Snapping up turtle eggs

Snapping turtle eggs were packed in damp sand for transport. (Photo by David Beevis)

Turtle populations face a number of threats, including loss of habitat and being hit while crossing roads. Recently, turtle populations in a local lake near where we live in Port Hope, Ontario, was exposed to a combination of factors threatening...

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Heard it from a Scout: Why nature is good for the brain

Nature can present some exciting challenges, such as canoeing through some white-water rapids! (Photo by Edward Tse)

Many of us have busy lives and hectic schedules. Whether it’s responsibilities at work, school or home, we often spend too much time indoors. Compared to lifestyles of the past, modern urban life often doesn’t provide us with the many...

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Dinosaurs to the rescue! How paleontology can inform us about the necessity of conservation

A large hadrosaur femur (duckbilled dinosaur thighbone) discovered near a NCC property in Alberta. (Photo by François Therrien)

Dinosaurs are more than just scary monsters featured in Hollywood blockbuster movies; they’re the poster children for the science of paleontology, and one of the best subjects to educate the general public about natural history. Dinosaurs...

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A chance encounter with Charles Darwin

The title page of the original first edition of <i>On the Origin of Species, 1859</i> (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

The day after I finished my last undergrad exam was warm and sunny — perfect for celebratory drinks on an outdoor patio. Instead, I found myself entering the quiet, cool darkness of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of...

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You never know what you'll find in your own backyard

Acorn weevil (Photo by Jenn Forman Orth)

Acorn weevil (Photo by Jenn Forman Orth)

It was late in the afternoon last summer when I decided to relax by reading a book in my backyard gazebo in Winnipeg. As I looked up from my book, I saw a tiny insect, backlit by the sun, fly for a few metres across the yard and then vanish from...

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One volunteer's view of Wideview

Conservation Volunteer Peter at Wideview (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

During a lunch break at a Conservation Volunteers event at the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) recently acquired Wideview property, I asked another volunteer, Peter Tucker, what attracted him to the event. Peter told me he had...

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Species at risk need our help

Harbour seal (Photo by Ryan Murphy)

As an animal lover, I pride myself on my knowledge of all creatures furry, feathery and scaly. But when the federal government announced that it was adding nine more animals for protection under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), I was surprised to...

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Getting lost in the cottonwoods

Ancient cottonwoods, British Columbia (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

Ancient cottonwoods, British Columbia (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

As far as trees go, cottonwoods are not long-lived. While an oak might live for a few centuries, cottonwoods (and their kin — poplars and aspens) don’t fare as well. Fast-growing and quick to establish, 60 to 80 years is a long life...

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I always feel like something's watching me

The curious cows at the Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve. (Photo by Diana Robson)

I usually do field work by myself, but sometimes I get the feeling that I’m being watched. My main observers this year are the cows. The Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve, protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), is sustainably...

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Heard it from a Scout: Exploring Alberta trails

Scout troop hiking along trail in a forest (Photo courtesy Scouts Canada)

There are many trails in Alberta to explore in a variety ways, including hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and much more. Trails are in national parks, open-to-the-public conservation areas and all around us. While there are probably hundreds,...

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