Pollinator edge effects on Manitoba's grasslands

A small andrenid bee sheltering in a wild strawberry flower (Photo by Marika Olynyk)

A small andrenid bee sheltering in a wild strawberry flower (Photo by Marika Olynyk)

Animal pollination is a key ecological process, ensuring the reproduction and genetic diversity of most flowering plants, and providing food for pollinators. In Manitoba, insects are the most important pollinators. Our short summers are busy as...

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A personal prairie legacy: The Tim K. Hodgson Prairie Stewardship Challenge Fund

Tim Hodgson at Horseshoe Dam (Photo courtesy of Tim Hodgson)

Tim Hodgson at Horseshoe Dam (Photo courtesy of Tim Hodgson)

Caring for land is personal. Over 10 years ago, I realized native wildlife habitat conservation was the most meaningful thing to which I could contribute my energy, expertise and time. It was 2003, and I was re-evaluating what I was achieving in...

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Where have all the pollinators gone?

Research site (Photo by Diana Robson)

Cold, cloudy weather at the preserves in September meant that most of the pollinators just stayed home. (Photo by Diana Robson)

After a summer filled with ticks, mosquitoes and biting flies, I was ready for a pest-free pollinator survey at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) properties near Riding Mountain National Park this September. Autumn field work can be quite...

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Butterfly moments

Poweshiek skipperling (Photo by NCC)

Poweshiek skipperling (Photo by NCC)

"Just living isn't enough," said the butterfly, "one must also have freedom, sunshine, and a little flower." ~ Hans Christian Anderson Sometimes a place speaks to you. You may not even consciously notice it until you find yourself thinking of...

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Pollinators (and people predators) galore

Bee on Hedysarum (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

Bee on Hedysarum (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

After the relative calm of my June field work on Nature Conservancy of Canada land near Riding Mountain National Park, I was kept very busy observing insects in July and August. In total I saw approximately 64 insect species making over 1,200...

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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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New Manitoba emblems reflect the province's natural heritage

Plains bison (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

Plains bison (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

On June 10, 2014, three new emblems received Royal Assent to be amended to The Coat of Arms, Emblems and the Manitoba Tartan Act. Big bluestem was chosen as Manitoba’s Official Grass emblem, plains bison as Manitoba’s Official Mammal...

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The science behind conservation: Behind the scenes with the Manitoba Region’s Scientific Advisory Network

Giant hyssop, tall grass prairie, Manitoba (Photo by NCC)

Giant hyssop, tall grass prairie, Manitoba (Photo by NCC)

Over a decade ago, a colleague contacted me to see if I would be interested in serving on a new science committee of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Manitoba Region. As an ecologist working in the province for many years, I...

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Pack your bags, zebra mussels!

Zebra mussels (Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Zebra mussels (Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Back in the fall of 2013, zebra mussels were found in Lake Winnipeg — much to everyone’s alarm. The news broke and it seemed almost instantly that organizations like Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship leapt into action to come...

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Wolves and cougars and bears, oh my!

Beautiful view (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

The beautiful view from one of my research plots (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

For most of my career I have studied prairie plants, mainly because prairies are among the rarest ecosystems in Canada owing to the fact that they’ve been almost completely converted into cropland. As a result, I have never had to worry...

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