Close encounters of the wild kind

A black bear located where I normally like to see them: far away. (Photo by Dr. Diana Bizecki Robson)

A black bear located where I normally like to see them: far away. (Photo by Dr. Diana Bizecki Robson)

This summer, I spent a good chunk of my field trips to the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) fescue prairie preserves being bear-anoid. Although I saw several black bears last year, they were all solitary and a fair distance away....

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How do I love the prairie? Let me count the ways

All the ticks at the Elk Glen preserve lined up on Diana's knee for one of her famous airplane rides.(Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

All the ticks at the Elk Glen preserve lined up on Diana's knee for one of her famous airplane rides. (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

Once again I will be spending a few weeks out at the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s fescue prairie preserves south of Riding Mountain National Park, studying plant-pollinator interactions. The beginning of June marked my first trip of the...

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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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A fine balance: An update on the Poweshiek skipperling

NCC’s Tall Grass Prairie Natural Area protects Canada’s only population of endangered Poweshiek skipperling. (Photo by NCC)

NCC’s Tall Grass Prairie Natural Area protects Canada’s only population of endangered Poweshiek skipperling (Photo by NCC).

It may be a small and unassuming species, but for a few years now scientists in both Manitoba and the U.S. have been playing close attention to the Poweshiek skipperling. The small, brownish butterfly — no larger than a toonie — was...

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Giving a hoot about owls: A night-time survey with NCC in Manitoba

Great horned owl fledglings (Photo by NCC)

Great horned owl fledglings (Photo by NCC)

On March 26, 2015, the Manitoba Region of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) hosted a Conservation Volunteers event — a night-time owl survey, which took place after sunset on NCC's Makinak Woods property east of Riding Mountain National...

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Buzzword biodiversity

L to R: Terry Galloway and Bob Wrigley (Photo by Larry de March)

L to R: Terry Galloway and Bob Wrigley (Photo by Larry de March)

Biodiversity is a relatively new word in the conservation arena. Broadly defined, the term refers to the number of species in, or biological richness of, an area. In spite of biological inventories and diverse studies carried out over centuries...

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Confessions of an NCC tour guide: Day Two

Fort Ellice, Riding Mountain (Photo by NCC)

Fort Ellice, Riding Mountain (Photo by NCC)

With still lots of ground to cover we headed out bright an early for a hike through the Elk Glen. Our trail wound through a beautiful mixed wood forest, opening up into a beautiful, hilly fescue prairie. I diligently explained to Lisa and...

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Confessions of an NCC tour guide: Day One

Riding Mountain Natural Area, Manitoba (Photo by NCC)

Riding Mountain Natural Area, Manitoba (Photo by NCC)

This past October, four of us ladies (...women, females, gals...ya let's go with gals) from the Manitoba Region of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) embarked on a two-day survey of NCC properties across three natural areas. The purpose of...

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I built a quinzee: Winter camping on NCC land

The view from our snow-shelter door, looking out over the Boggy River in the Whitemouth River Watershed Natural Area. (Photo by Carly Dow)

The view from our snow-shelter door, looking out over the Boggy River in the Whitemouth River Watershed Natural Area. (Photo by Carly Dow/ NCC staff)

Winter can be a truly magical season if you get out and experience it — the stillness of a forest covered in snow, the thrill of finding and following moose tracks, the boom and groan of ice shifting on a lake. A couple of years ago I had...

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My favourite day in the field

Winter field trip, Elk Glen, MB (Photo by NCC)

Winter field trip, Elk Glen, MB (Photo by NCC)

As a biologist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in Manitoba my field work is typically over once there is snow on the ground and ice on the ponds. Most of the time things need to be green or moving to do my work. However my last day in...

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