Pollination deception: Manitoba’s lady’s slipper orchids

Small white lady's-slipper (Photo by Melissa Grantham)

Small white lady's-slipper (Photo by Melissa Grantham)

In Manitoba we have several species of lady’s slipper orchids, but the two I am most interested in, and have researched, are the yellow lady’s slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum) and the provincially endangered small white lady’s...

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Close encounters with one of Canada’s more mysterious turtle species: The leatherback sea turtle

Jen McCarter and leatherback sea turtle statue (Photo by Gabhan Chalmers)

NCC Conservation Coordinator for the Ontario Region, Jennifer McCarter, poses with a statue after having just watched a real, critically endangered, pacific leatherback sea turtle nesting in Marino Las Baulas National Park, Costa Rica in 2012 (Photo by Gabhan Chalmers)

We rushed down the dark beach, illuminated only by the moonlight, and struggled to keep up in the deep sand. Aside from the gentle lapping of the ocean waves to our right, everything was quiet. Our group moved forward, silent with anticipation....

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The year the bluebirds stayed the winter

A pair of western bluebirds is spotted in March prospecting for nestboxes at a territory that has not been used by bluebirds since 2013. (Photo by Trudy Chatwin)

A pair of western bluebirds is spotted in March prospecting for nestboxes at a territory that has not been used by bluebirds since 2013. (Photo by Trudy Chatwin)

In Canada, conservation activities for the western bluebird normally begin in earnest in late March or early April, timed with the arrival of the first birds returning from migration to their breeding grounds. But it was only mid-January when we...

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La tortue musquée : mon animal canadien favori

Stinkpot turtle (Photo by Ontley, Wikimedia Commons)

Stinkpot turtle (Photo by Ontley, Wikimedia Commons)

Mon animal canadien favori est une des premières espèces en péril avec laquelle j’ai eu la chance de travailler en chair et en os : la tortue musquée! Mon intérêt pour cette petite tortue nocturne a...

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There's no place like home

Catherine Dale with bluebird (Photo by Angela Boag)

Catherine Dale with bluebird (Photo by Angela Boag)

“The bluebird carries the sky on his back.” ~ Henry David Thoreau It seems to be an immutable law of nature photography (at least in my experience) that anything mobile will move the second you’ve gotten your camera ready,...

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Real animals don't wear scarves in winter

Of all the enticingly cute plush toys currently in store displays, the owl is one of my favourites. But the way marketers portray animals with toques and scarves throughout the winter make me cringe…slightly. Perhaps that’s because we...

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Bad news for bats? How White-nose Syndrome threatens Canada's bat populations

Tricolored bat with white-nose syndrome (Photo by USFWS)

Tricolored bat with white-nose syndrome (Photo by USFWS)

Bats are an important part of Canada’s biodiversity. They eat huge numbers of insects, some of which are crop and forestry pests. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that bats provide insect control services worth between $3.7 and $53 billion...

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Wolverine sighting at Courage Lake

Wolverine at Courage Lake, Manitoba (Photo by Christian Artuso)

Wolverine at Courage Lake, Manitoba (Photo by Christian Artuso)

Many of you will know how much I have poured my heart and soul into coordinating the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas over the past six years. Some of you will also know how much emphasis I have placed on point counting (an extremely useful method...

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Hunting orchids in Minesing wetland

Eastern prairie white-fringed orchid (Photo by NCC)

Eastern prairie white-fringed orchid (Photo by NCC)

As an intern with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), I often find myself walking a fine line between work and play. Even the toughest days are balanced by the realization that my workplace typically consists of wetlands, grasslands and...

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Identifying and assessing species at risk

Dromedary jumping slug (Photo by Kristiina Ovaska)

Dromedary jumping slug (Photo by Kristiina Ovaska)

The issues of habitat loss and wildlife decline are so pervasive, it would seem unlikely there are many Canadians not familiar with the terms "species at risk" or "endangered species." The term may conjure images of panda bears or tigers, but...

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