Spot the species on World Wetlands Day

Coastal wetlands of Sandy Island, eastern Georgian Bay coast, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

Coastal wetlands of Sandy Island, eastern Georgian Bay coast, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

If one slogan can help us appreciate wetlands more, for me it would be: “wetlands are not wastelands.” In fact, the term “wetlands” represents a wide variety of habitats (such as bogs, marshes and swamps) that offer a rich...

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A new hope for nature: Was 2015 a turning point for conservation?

Bayers Island in Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Bayers Island in Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

No one was expecting 2015 to be a special year for nature conservation. As we started the year, it seemed Canadians were mostly focused on the economy, security and health care. Yet when we reflect on the year that was, it’s clear the...

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Something's Fishy: The good, the bad and the goby

Round goby <i>(Neogobius melanostomus)</i> (Photo by Peter van der Sluijs/Wikimedia Commons)

Round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) (Photo by Peter van der Sluijs/Wikimedia Commons)

Think of the meanest, toughest fish in a Canadian river. The one other species actively avoid, swimming faster as it approaches. Is it the longnose gar, with its mouth full of sharp teeth? Or the largemouth bass, a species which devours its prey...

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Sign, sign, everywhere a sign!

Group photo at Fishing Lake, ON (Photo by Nick Tardif)

Group photo at Fishing Lake, ON (Photo by Nick Tardif)

It was the Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign Conservation Volunteers event at The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Fishing Lake property in the Frontenac Arch Natural Area. We were there, on time, and rearing to go. There were six...

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Something's Fishy: The old fish and the lake

Juvenile bowfin from Ontario waters (Photo by Raechel Bonomo/NCC Staff)

Juvenile bowfin from Ontario waters (Photo by Raechel Bonomo/NCC Staff)

What if I told you there are living fossils swimming in our waters right now? A few fish species that inhabit Canadian lakes and rivers have such ancient lineages, they are considered prehistoric. Some of these species swam alongside the...

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Lending nature a hand

Northern leopard frog (Photo by NCC)

Northern leopard frog (Photo by NCC)

If you are a nature lover like myself, you may be interested in participating in one of the many yearly activities organized by the Quebec branch of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). The activities are open to all — you do not need a...

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How to set a river free

Just add water. Newly opened natural bypass channel! (Photo by NCC)

Just add water. Newly opened natural bypass channel! (Photo by NCC)

Perseverance is stubbornness with a purpose. It’s what river lovers need to remove a dam, and set a river free. Luckily for a beautiful trout stream that feeds into the Noisy River near Creemore, Ontario, the Nature Conservancy Canada (NCC)...

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Something's Fishy: Ghosts of fishes past

A 60-day-old American paddlefish <i>(Polyodon spathula)</i> fry (Photo from Wiki Commons)

A 60-day-old American paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) fry (Photo from Wiki Commons)

They’re there, lurking the depths of Canadian lakes and rivers, unseen by humans or other fishes. Ghosts of fishes extirpated or extinct from waters across Canada haunt other species and scientists alike. Their absence leaves an impression...

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Something’s Fishy: Swimming with the sculpin

Deepwater Sculpin (Myoxocephalus thompsonii) (Photo by Doug Watkinson/Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Deepwater sculpin (Myoxocephalus thompsonii) (Photo by Doug Watkinson/Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

The first time I saw a sculpin splashing around was in a large bucket, among several other fish species, captured for a population survey of small creek on a piece of residential land. I was working with the Central Lake of Ontario Conservation...

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Cave diving in the Ottawa River, Canada

Dressed and ready to enter the water - note the yellow loggers on my right. (Photo by Cheryl Buzzacott)

Dressed and ready to enter the water - note the yellow loggers on my right. (Photo by Cheryl Buzzacott)

Before coming to Canada I contacted renowned Canadian cave diver David Sawatzky, whom I knew had mapped these caves in the 1990s before moving to Nova Scotia. David kindly sent me his detailed map and some background information, including that...

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