Heard it from a Scout: Lessons learned while tree planting in Fort McMurray

St. Albert and Fort McMurray Scouts planting a symbolic tree (Photo by Shayne Kawalilak)

In early 2017, my mom presented an idea to our St. Albert, Alberta, Scout troop — an idea that I didn’t realize would result in our small group doing something really big. My mom is a leader with Scouts Canada and she planted a seed...

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Manitoba's amazing ash forests, invasive emerald ash borer and how you can help

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

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

Buy local. Burn local. Don’t move firewood. This is not just another green slogan put out by conservationists in the new year. Allow us to explain… Many people have heard about how non-native invasive species, including insects and...

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How a hidden forest valley is a big opportunity for conservation

Photo assignment for NCC is a journey into a pristine habitat that will make a difference in southwestern Ontario. (Photo by Gregg McLachlan)

Towering hemlocks reaching for the sky. A deep and rugged valley covered with ferns. A coldwater stream flowing over and under moss-covered fallen pine trunks. Just the thought of these scenes makes my mind wander yet again to northern...

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

Javan gibbons (Photo by Jefri Tarigan)

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 November 2017: The crawling dead DNA evidence...

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One human's trash is an endangered snake's treasure

Gray ratsnake (Photo by Jessica Ferguson)

I spent my summer radio-tracking a female gray ratsnake and assessing habitat characteristics in Norfolk County, for Natural Resource Solutions Inc. (NRSI), an ecological consulting company based in Waterloo, Ontario, and Ontario Nature, a...

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Good things happen when you take your class outside

Jenna Siu leading the group at Nature Days, Happy Valley Forest (Photo by HSBC Bank Canada)

In many urban areas, children and families lack access to nature and the freedom to explore local plants and animals. Anxiety levels, attention-deficit disorder (ADHD) and antisocial behaviour in children is on the rise. It's said that the average...

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Sharing a quiet forest with a Canada lynx

Canada lynx (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Sitting for hours inside a cramped, cold blind waiting for wildlife doesn't sound exciting — but it is. Being able to observe animals in their natural surroundings isn't just a thrill, it's a passion, and one that doesn't come easy and is...

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Tracking eastern loggerhead shrikes

Eastern loggerhead shrike (Photo by Dave Menke, courtesy of USFWS)

Eastern loggerhead shrike (Photo by Dave Menke, courtesy of USFWS)

Driving past the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) Napanee Plain Alvar Nature Reserve, north of Napanee, Ontario, you might not notice anything overly special about the site. In fact, if you didn’t stop to have a closer look, you might not...

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The last places on Earth: Protecting globally rare habitats in Canada (Part one)

Black oaks on the prairie and savannah, Rice Lake Plains, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

Black oaks on the prairie and savannah, Rice Lake Plains, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

The Rice Lake Plains in Ontario, Roberts Island in Nova Scotia and King Ranch in Alberta all have something incredibly important in common: They are places that the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is working to protect. Each property provides...

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Treasure hunting: The quest for queen snakes

Queen snake found on the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula in 2017. When these snakes are observed, not only do we look for signs of snake fungal disease, we also examine them for signs of injury and measure them so we can better understand the number of young versus adults in the population. (Photo by NCC)

Paddling across the lake, fellow staff from the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and I couldn’t contain our excitement. It was the first day of our annual queen snake surveys, and we were all curious about what we might find. I often...

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