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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Banding together to protect birds

Warbling vireo that was just banded. Also shown are the banding pliers used to apply the band, data sheet, wing chord ruler and digital scale. (Photo by NCC)

In a previous blog post, I discussed how scientists determine long-term trends in bird populations through annual monitoring. Those estimates provide valuable information about a species, but are limited in their capacity to explain the underlying...

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A star- and conservation-filled weekend

A young CV capping the posts with post caps provided by Mosaic potash. (Photo by NCC)

There was just the occasional raindrop as my wife, Gail, and I began to set up our tent Friday morning at Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area (OMB). We had watched the rain move across the landscape for the last hour, as we...

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Places worth protecting: The Canadian prairies

Prairie Day event, Manitoba (Photo by NCC)

Prairie Day event, Manitoba (Photo by NCC)

So you’ve decided to conserve biodiversity. This decision may lead to many false starts, disappointments and re-negotiated deadlines, but ultimately and eventually, it will lead to land conservation! Now, how does the Nature Conservancy of...

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Building homes for bats in the prairies

Conservation Volunteers from across Saskatchewan joined together to build bat boxes. (Photo by NCC)

Every year, the Nature Conservancy of Canada's (NCC's) Saskatchewan Region holds a Conservation Volunteers event at its Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area (OMB). This year, one of the activities involved building bat boxes...

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Bear versus caterpillar: A day in the field

Elizabeth Hubbard (Photo by Branimir Gjetvaj, http://branimirphoto.ca/)

Elizabeth Hubbard (Photo by Branimir Gjetvaj, http://branimirphoto.ca/)

In early summer, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC)'s Saskatchewan Region moved offices. As the move didn’t require all staff to help and also limited the in-office work able to be done, this presented a perfect opportunity to have a day...

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Going head to head with the prairie rose

Prairie rose (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

Prairie rose (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

I cannot kill this dang plant growing in my garden! Emotionally I can’t kill it, because it means something to me, and literally, because I accidentally tried and it didn’t die. This hardy little number is the prairie rose, and...

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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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Flattening a prairie province's misconceptions

Missouri Coteau, Saskatchewan (Photo by Branimir Gjetvaj)

Missouri Coteau, Saskatchewan (Photo by NCC)

Growing up, I learned a lot about my home province, Saskatchewan, from my fellow Canadians. I was told that the land — limited to fields of wheat and canola — is tabletop flat and devoid of trees. I heard that our towns, villages and...

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