Take a second look: Look-alikes in nature offer surprises in the field

Red bartisia (Photo by Kristian Peters, Wikimedia Commons)

Red bartisia (Photo by Kristian Peters, Wikimedia Commons)

It was late on a hot August day. I and my field partner were hiking across the tall grass prairie on one of our newly secured properties when we found a withered little reddish-purple plant. At first glance we thought, “Dang, that looks like...

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What should we do about invasive species?

Leafy spurge (Photo by Ed L/pawpaw67)

Leafy spurge (Photo by Ed L/pawpaw67)

Invasive alien species (IAS) have been identified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as one of the greatest threats to biodiversity. It’s therefore no surprise that controlling and eradicating them is one of the top...

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Getting rid of invasive species has never been more…delicious.

Maria Olkinitskaya picking dandelions at Baie Verte CV event, NB (Photo by NCC)

Maria Olkinitskaya picking dandelions at Baie Verte CV event, NB (Photo by NCC)

If you can’t beat them, eat them! Getting rid of invasive species has never been more…delicious. Invasive species management as a whole is extremely complex. However, cooking with certain edible invasives is a creative, fun and...

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The end of the rainbow: Invasive species and the real costs of ecological monkey-wrenching

The once common and now rare rainbow clam (Villosa iris) (Photo by Karen Little, courtesy of Illinois State Museum)

The once common and now rare rainbow clam (Villosa iris) (Photo by Karen Little, courtesy of Illinois State Museum)

Somewhere in the rivers of southern Ontario is a species few people have heard of, and even fewer have ever seen. It’s simply named the rainbow. The rainbow is a freshwater clam that gets its name from the rich iridescent colours on its...

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Jetbead: A new threat to conservation

Mhairi McFarlane with leucospora (Photo by NCC)

Mhairi McFarlane gets up close and personal with leucospora, a new invader on NCC's property (Photo by NCC)

Conservation is full of mysteries. Recently, my colleague Jill Crosthwaithe and I found ourselves having to turn to gardening literature in order to identify the many non-native, ornamental shrubs and other plants that we kept stumbling across in...

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Grass carp: The new aquatic invader

Grass carp (Photo by Eric Engbretson, USFWS)

Grass carp (Photo by Eric Engbretson, USFWS)

There has been a great deal of attention paid to the Asian carp invasion in recent years, and recently some devastating news was released: grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) are probably already spawning in the Great Lakes basin(1). This...

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Year of the Horse: The wild horses of Sable Island

Sable Island horses (Photo by Bill Freedman)

Sable Island horses (Photo by Bill Freedman)

According to the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac, the year of the horse begins on January 31. In related mythology, this fine animal is viewed as being bright, capable, energetic, intelligent, and warm-hearted, which are attributes that...

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