Bossing the burn: Part one

Prescribed burn at OMB (Photo by NCC)

Prescribed burn at OMB (Photo by NCC)

Those of you who have met me know that I’m a pretty big, intimidating guy. Braggadocios, people have said. Bold, even. I mean, you know if you’ve seen me that I’ve got what you’d call a bit of swagger when I walk across the...

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What do we save? How science and planning are evolving to help make critical conservation decisions

Participants of the Open Standards workshop led by the Conservation Coaches Network (Photo by NCC)

Participants of the Open Standards workshop led by the Conservation Coaches Network (Photo by NCC)

In a world that is rapidly losing wildlife and habitats, conservation has become a science of decision-making. We know there are many places and species in Canada that will not survive unless we take action to protect and restore them. Deciding...

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International Day of Biological Diversity: A thank you note to Algonquin Park

Joe Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park (Photo by Brett Hodnett/Wikimedia Commons)

Joe Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park (Photo by Brett Hodnett/Wikimedia Commons)

Three. That’s how many Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) supporters recently (within the span of a week) shared with me that their current passion for nature and support for our work at NCC was sparked by spending time in Algonquin Park...

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Natural legacy: Nature comes full circle at Quebec’s pointe Saint-Pierre

Pointe Saint-Pierre, QC (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Pointe Saint-Pierre, QC (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Standing on the shores of the Gaspé Peninsula, there is a certain serenity that washes over you like waves. Water from the Gulf of St. Lawrence gently crashes into the rocky sand by your feet, and a dense forest of white spruce and balsam...

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Success under pressure: Helping landowners succeed with stewardship in southwestern Ontario

Acadian flycatcher (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Acadian flycatcher (Photo by Bill Hubick)

The Carolinian ecoregion of Canada makes up one per cent of the country’s total land mass and is limited to southwestern Ontario. Many of the region’s 70 tree species — such as tuliptree, pawpaw and sycamore — are found...

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Buzzing down the house: An update

Bumble bee (Photo by Amanda Liczner)

Bumble bee (Photo by Amanda Liczner)

This is an update to a post I wrote last year. The data has now been analyzed, and the results are ready for sharing. We commonly hear that bees are in decline and that we need to save them because they are important pollinators of crops and...

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Are you seeing the whole picture? Using elevation data to help conserve biodiversity

Elevation data showing the Beaver Creek River Valley. Historic data (100-metre resolution) vs. newly available LiDAR data (> one-metre resolution). (Image by NCC)

Elevation data showing the Beaver Creek River Valley. Historic data (100-metre resolution) vs. newly available LiDAR data (> one-metre resolution). (Image by NCC)

As a land planner, I am always looking for new ways to learn more about the landscapes in which the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) works. Enter LiDAR (or light detection and ranging), a technology that has been around for decades but...

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Best places to bird in Ontario: Pelee Island and NCC’s natural areas

The burrowing owl is the bird that really started it all for us on Pelee Island. On a whim back in April 2008, we decided to bird on the island, and, incredibly, found a burrowing owl. (Photo by Mike Burrell)

The burrowing owl is the bird that really started it all for us on Pelee Island. On a whim back in April 2008, we decided to bird on the island, and, incredibly, found a burrowing owl. (Photo by Mike Burrell)

We had an interesting first visit to Pelee Island back in September 2001, where we “dipped” (missed) a trio of wood storks that had been on the island the entire summer, only to have had them leave the evening before we managed to make...

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Native grassland is important habitat for grassland birds

Native grassland (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

Native grassland (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

Saying that native grassland is important habitat for grassland birds seems quite obvious. And you might think to yourself, “Of course grassland birds like grassland habitat; it’s right in the name!” The important point to note...

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Wetland contamination and turtle health

Snapping turtle (Photo by Pascale Bider)

Snapping turtle (Photo by Pascale Bider)

Between oozing mud, mosquitoes the size of golf balls and strange-smelling water, wetlands may not seem to you or me like an appealing place to live. But for most of Ontario’s eight species of turtles, wetlands are an essential...

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