Couch Potatoes ChipsThe Couch Potato Chips

Our game-plan is to shadow the Couch Potatoes very closely, since the Potatoes proper includes our birding guru Ron Reid and the Challenge’s celebrity birder Monte Hummel. The “Chips” are obviously the underdogs. But our team is feisty: Mark Bisset, Claire Bisset, Andrea Ward and a ringer: Kyra Howes, former stewardship manager of the Conservancy.

Support this team through Canada Helps


The Cardenals

Chris Ellingwood, Todd Hagedorn, Josh Vandermeulen and Dan Busby


Golder Wild Fowlers

Fergus Nicoll, Luke Owens, Lasha Wilson and Paulette Hebert

Support this team through Canada Helps



Nath Rockhill, Kathy Callahan, Adam Thomson and Alice Pintaric


Birds of a Feather

Simon Francis, Brenda Carling and Barry Peyton


Couchiching Cowhands

Leslie Dyment, Michal Baxter and Cameron Curran


To The Bittern End

Support this team through Canada Helps


More teams to be added as they sign up! Contact Ron Reid to sign up –>


Fundraise Now Through!

Resources for Teams:

Pictures from the 2014 Carden Challenge