Success under pressure: Helping landowners succeed with stewardship in southwestern Ontario

Acadian flycatcher (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Acadian flycatcher (Photo by Bill Hubick)

The Carolinian ecoregion of Canada makes up one per cent of the country’s total land mass and is limited to southwestern Ontario. Many of the region’s 70 tree species — such as tuliptree, pawpaw and sycamore — are found...

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Buzzing down the house: An update

Bumble bee (Photo by Amanda Liczner)

Bumble bee (Photo by Amanda Liczner)

This is an update to a post I wrote last year. The data has now been analyzed, and the results are ready for sharing. We commonly hear that bees are in decline and that we need to save them because they are important pollinators of crops and...

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Best places to bird in Ontario: Pelee Island and NCC’s natural areas

The burrowing owl is the bird that really started it all for us on Pelee Island. On a whim back in April 2008, we decided to bird on the island, and, incredibly, found a burrowing owl. (Photo by Mike Burrell)

The burrowing owl is the bird that really started it all for us on Pelee Island. On a whim back in April 2008, we decided to bird on the island, and, incredibly, found a burrowing owl. (Photo by Mike Burrell)

We had an interesting first visit to Pelee Island back in September 2001, where we “dipped” (missed) a trio of wood storks that had been on the island the entire summer, only to have had them leave the evening before we managed to make...

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Beech leaf disease: A new problem for Ontario trees

Early-stage leaf striping (Photo by John Pogacnik, Ohio Department of Natural Resources)

Early-stage leaf striping (Photo by John Pogacnik, Ohio Department of Natural Resources)

Beech bark disease began ravaging beech trees in Ontario in the late 1990s, after spreading west from Atlantic Canada. But recently, a new beech disease has emerged in the province. Beech leaf disease was first detected in North America in 2012 in...

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Wetland contamination and turtle health

Snapping turtle (Photo by Pascale Bider)

Snapping turtle (Photo by Pascale Bider)

Between oozing mud, mosquitoes the size of golf balls and strange-smelling water, wetlands may not seem to you or me like an appealing place to live. But for most of Ontario’s eight species of turtles, wetlands are an essential...

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Driving Miss Hazel

Hazel Bird Nature Reserve, ON (Photo by NCC)

Hazel Bird Nature Reserve, ON (Photo by NCC)

Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) staff like to say that science drives our conservation work. This is true, but sometimes while following the science, we stumble into something unexpected and truly amazing. Let me explain. Back about 20 years...

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Alvar explorations of a wandering biologist (part two)

Esme on the alvar in Malham Cove, U.K. (Photo by Esme Batten/NCC staff)

Esme on the alvar in Malham Cove, U.K. (Photo by Esme Batten/NCC staff)

In part one, I explained what alvars are, where they occur and their importance. Now, I talk about my alvar explorations in the U.K. On Boxing Day in 2018, I set off early in the morning from Cornwall, in the southwest end of the U.K., to drive...

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Restoration is super cool... literally!

Left: An image of a restored field on an NCC property in 2013. Right: A thermal image of the same field taken in 2008. (Images by Google Earth and USGS Landsat 5)

Left: An image of a restored field on an NCC property in 2013. Right: A thermal image of the same field taken in 2008. (Images by Google Earth and USGS Landsat 5)

Restoration of woodland begins with site preparation and seeding, but monitoring is needed after that to make sure the restoration stays on track for the next 40 plus years. This blog post explains the application of thermodynamic theory to the...

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We can recover Canada’s wildlife: Five examples of species NCC is helping save

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

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

These are tough times for many wildlife species and their habitats. Over three-quarters of Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems (excluding Antarctica) have been directly modified by human activities1 , and most of our shrinking global wilderness...

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Alvar explorations of a wandering biologist (part one)

Esme on the alvar in Malham Cove, U.K. (Photo by Esme Batten/NCC staff)

Esme on the alvar in Malham Cove, U.K. (Photo by Esme Batten/NCC staff)

“You are going to drive seven hours away to go walk around on flat rocks?” my Grandad asked when I told him about my planned trip to Malham Cove in the U.K. at the end of 2018. To most people, alvars, or limestone plains, as they are...

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