February roundup: Conservation and nature stories that caught our eye this month

Gray wolf (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Every day, countless inspiring and informative stories are published about conservation successes or discoveries in nature and wildlife around the world. Here are some that caught our attention in February 2018: Diamondbacks in the...

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NCC's Pelee Island fox squad on a mission to clean up Ontario's deep south

Gray fox pup (Photo by Ken Canning)

Making homes for Ontario’s rare and elusive gray fox takes a lot of work. In the fall of 2017, the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Pelee Island fox squad travelled to the island in the province’s deep south to do...

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Climate change, fire and their implications for species

Will forest fire hazard signs be over into the red more often because of climate change? (Photo by Aaron H Warren CC BY-ND 2.0)

The role of fire in forest ecosystems Forest fires are powerful and devastating. But they are also necessary for the rejuvenation of some ecosystems. Many plants are well adapted to fire. Some trees have dense bark or shed their lower limbs to...

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How tracking animals leaves a different imprint on winter

Tracks of a coyote walking - note the straight track pattern. (Photo by NCC)

No matter where you live in Canada, temperatures have dropped and there’s most likely snow on the ground — a telltale sign that winter’s here and isn’t going anywhere for the next little while. It isn’t a secret that...

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Parenting tricks from the wild

Baby elephants playing (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

Parents everywhere would agree that raising children is no easy feat. New challenges come with every stage of development, from the newborn stage of learning how to eat and sleep, to the more advanced skill of communication. It wasn’t until...

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Lovebirds: The day I broke a turkey's heart

Wild male turkey (Photo by Wayne Dumbleton, CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0)

One of my favourite field work stories comes from my very first field season. I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea what I was doing back then. I couldn’t identify most plants, was slightly scared (ok, terrified) of dragonflies...

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My 2017 Ontario birding “Big Year”

Violet-green swallow at Thunder Bay Marina, Ontario's third ever record of this species. (Photo by Jeremy Bensette)

Last year was a pretty “big” one for me, birding-wise! I committed to completing a "Big Year," a quest to see as many bird species as possible in one year in my beautiful home province of Ontario, and held onto that goal until dark on...

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Ten of nature's weirdest courtship rituals

Greater prairie chicken (Photo by Ron Knight/Wikimedia Commons)

Much like humans, other animals have evolved ways of wooing or courting potential mates, whether it’s singing a love song, doing a sensual dance or giving a thoughtful gift. With love in the air this Valentine’s Day, here are 10...

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Counting crows: A winter walk reveals an abundance of birds in the Fraser River Estuary

Conservation Volunteers ready for birding (Photo by Fiona Walsh)

For more than a century, an ongoing citizen science survey has taken place during the holiday season. Known as the Christmas Bird Count, the first survey was initiated by ornithologist Frank M. Chapman on Christmas Day in 1900. One hundred and...

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Facing Goliath: My fight with the forest

The forest in a conservation area near my home. (Photo by Raechel Bonomo/NCC staff)

It was a brisk, fall morning in late September. I remember waking up and hoping that the reported rain for the previous night had held off. As the sun streamed through my bedroom window, my inner plea had been answered when I saw a dry road...

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