Ron Black has an Honours B.Sc. from the University of Guelph specializing in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology. As a contract biologist he assisted the Federal Provincial Committee for Humane Trapping with humane trapping research in Ontario; located and characterized muskellunge spawning and nursery habitat in Severn Sound of Georgian Bay, assessed littoral fish communities and habitats in Lake Simcoe and evaluated wetlands for the Ministry of Natural Resources; and for Ducks Unlimited he researched the manipulation of water levels in prairie wetlands in Alberta to determine how waterfowl brood habitat and cattle forage production were affected.
Returning to Ontario in 1986, he continued his career with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Parry Sound District and was hired in 1988 as their District Wildlife Biologist. He led MNR’s involvement in the input and review process related to wildlife, natural heritage and ecological values for environmental assessment and design studies for the Hwy 400 expansion north from Port Severn, Ontario.
Ron Black is an original member of the National Recovery Team for the Massasauga on which he served for 10 years and remains as an advisor.
In 1998 he initiated an 8 year project in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation to investigate the impacts of highway construction and use on the Massasauga, and the efficacy of construction mitigation measures. Black was presented with the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) Recognition Award in 2001 honouring his work in partnership with the Ministry of Transportation for developing strategies to protect the Massasauga Rattlesnake. Aspects of the study were published in the peer reviewed scientific journal Copeia.
Throughout his career Black has collaborated with colleagues within the Ministry of Natural Resources as well as partners in other resource management and research agencies supporting a wide variety of wildlife and fisheries research and management and co-authoring the following peer reviewed scientific journal articles:
M. E. Obbard, E. J. Howe, L. L. Wall, B. Allison, R. Black, P. Davis, L. Dix-Gibson, M. Gatt and M. Hall. 2014. Relationships amoung food availability, harvest, and human-bear conflict at landscape scales in Ontario, Canada. Ursus (in review).
J. D. Rouse, R. W. Willson, R. Black and R. J. Brooks, 2011. Movement and spatial dispersion of the snakes Sistrurus catenatus catenatus and Heterodon platirhinos: Implications for interactions with roads. Copeia, No. 3, 443–456.
E. J. Howe, M. E. Obbard, R. Black and L. L. Wall, 2010. Do public complaints reflect trends in human-bear conflict? Ursus 21(2):131–142.
M. E. Obbard, B. A. Pond, A. Schenk, R. Black, M. N. Hall and B. Jackson, 2008. Suspended baits: Can they help hunters distinguish male from female American black bears? Ursus 19(1):33-42.
J. Neuman, D.L. Pearl, P.J. Ewins, R. Black, D.V. Weseloh, M. Pike and K. Karwowski, 1997. Spatial and temporal variation in the diet of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) breeding on the lower Great Lakes in the early 1990s. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 54: 1569-1584.
Craig, R.E and Ron M. Black, 1986. Nursery habitat of muskellunge in southern Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, Canada. American Fisheries Society Special Publication Number 15:79-86.