Forest landmarks: A guide down memory lane

Backus Woods, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

Backus Woods, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

There's something very personal about landmarks. The features in a forest that you learn to navigate by ― turn left at this weird looking branch, go just past that spot where you saw a barred owl last year ― might not jump out to you. Memories of...

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So you think you can...mate? Bird edition (Part two)

Greater sage-grouse (Photo by Gordon Sherman © Audubon Canyon Ranch)

The plight of many grassland species, and species at risk in general, has been treated in depth or at least mentioned often over the past few years, including in Land Lines (e.g. “Why Canada’s prairies are the world’s most...

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Heard it from a Scout: Wonderful wetlands

Forested wetlands in summer (Photo by Mary Gartshore)

Forested wetlands in summer (Photo by Mary Gartshore)

Wetlands are a pivotal part of Canada’s environment. They play a vital role in maintaining the natural balance of ecosystems. Wetlands are areas of land that become submerged or saturated with water either year-round or throughout part of...

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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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So you think you can...mate? Bird edition (Part one)

Wideview, SK (Photo by Bill Armstong)

Spring is in the air…finally! The calendar on my wall has been lying to me for a month. It's spring, you say? Tell that to my toes ― I'm sorry, but sub-zero (Fahrenheit!) temperatures, snow on the ground and second-degree frostbite feel a...

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Conserving Canada's grasslands

Pronghorn antelope, Old Man on His Back (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

Pronghorn antelope, Old Man on His Back (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

There are many reasons why grasslands are endangered in Canada and around the world. Globally, grasslands are faced with continuing habitat loss, fragmentation and desertification. These impact both biodiversity and people who rely on healthy...

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First days in the field

Wooden post on a farm field (Photo by Encinalens/Wikimedia Commons)

I remember the day like it was yesterday. Eleven years ago, it was my first day in the field (ever) and I wanted so badly to not screw up. I wasn’t an outdoorsy person, I wasn’t good at working with my hands, I really wasn’t...

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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 the little things that matter

Miner bee on wild strawberry (Photo by Marika Olynyk/NCC staff)

A trip to the cottage is often a reminder to stop and enjoy the small things in life. And the small things can be rather small indeed. On any given summer day, we are surrounded by thousands of pollinating insects going about their business. The...

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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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