Miner, John Thomas
John Thomas Miner, "Jack," conservationist, lecturer (b at Dover Center, Ohio 10 Apr 1865; d at Kingsville, Ont 3 Nov 1944). He moved to Kingsville with his family in 1878 and helped in the family tile business. Miner developed an early passion for nature and spent much of his time in the forest. He became an avid and skilful hunter, known for good humour and boundless energy. A hunting accident fatal to his brother and other family tragedies diverted his energy into religious zeal and a passion for conservation. He tried to attract geese to his property in 1904, establishing in 1908 one of the first bird sanctuaries in North America, officially declared a provincial crown reserve in 1917.
Miner's many lectures on the sanctuary throughout North America and Europe inspired similar efforts elsewhere and instilled a conservation ethic in many people, eventually earning him the Outdoor Life Gold Medal and the Order of the British Empire. His attitude towards predators as "evil vermin" has been much criticized, but was typical before the ecological importance of predation was understood. His 1927 warnings against pollution of the GREAT LAKES were prophetic. Miner early recognized the importance of international co-operation in migratory bird conservation and, before banding was regulated, fashioned his own bands after learning of the technique from Percy A. TAVERNER. He tagged thousands of waterfowl, inscribing biblical scriptures on the bands. National Wildlife Week (proclaimed in his honour), his sanctuary, and 2 autobiographical books continue as his legacy.
Jack Miner, scientist and conservationist
Jack Miner was the founder of the waterfowl refuge system now used throughout the world. One of the 40 000 Canada geese tagged and released by Miner in his lifetime (courtesy Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation).
MARTIN K. MCNICHOLL
J.M. Linton and C.W. Moore, The Story of Wild Goose Jack (1984); J. Miner, Jack Miner and the Birds (1923) and Wild Goose Jack (1969).
Links to Other Sites
Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary
The website for the Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary in Ontario.