Something's Fishy: Shock me like an American eel

American eel (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

The electrofishing boat gently rocked against the current of the water below. It was a scorching summer day in late August on a tributary in Lake Ontario, and no amount of SPF could have saved my freckled shoulders from the sun’s...

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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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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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True North: A look at the NCC Magazine Winter 2017 issue

NCC Magazine Winter 2017

The winter 2017 edition of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Magazine — the cover adorned with a mother polar bear rambling toward the camera, with two cubs trailing behind — arrived in my mailbox on one of 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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Out of sight, out of mind

Greater sage-grouse (Photo by Gordon Sherman © Audubon Canyon Ranch)

Now and then, I look out my living room window and begin to search. I am not searching for anything in particular, it is simply by habit. I can spend 20, or even 30, minutes just gazing here and there at just about anything. Little brown birds...

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Why Canada matters on World Wetlands Day

Wetlands in the Marion Creek Benchlands, British Columbia (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

Wetlands in the Marion Creek Benchlands, British Columbia (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

While other nations have picked wetland wildlife, such as Finland’s whooper swan or Pakistan’s Indus crocodile, to represent their country, Canada is the only country in the world that has selected a wetland engineer as its national...

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Canada's bats in crisis

Little brown myotis (Photo by Brock Fenton)

Little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) (Photo by Brock Fenton)

I’ll never forget the first time I saw a cloud of little brown myotis bats flying in broad daylight at the coldest time of the year in January. There was something vaguely disturbing and peculiar about seeing them fluttering around against a...

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