Thirteen spooky facts about Canadian bats

Big brown bat <i>(Eptesicus fuscus)</i> (Photo by Brock Fenton)

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

There are 19 known bat species in Canada. Although they are subjected to a spooky stigma around Halloween, they’re nothing to be afraid of. Here are 13 things you didn’t know about this not-so-scary mammal: 1. The snooze button....

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La science des couleurs d’automne

Forêts-parcs à trembles à l’automne, Saskatchewan (photo de Don et Karol Dabbs)

Forêts-parcs à trembles à l’automne, Saskatchewan (photo de Don et Karol Dabbs)

Les forêts du Canada abritent de nombreux personnages colorés. Elles recèlent de fleurs sauvages aux couleurs vives, d’oiseaux chanteurs parés d’éclatants plumages, d’insectes étincelants...

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Fescue findings

A bumblebee on field locoweed. (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

A bumblebee on field locoweed. (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

As I near the end of my two years of pollinator research in the fescue prairie, I’ve been wondering what it all means. In particular I’ve been thinking about how the pollinator communities in fescue prairies are different than in the...

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Close encounters of the wild kind

A black bear located where I normally like to see them: far away. (Photo by Dr. Diana Bizecki Robson)

A black bear located where I normally like to see them: far away. (Photo by Dr. Diana Bizecki Robson)

This summer, I spent a good chunk of my field trips to the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) fescue prairie preserves being bear-anoid. Although I saw several black bears last year, they were all solitary and a fair distance away....

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Can battling invasive species be a mistake? (Part Two)

Emerald ash borer adult (Photo by by U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Emerald ash borer adult (Photo by by U.S. Department of Agriculture)

In Part One, I discussed the prevalence of invasive species in contemporary ecosystems and questioned whether we should even spend time and resources battling them. I also discussed the "Tens Rule" in invasion biology, which suggests that only a...

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Can battling invasive species be a mistake? (Part One)

Himalayan balsam (Photo by Keith Williamson)

Himalayan balsam (Photo by Keith Williamson)

As a conservation organization, the Nature Conservancy of Canada spends a considerable amount of time and resources controlling invasive species. In some ways, this seems contradictory. Why would an organization tasked with conserving the natural...

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Tailing biologists on a local "bat blitz" near Osoyoos

The big ears, strong bite and honey-coloured downy fur make this rare male pallid bat distinctive. (Photo by Richard McGuire)

The big ears, strong bite and honey-coloured downy fur make this rare male pallid bat distinctive. (Photo by Richard McGuire)

It’s Sunday afternoon and I have a date with a large group of biologists conducting a bat blitz at the Sage and Sparrow Conservation area [in BC's Okanagan region]. The forecast is calling for a severe thunderstorm, but I have no way to...

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Scientists of the (near) future!

Judging at the Canadian-wide Science Fair (Photo by Laurel Bernard/NCC staff)

Judging at the Canadian-wide Science Fair (Photo by Laurel Bernard/NCC staff)

I was recently privileged to be a judge at the Canada-Wide Science Fair. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) was considerate enough to sponsor me to attend (i.e. take a day off work) so I could help judge some of the 400 projects presented by...

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The incredible journey

Well worth the trip: the Okanagan Valley from above (Photo by Catherine Dale)

Well worth the trip: the Okanagan Valley from above (Photo by Catherine Dale)

“We’ve got rocks and trees, and trees and rocks, and rocks and trees, and trees and rocks, and…rocks and trees, and trees and rocks, and water…in Canada.” As I glanced through the car window to the distinctive...

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Doing Science that Matters: Engaging with Communities in Collaborative Scientific Research

University of Victoria student Megan Adams monitoring hair snags near Wuikinuxv Village, BC (Photo by ACS lab)

University of Victoria student Megan Adams monitoring hair snags near Wuikinuxv Village, BC (Photo by ACS lab)

I should have known I would become an ecologist. As a child, I always seemed to catch a salamander while waiting for the school bus, or bring home precious flowers to press through the seasons. I could stare from the bus window out into the...

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