Be a beaver believer

Beaver (Photo by Makedocreative/Wikimedia Commons)

Aside from the long list of initiatives celebrated today, April 7 is also a day to celebrate beavers! For starters, here’s a little beaver-inspired anecdote from our Alberta office: “There was once a young man who walked to work...

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Not just mallards

Mallards — male on the left, female on the right. (Photo by Pia Kaukoranta/NCC staff)

Mallards - male on the left and female on the right. (Photo by Pia Kaukoranta/NCC staff)

Here in Toronto, winter and waterfowl don’t necessarily sound like two things that should go together. But the truth is, while some birds (and people) escape Ontario’s cold winter by heading down to Florida, others migrate from the...

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Something's Fishy: The legendary lamprey

<i>The Lamprey, 2. The Pride</i>, 1866 (Illustration by Robert Hamilton)

The Lamprey, 2. The Pride, 1866 (Illustration by Robert Hamilton)

Anyone who knows me could tell you I’m really into folklore. Fairy tales, spooky stories and legendary accounts of people, places and mystical things have intrigued me for as long as I can remember. I'm also really into fish. So if there is...

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The legend of the blue pike: An endangered species tale

Blue pike (Photo by New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation)

Blue pike (Photo by New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation)

Species have come and gone for millennia, but the stories of those species that met their demise due to human activity have an especially strong emotional impact in the field of wildlife conservation. Such is the case concerning the legendary blue...

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Why did the turtle cross the road?

Minesing Wetlands (Photo by Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority)

Minesing Wetlands (Photo by Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority)

I didn’t expect one of the neatest experiences of my summer to happen while surveying the Minesing Wetlands for road mortality last June. In fact, I’d spent the day preparing myself mentally to have to make difficult observations of...

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Caring for Canada's wetlands

Birding at the Tabusintac Estuary, New Brunswick (Photo by NCC)

Birding at the Tabusintac Estuary, New Brunswick (Photo by NCC)

If you used water today to brush your teeth, cook or quench your thirst, you should probably thank a wetland! World Wetlands Day, celebrated every February 2, is an opportunity to learn about the value and importance of wetlands to Canadians. If...

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Of crappies and conservation

Black crappie (Photo by Eric Engbretson, USFWS)

Black crappie (Photo by Eric Engbretson, USFWS)

If you've ever tossed a line into freshwater in eastern North America, there's a good chance that you've hooked a feisty, speckled panfish that puts up quite the struggle and is a year-round favourite of anglers everywhere. They go by a number of...

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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 (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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