Treasure hunting: The quest for queen snakes

Queen snake found on the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula in 2017. When these snakes are observed, not only do we look for signs of SFD, we also examine them for signs of injury and measure them so we can better understand the number of young versus adults in the population. (Photo by NCC)

Paddling across the lake, fellow staff from the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and I couldn’t contain our excitement. It was the first day of our annual queen snake surveys, and we were all curious about what we might find. I often...

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Snapping up turtle eggs

Snapping turtle eggs were packed in damp sand for transport. (Photo by David Beevis)

Turtle populations face a number of threats, including loss of habitat and being hit while crossing roads. Recently, turtle populations in a local lake near where we live in Port Hope, Ontario, was exposed to a combination of factors threatening...

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Hope, the gray ratsnake

Hope, the gray ratsnake (Photo by NCC)

This summer, I had the opportunity to go out with Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) field staff and reptile biologists from partner organizations to track a gray ratsnake dotingly named Hope, to which we'd previously attached a radio tracking...

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

Great white shark (Photo by Terry Goss/Wikimedia Commons)

Doing the right thing for right whales The Government of Canada has issued a short-term, compulsory slowdown of ships measuring 20 metres or longer, in order to prevent North Atlantic right whale deaths in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Slow down to...

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Species at risk need our help

Harbour seal (Photo by Ryan Murphy)

As an animal lover, I pride myself on my knowledge of all creatures furry, feathery and scaly. But when the federal government announced that it was adding nine more animals for protection under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), I was surprised to...

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Rescuing roadside reptiles

Snapping turtle crossing the road, ON (Photo by NCC)

It was a warm, late-June evening, while driving on a backroad near my home in Guelph, Ontario, when I saw a familiar sight up ahead: a car pulled off to the side of the road, at least one human standing on the road, looking concerned, and the dome...

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10 tweetable facts about turtles

Snapping turtle (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)

Snapping turtle (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)

World Turtle Day, May 23, is an annual occasion that American Tortoise Rescue began 17 years ago to honour and promote turtle and tortoise conservation around the world. Sadly, global turtle and tortoise populations are declining because of...

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Nature's most devoted mothers

Polar bear mother with cub (Photo by Scott Schliebe/Wikimedia Commons)

Every day, millions of mothers around the world work tirelessly to protect and provide for their young. This Mother’s Day, learn about 10 mothers in the wild and the neat ways they take care of their offspring. Refrigerator mothers Polar...

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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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Ten of nature's strangest mating strategies

Angler fish (Photo by David Shale)

During my final year of university, I took a course called Evolution and Reproduction, which explored various animal mating strategies. It was one of my most fascinating classes; the material was mind blowing, the professor was a hoot and the...

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