Conservation needs a common language to describe Canada’s ecosystems

Tatlayoko Ranch, British Columbia, (Photo by Bernadette Mertens)

Tatlayoko Ranch, British Columbia, (Photo by Bernadette Mertens)

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” ~ Ancient Chinese proverb For organisms, we use the concept of a “species” to assign proper names. Having standard names for species is critical in both...

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Stopping habitat loss is the key to saving Canada’s endangered species

Evening grosbeak (Photo by Anna Tchoulik)

Evening grosbeak, once a most common invader from the boreal forest each winter. In recent years less frequently appearing. (Photo by Anna Tchoulik)

Canada has been losing and saving species for a long time. Since European settlement, over 100 species have been lost here. These include plants and animals that are extinct and extirpated and species that are considered historic (no one has seen...

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The Swishwash Island bioblitz

L-R: Shannon, Robin and Dave (Photo courtesy of BCIT students)

We are three students in our final year of the fish, wildlife and recreation program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. We were excited to choose Swishwash Island for our final research project because it gave us the opportunity to...

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It's complicated, honey

Sweat bee on Flax (Photo by Marika Olynyk/NCC staff)

Sweat bee on Flax (Photo by Marika Olynyk)

Spring draws nigh: the season of the birds and the bees. Birdsong is a welcome gift, but where would we be without bees? Their obsessive quest for pollen and nectar keeps much of Alberta’s native flora alive. There would be fewer willows,...

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Earth Day 2018: Buddies, boundaries and nearby nature

Red trillium (Photo by Sherry Nigro)

Earth Day is a good time to think about the future. How do we ensure our children grow up healthy and happy? Research suggests that the answer is right outside our back door: help them connect with nature. Benefits of time in nature Spending...

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So many species, so many ways to study them

Spotted salamander (Photo by Rosemary Mosco)

I have the best job in the world. I encourage people to get excited about nature. I’m a science communicator — someone who bridges the gap between scientists, the media and the public, helping us understand each other better. One way...

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Climate change, fire and their implications for species

Will forest fire hazard signs be over into the red more often because of climate change? (Photo by Aaron H Warren CC BY-ND 2.0)

The role of fire in forest ecosystems Forest fires are powerful and devastating. But they are also necessary for the rejuvenation of some ecosystems. Many plants are well adapted to fire. Some trees have dense bark or shed their lower limbs to...

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What's so special about Kenauk?

Osprey nest on Lac Papineau in Kenauk, viewed by several participants in the 2016 survey (Photo by Richard Gregson)

Kenauk is big. Really big! In terms of surface area, it’s the largest conservation project ever undertaken by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in Quebec, and certainly one of the largest in Canada. The site, located about eight...

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Protecting what matters most: Identifying and conserving freshwater key biodiversity areas

Richelieu River, îles de Jeanotte et aux Cerfs, QC (Photo by Claude Duchaîne)

Nature conservation is fuelled by urgency. With over 750 Canadian wildlife species at risk, and many habitats being lost and degraded, it’s clear we need to do more conservation in Canada, and we need to do it faster. There are spaces and...

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The last places on Earth: Protecting globally rare habitats in Canada (Part two)

Alpine Lake on Darkwoods, British Columbia (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

Alpine Lake on Darkwoods, British Columbia (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

In part one of our blog on protecting globally rare habitats, Dan Kraus and I explored some of these places found in Canada and how the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is protecting these important areas. We also identified some of the...

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