February roundup: Conservation and nature stories that caught our eye this month

Gray wolf (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Gray wolf (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Every day, countless inspiring and informative stories are published about conservation successes or discoveries in nature and wildlife around the world. Here are some that caught our attention in February 2018: Diamondbacks in the...

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How tracking animals leaves a different imprint on winter

Tracks of a coyote walking - note the straight track pattern. (Photo by NCC)

Tracks of a coyote walking - note the straight track pattern. (Photo by NCC)

No matter where you live in Canada, temperatures have dropped and there’s most likely snow on the ground — a telltale sign that winter’s here and isn’t going anywhere for the next little while. It isn’t a secret that...

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Parenting tricks from the wild

Baby elephants playing (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

Baby elephants playing (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

Parents everywhere would agree that raising children is no easy feat. New challenges come with every stage of development, from the newborn stage of learning how to eat and sleep, to the more advanced skill of communication. It wasn’t until...

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Ten of nature's weirdest courtship rituals

Greater prairie chicken (Photo by Ron Knight/Wikimedia Commons)

Greater prairie chicken (Photo by Ron Knight/Wikimedia Commons)

Much like humans, other animals have evolved ways of wooing or courting potential mates, whether it’s singing a love song, doing a sensual dance or giving a thoughtful gift. With love in the air this Valentine’s Day, here are 10...

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This Groundhog Day, it's all relatives

Groundhog (Photo by Cephas/Wikimedia Commons)

Groundhog (Photo by Cephas/Wikimedia Commons)

Tomorrow marks Groundhog Day, a North American tradition dating back to 1888. The groundhog, also called the woodchuck, is the largest member of the squirrel family and one of four marmot species that live in Canada. Rather than just focusing on...

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Top 10 blog posts of 2017

Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area, AB (Photo by Kyle Marquardt)

Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area, AB (Photo by Kyle Marquardt)

Every year, Land Lines is filled with submissions from across the country, with tales touching on a variety of topics — from the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) stewardship work, to heartwarming accounts of conservation...

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How species survive winter: Hibernation

A big brown bat

A big brown bat "hanging out." Often when found outside, big brown bats sit in this position on the side of a building, tree or (ideally not) on the ground. (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC)

Previously, I discussed how small songbirds, and black-capped chickadees in particular, survive winter on the Canadian prairies. Now I will discuss another strategy that animals use to survive the long, cold winter months: hibernation. Hibernation...

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Identifying bats by their distinctive voices

Big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) (Photo by Brock Fenton)

Big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) (Photo by Brock Fenton)

Having studied bats for more than a decade, I have been fortunate to be able talk to students in their classrooms while doing bat presentations, or to landowners while I trapped bats on their properties. Everyone has a bat story. Everyone loves...

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A soft spot for the infamous predator: Wolves

Gray wolf (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Gray wolf (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

The timber wolf, also known as the gray wolf, is common in northwestern Ontario, where I have worked and lived for nearly 40 years. Common, but not always safe. I have a soft spot for predators such as wolves. In part because they are beautiful...

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On a quest for the alluring swift fox

Swift fox cub and its mum (Photo by Catriona Matheson, Cochrane Ecological Institute)

Swift fox cub and its mum (Photo by Catriona Matheson, Cochrane Ecological Institute)

My unsuccessful search for the elusive swift fox has spanned nearly a decade.It was 2008, the winter semester of my first year at Lakeland College in Vermilion, Alberta, when I first learned about the history of swift foxes in Canada. The smallest...

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