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

Piping plover (Photo by Ian Sadler)

Piping plover (Photo by Ian Sadler)

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 July 2018: Malaysia’s precious A toad...

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Something's Fishy: A razor-sharp invader

Zebra mussel (Photo by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Zebra mussel (Photo by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

My first encounter with zebra mussels is an experience many Canadians can relate to. It started with searing pain, a yelp and a quick hobble out of the water and up onto a rocky shoreline to examine the bottom of my foot, sliced open ever so...

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Sharks? In Canada?

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

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

Do you really know what’s swimming in Canada’s oceans? When most people think of sharks, they usually associate them with tropical environments. However, you may be surprised to learn that Canada’s oceans have a great diversity...

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If you build it, they will come: Black bear dens on Vancouver Island

An example of the purpose-built den pods (Photo courtesy of Helen Davis)

An example of the purpose-built den pods (Photo courtesy of Helen Davis)

For 26 years, I have been captivated by black bears and where they spend their winters. It all started with my masters of science research project in the Nimpkish Valley on Vancouver Island. I’ve been to lots and lots of dens ― usually in...

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Something old, something new

Tending a community garden (Photo by Bob Nichols/US Department of Agriculture, Wikimedia commons)

Tending a community garden (Photo by Bob Nichols/US Department of Agriculture, Wikimedia commons)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been enchanted with the magic of gardening. The way I see it, gardening has the power to give life and mark new beginnings, turning something old into something new. Better yet, there’s nothing like...

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Bird homes: Location is everything

Juvenile American robin (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

Juvenile American robin (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

On May 17, Conservation Volunteers helped install 14 nest boxes on the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Edenwold property in Saskatchewan. These nest boxes were designed with certain species in mind ― tree swallows and mountain bluebirds....

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Giving the grass a haircut

Maymont 5 property, SK (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Maymont 5 property, SK (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Last summer I gave the grass a haircut. It seemed like a strange idea, but I was excited to learn something new. As I arrived at the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Maymont 5 property in Saskatchewan, I was struck by the number...

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The return of the swamp forest

Conservation Volunteers planting trees at Minesing Wetlands, ON (Photo by Robert Britton)

Conservation Volunteers planting trees at Minesing Wetlands, ON (Photo by Robert Britton)

Imagine, if you will, an abandoned-looking farm in the southern Ontario countryside. You park your car and start walking into the back sections of it. After a while, you find yourself in a thickly grassed and soggy area with a tiny stream running...

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Long live loons and their research

I paddled hundreds of kilometres searching for loons and their nests. (Photo by Kent Prior)

I paddled hundreds of kilometres searching for loons and their nests. (Photo by Kent Prior)

In the 1970s, North Americans were already concerned about the effects of human activity on the common loon, a large charismatic diving bird that breeds on lakes. My bachelor’s thesis at Queen’s University examined this concern on...

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Welcoming our summer visitors

Canada warbler (Photo by Gerald Deboer)

Canada warbler (Photo by Gerald Deboer)

Spring at the cottage is so exciting. I have many clear memories of those first steps out of the car each year after the lake ice has broken up…The scent of trees coming back to life, humidity from breezes blowing across the waves, the...

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