Buzzword biodiversity

L to R: Terry Galloway and Bob Wrigley (Photo by Larry de March)

L to R: Terry Galloway and Bob Wrigley (Photo by Larry de March)

Biodiversity is a relatively new word in the conservation arena. Broadly defined, the term refers to the number of species in, or biological richness of, an area. In spite of biological inventories and diverse studies carried out over centuries...

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Lichen hotspot discovered on Prince Edward Island

North Enmore nature reserve, PEI (Photo by Troy McMullin)

North Enmore nature reserve, PEI. Lichen-rich woodlands are in the background. (Photo by Troy McMullin)

In the fall of 2014 my colleague, Rachel Deloughery, and I travelled throughout Prince Edward Island in search of lichen. We visited 63 locations that had the potential of being good lichen habitat. Many of the areas were rich with lichens, but...

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12 tweetable facts for World Wetlands Day 2015

Musquash River, New Brunswick (Photo by Ron Garnett Airscapes)

Musquash River, New Brunswick (Photo by Ron Garnett Airscapes)

The second of February each year marks World Wetlands Day, where everyone is encouraged to raise awareness and learn about the importance and value of wetlands! Be a wetland whiz this year with these 12 tweetable fun facts! A wetland, like...

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Return of the raven: What the rewilding of southern Canada teaches us

Common raven (Photo by pcb21, Wikimedia Commons)

Common raven (Photo by pcb21, Wikimedia Commons)

Thanks to a bird, I recently needed to change the ring tone on my mobile phone. My ring had long been the classic call of the common raven — a deep gurgling croak that reminded me of being in wilder places. Places such as the northern shores...

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The swift fox: A conservation success story

Swift fox (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

Swift fox (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

Although I work as the Nature Conservancy of Canada's (NCC's) conservation coordinator responsible for the area in Alberta where swift foxes now live, I have never seen a wild one myself. These are elusive creatures. I did see several being...

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The importance of kelp

Sea otter, Vancouver Aquarium (Photo by Wikimedia Commons, Stan Shebs)

Sleeping sea otter at the Vancouver Aquarium (Photo by Wikimedia Commons, Stan Shebs)

Sea otters are a keystone species. They play an important role in the health and stability of near shore marine ecosystems. They eat sea urchins and other invertebrates that eat vast quantities of giant kelp. In the absence of sea otters, grazing...

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Moths:Amazing, beautiful, important and in need of study

Wood nymph moth (Photo by NCC)

Wood nymph moth (Photo by NCC)

Moths are amazing creatures that are only beginning to receive attention from naturalists. Many people have difficulties determining the difference between moths and butterflies. They can be similar-looking, as they both have scales that cover...

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In praise of goldenrod (and exposing the real culprit of your hay fever)

Goldenrod (Photo by Liz West, Wikimedia Commons)

Goldenrod (Photo by Liz West, Wikimedia Commons)

I worry a lot about how we don’t understand nature anymore. Now I’m not talking about the value of nature or the importance of conservation. That worries me too, but what I’m talking about is the basic understanding of the plants...

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Fungi and the gift of life on Earth

Honey mushroom (Photo by Alan Rockefeller, Wikimedia Commons)

Honey mushroom (Photo by Alan Rockefeller, Wikimedia Commons)

Simply by existing and thriving, living and dying, the natural world provides so much for us to be thankful for — from the oxygen we breathe, to the land we grow food on, to the feeling of peaceful relaxation during a walk in the woods. But...

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It's the great pumpkin pollinator! Meet the squash bee

Female squash bee on a male pumpkin flower (Photo by Margaret Chan)

Female squash bee covered in pollen on a male pumpkin flower (Photo by Margaret Chan)

At my house, Halloween is a frenzy of pumpkins — those lovely globes that throb with the vitality of summer. We carve them into frightening orange-skinned, ghoulish-grinned beasts set aglow by the light of beeswax candles. I fell in love...

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