Conservation, the cowboy way

Waldron shareholders at the King Ranch (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

Waldron shareholders at the King Ranch (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

I was raised within a ranching family. I grew up in southern Alberta, fixing fences in the summer heat and feeding livestock in the winter. I’ve been riding horses since I was three years old, was a member of my local 4-H club and I read the...

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Cracker Jack and caribou: Are we failing Canada’s species at risk?

Black-footed ferret (Photo by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Mountain Prairie)

I lost my Cracker Jack wildlife cards sometime in the 1980s, but the images printed on the cards are still vivid in my mind. The small cards came wrapped in clear plastic and featured a holographic image of a wildlife species in danger. I can...

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Biting down on the eastern subterranean termite

Petri dish trials to examine behaviour patterns in eastern subterranean termite populations. (Photo by Vicki Simkovic)

Watching a termite farm through a glass aquarium is fascinating, as you peer into the life of a mysterious species whose activities are normally hidden from view. Workers can be seen excavating tunnels, using their jaws to move soil grain by...

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Open your ears to conservation

Listening to bird songs, Warbler Alley, Brooms Brook, Codroy Valley, Newfoundland and Labrador (Photo by NCC)

Listening to bird songs, Warbler Alley, Brooms Brook, Codroy Valley, Newfoundland and Labrador (Photo by NCC)

There are many ways to be green. Whether you do so by recycling, minimizing your carbon footprint or cleaning up and restoring land, every day we can all discover more ways to help combat climate change. One way Canadians can do their part is...

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Something's Fishy: An impending invader

Northern snakehead (Photo by National Aquarium, Washington, DC)

I have an inherent fear of the dark. I’m not ashamed to admit that, without the company of my snoring pug, Molly, taking up half of my bed, I need to sleep with the light on. It’s not so much the darkness that scares me; it’s the...

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How we can save our songbirds

Cerulean warbler (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Cerulean warbler (Photo by Bill Hubick)

By now, I'm hoping that many of you have heard about declining songbird populations and the numerous threats that these birds face, which are, typically, physical threats to their survival. However, I’d like to discuss a different type of...

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What the knowledge of how trees communicate means for forest conservation

A shady Douglas-fir forest (Photo by Jenny McCune)

A shady Douglas-fir forest (Photo by Jenny McCune)

Japanese people are generally familiar with shinrin-yoku or forest bathing — the practice of being immersed in a forest. In Germany, the concept is referred to as Waldsehligkeit, a feeling of profound well-being that comes from being...

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The hummingbird's igloo

Sweetiebird, an Anna's hummingbird, in her igloo. (Photo by Eric Pittman)

I always thought of hummingbirds as warm-weather birds. So I was surprised to see an Anna's hummingbird building a nest in early February. I was even more surprised because it was its sixth nest in a year, built in our yard. I live in Victoria,...

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Out of sight, out of mind

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

Now and then, I look out my living room window and begin to search. I am not searching for anything in particular, it is simply by habit. I can spend 20, or even 30, minutes just gazing here and there at just about anything. Little brown birds...

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Leave only footprints: Minimizing your impact in nature

Grace and Pepper exploring the winter wonderland (Photo by NCC)

I love that my daughter is growing up with wildlife as a part of her daily life and with all the room to roam and freedom a kid could want. (Photo by Elke Meyfarth/NCC staff)

Nature has been my greatest teacher. As a child growing up in the semi-desert of the Okanagan in British Columbia, I learned not to touch prickly pear, which plants smelled the most like sage and to move away from the warning rattle of a...

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