So you think you can...mate? Bird edition (Part two)

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

The plight of many grassland species, and species at risk in general, has been treated in depth or at least mentioned often over the past few years, including in Land Lines (e.g. “Why Canada’s prairies are the world’s most...

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So you think you can...mate? Bird edition (Part one)

Wideview, SK (Photo by Bill Armstong)

Spring is in the air…finally! The calendar on my wall has been lying to me for a month. It's spring, you say? Tell that to my toes ― I'm sorry, but sub-zero (Fahrenheit!) temperatures, snow on the ground and second-degree frostbite feel a...

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Conserving Canada's grasslands

Pronghorn antelope, Old Man on His Back (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

Pronghorn antelope, Old Man on His Back (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

There are many reasons why grasslands are endangered in Canada and around the world. Globally, grasslands are faced with continuing habitat loss, fragmentation and desertification. These impact both biodiversity and people who rely on healthy...

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Your winter getaway is a lot closer than you may think

Ancient cottonwoods (Photo by Steve Ogle)

Who says you can only enjoy nature when the snow has melted? There’s nothing like breathing in the crisp, fresh air on a winter nature hike as you take in the sights and sounds of wildlife around you while braving the cold. I love hearing...

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Protecting what matters most: Identifying and conserving freshwater key biodiversity areas

Richelieu River, îles de Jeanotte et aux Cerfs, QC (Photo by Claude Duchaîne)

Nature conservation is fuelled by urgency. With over 750 Canadian wildlife species at risk, and many habitats being lost and degraded, it’s clear we need to do more conservation in Canada, and we need to do it faster. There are spaces and...

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On a quest for the alluring swift fox

Swift fox cub and its mum (Photo by Catriona Matheson, Cochrane Ecological Institute)

Cub and mum. (Photo by Catriona Matheson, Cochrane Ecological Institute)

My unsuccessful search for the elusive swift fox has spanned nearly a decade.It was 2008, the winter semester of my first year at Lakeland College in Vermilion, Alberta, when I first learned about the history of swift foxes in Canada. The smallest...

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Badgered into respecting the wild

American badger (Photo by Max Allen/Shutterstock)

It was my co-worker Emily's and my first day out in the field without a manager — the training wheels were off. We were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to impress the property land managers with a thorough property inspection. This...

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What a difference a year makes

The summer-blooming showy goldenrod, being visited by a bee fly, was less abundant than the spring-blooming flowers. (Photo by Diana Robson)

One of the first papers on pollination I tried to publish was rejected because it contained data from only one field season. I withdrew the paper, and did another year of research. Why is having two years of data so important, you may ask?...

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One volunteer's view of Wideview

Conservation Volunteer Peter at Wideview (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

During a lunch break at a Conservation Volunteers event at the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) recently acquired Wideview property, I asked another volunteer, Peter Tucker, what attracted him to the event. Peter told me he had...

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The melancholy mantra of the mourning dove

Fairy Hill property (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

Fairy Hill property (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

Your imagination can, at times, completely devour your inhibitions to a point where those thoughts intensify and manifest in your brain. In this moment, you don’t know where reality ends and fantasy begins. Today was such a day. It was a...

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