Chasing dragonflies and butterflies with Bob Bowles

Bob Bowles, Carden Alvar, ON (Photo by NCC).

Bob Bowles, Carden Alvar, ON (Photo by NCC).

I met Bob Bowles fairly early in my career at the Nature Conservancy of Canada when I was tasked to run the Carden Alvar butterfly and dragonfly counts in the Georgian Bay–Huronia sub-region in 2009. We’d been planning the counts on...

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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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What’s the buzz on bees at the Cowichan Preserve?

Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve flowers, BC (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve flowers, BC (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

You’ve probably seen it in the news: bees are in trouble. There has been a lot of press about managed honeybees that have been introduced to North America for pollination and honey. Unfortunately, we also know that many wild bees are also...

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

Sphinx moth (Photo © Manitoba Museum)

Sphinx moth (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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What would insects think about #dressgate #thedress?

Bee on flower (Photo by NCC)

Bee on flower (Photo by NCC)

The #Dressgate colour craze is currently all over the online community and newspapers. For those who have yet caught on, there has been an eruption of arguments on social media over the true colours of a dress — blue and black, or white and...

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Pollinator edge effects on Manitoba's grasslands

A small andrenid bee sheltering in a wild strawberry flower (Photo by Marika Olynyk)

A small andrenid bee sheltering in a wild strawberry flower (Photo by Marika Olynyk)

Animal pollination is a key ecological process, ensuring the reproduction and genetic diversity of most flowering plants, and providing food for pollinators. In Manitoba, insects are the most important pollinators. Our short summers are busy as...

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Moths:Amazing, beautiful, important and in need of study

Wood nymph moth (Photo by NCC)

Wood nymph moth (Photo by NCC)

Moths are amazing creatures that are only beginning to receive attention from naturalists. Many people have difficulties determining the difference between moths and butterflies. They can be similar-looking, as they both have scales that cover...

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The eastern subterranean termite: An introduced species in Ontario

Eastern subterranean termite (Photo by United States Department of Agriculture, Wikimedia Commons)

Eastern subterranean termite (Photo by United States Department of Agriculture, Wikimedia Commons)

Most of us in Ontario, I think it is safe to say, don't give a moments thought to termites, or realize that they are found in this region. In fact you are unlikely to ever meet the acquaintance of one, unless your house unfortunately becomes...

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It's the great pumpkin pollinator! Meet the squash bee

Female squash bee on a male pumpkin flower (Photo by Margaret Chan)

Female squash bee on a male pumpkin flower (Photo by Margaret Chan)

At my house, Halloween is a frenzy of pumpkins — those lovely globes that throb with the vitality of summer. We carve them into frightening orange-skinned, ghoulish-grinned beasts set aglow by the light of beeswax candles. I fell in love...

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Where have all the pollinators gone?

Research site (Photo by Diana Robson)

Research site (Photo by Diana Robson)

After a summer filled with ticks, mosquitoes and biting flies, I was ready for a pest-free pollinator survey at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) properties near Riding Mountain National Park this September. Autumn field work can be quite...

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