Saving the planet, one species at a time

Eastern mountain avens (Photo by June Swift)

Eastern mountain avens (Photo by June Swift)

Save the oceans. Save the rainforest. Save the planet. These are all incredible, daunting, pursuit-worthy goals, but to a student in Nova Scotia, these problems seem very distant. Although we ultimately all feel the effects of environmental...

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

Coral reef (Photo by Wise Hok Wai Lum/Wikimedia Commons)

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 March 2017: Pollinator: Rise of the drones A...

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The wonderful world of sparrows

House sparrow (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

When asked to picture a sparrow, I think a lot of us, especially city dwellers, think of the common house sparrow. Though ubiquitous across southern Canada, this little sparrow is not actually native to North America. This introduced species hails...

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A species' international highway

White-tailed deer (Photo by Lorne)

White-tailed deer (Photo by Lorne)

Humans aren’t the only creatures on Earth that need to get around. Animals in the wild have to travel as well, some to migrate, some to hunt and others to find mates. And that explains the importance of the Frontenac Arch, a...

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Biting down on the eastern subterranean termite

Petri dish trials to examine behaviour patterns in eastern subterranean termite populations. (Photo by Vicki Simkovic)

Watching a termite farm through a glass aquarium is fascinating, as you peer into the life of a mysterious species whose activities are normally hidden from view. Workers can be seen excavating tunnels, using their jaws to move soil grain by...

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Something's Fishy: An impending invader

Northern snakehead (Photo by National Aquarium, Washington, DC)

I have an inherent fear of the dark. I’m not ashamed to admit that, without the company of my snoring pug, Molly, taking up half of my bed, I need to sleep with the light on. It’s not so much the darkness that scares me; it’s the...

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How we can save our songbirds

Cerulean warbler (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Cerulean warbler (Photo by Bill Hubick)

By now, I'm hoping that many of you have heard about declining songbird populations and the numerous threats that these birds face, which are, typically, physical threats to their survival. However, I’d like to discuss a different type of...

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What the knowledge of how trees communicate means for forest conservation

A shady Douglas-fir forest (Photo by Jenny McCune)

A shady Douglas-fir forest (Photo by Jenny McCune)

Japanese people are generally familiar with shinrin-yoku or forest bathing — the practice of being immersed in a forest. In Germany, the concept is referred to as Waldsehligkeit, a feeling of profound well-being that comes from being...

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Five of nature's most fascinating families

Orca (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

Orca, Salish Sea, BC (Photo by NCC)

If you thought human families were the only relatives with complex relationships, think again. In honour of Family Day, check out some of the animal kingdom’s fascinating families below: Orcas Orcas (also known as killer whales) are...

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The hummingbird's igloo

Sweetiebird, an Anna's hummingbird, in her igloo. (Photo by Eric Pittman)

I always thought of hummingbirds as warm-weather birds. So I was surprised to see an Anna's hummingbird building a nest in early February. I was even more surprised because it was its sixth nest in a year, built in our yard. I live in Victoria,...

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