Bees: Nature's busy farmers

Bee balm (Photo by NCC)

Bee balm (Photo by NCC)

Pollinators are extremely important: not only are they responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat, but they are vital in creating and maintaining the habitats and ecosystems that many animals rely on for food and shelter. Bees...

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A fine balance: An update on the Poweshiek skipperling

NCC’s Tall Grass Prairie Natural Area protects Canada’s only population of endangered Poweshiek skipperling. (Photo by NCC)

NCC’s Tall Grass Prairie Natural Area protects Canada’s only population of endangered Poweshiek skipperling (Photo by NCC).

It may be a small and unassuming species, but for a few years now scientists in both Manitoba and the U.S. have been playing close attention to the Poweshiek skipperling. The small, brownish butterfly — no larger than a toonie — was...

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Moths and butterflies: What we're doing to help these little-known pollinators

Sphinx moth (Photo © Manitoba Museum)

Sphinx moths overwinter as pupa underground. (Photo © Manitoba Museum)

Bees are well known for their ability to pollinate flowers but there are other pollinators out there, including moths and butterflies. Moths pollinate flowers both during the day and at night. This summer, Nature Conservancy (NCC) staff will be...

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Have you heard the one about the fun guys (fungi)? For Canada's bats and frogs, they're no April Fool's joke

The newly erected bat houses (Photo by Cori Lausen)

The newly erected bat houses (Photo by Cori Lausen)

The Frog Bear Conservation Corridor in British Columbia’s Creston Valley has received a lot of attention for its promise of protecting migratory habitat for creatures large and small. Grizzly bear and elk share these lands with migratory...

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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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