Simply walking

Backus Woods, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

Backus Woods, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

We nature nuts have a bad habit of using dense and trendy phrases like “sustainable development,” “ecosystem management” and even “biological diversity” to promote nature conservation. They can mean many...

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So you think you can...mate? Bird edition (Part two)

Greater sage-grouse (Photo by Gordon Sherman © Audubon Canyon Ranch)

The plight of many grassland species, and species at risk in general, has been treated in depth or at least mentioned often over the past few years, including in Land Lines (e.g. “Why Canada’s prairies are the world’s most...

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Turtles: Canada's culture in a shell

Blanding's turtle, Frontenac Arch Natural Area, ON (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)

Blanding's turtle, Frontenac Arch Natural Area, Ontario (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)

It was a gloomy day in southern Ontario. Although the canoe I paddled in was quiet, the landscape — filled with croaks and chirping — was anything but. Ten feet away, a small creature emerged from the glass-like water to stretch its...

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Heard it from a Scout: Wonderful wetlands

Forested wetlands in summer (Photo by Mary Gartshore)

Forested wetlands in summer (Photo by Mary Gartshore)

Wetlands are a pivotal part of Canada’s environment. They play a vital role in maintaining the natural balance of ecosystems. Wetlands are areas of land that become submerged or saturated with water either year-round or throughout part of...

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Stopping habitat loss is the key to saving Canada’s endangered species

Evening grosbeak (Photo by Anna Tchoulik)

Evening grosbeak, once a most common invader from the boreal forest each winter. In recent years less frequently appearing. (Photo by Anna Tchoulik)

Canada has been losing and saving species for a long time. Since European settlement, over 100 species have been lost here. These include plants and animals that are extinct and extirpated and species that are considered historic (no one has seen...

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So you think you can...mate? Bird edition (Part one)

Wideview, SK (Photo by Bill Armstong)

Spring is in the air…finally! The calendar on my wall has been lying to me for a month. It's spring, you say? Tell that to my toes ― I'm sorry, but sub-zero (Fahrenheit!) temperatures, snow on the ground and second-degree frostbite feel a...

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Conserving Canada's grasslands

Pronghorn antelope, Old Man on His Back (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

Pronghorn antelope, Old Man on His Back (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

There are many reasons why grasslands are endangered in Canada and around the world. Globally, grasslands are faced with continuing habitat loss, fragmentation and desertification. These impact both biodiversity and people who rely on healthy...

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First days in the field

Wooden post on a farm field (Photo by Encinalens/Wikimedia Commons)

I remember the day like it was yesterday. Eleven years ago, it was my first day in the field (ever) and I wanted so badly to not screw up. I wasn’t an outdoorsy person, I wasn’t good at working with my hands, I really wasn’t...

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An emblem worthy of a mother’s love

Pink lady's-slipper, ON (Photo by NCC)

Every Mother’s Day, I buy my mom her favourite chocolates and a bouquet of fresh flowers. This may seem like an easy-out gift for this day, but I’ve yet to come across a mother who doesn’t love flowers. Mine loves yellow...

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Bidding farewell to National Poetry Month with a nod to science-inspired poets

Composite of book covers (Photo by Science Borealis)

Poets need scientists. And some might argue that scientists need poets. In the second semester of my master’s of fine arts program in writing (studying poetry and creative non-fiction), I began thinking about how a lack of basic scientific...

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