Our top stories of 2015
You know how they say time flies when you're having fun? Well here at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), it seems like every time we blink, another year has passed.
It's been a great year for conservation, and another great year of sharing stories here on Land Lines. From sharing tips for tick safety, to learning about pumpkin pollinators, to thinking about whether battling invasive species is a mistake, here were our top 10 most read blog posts of 2015:
10. Real animals don't wear scarves in winter
Although plush animals look cute with scarves and hats, real animals don't wear extra layers when temperatures drop. So how do they survive the colder temperatures? In this post NCC Editorial Coordinator, Wendy Ho, discussed the winter adaptation strategies of three species.
9. My snowy day...and tips for non-intrusive enjoyment of snowy owls
Early in 2015, and again this winter, much of eastern Canada experienced an invasion of snowy owls. Birders flocked to areas where the owls had been sighted for a closer look at the white-feathered raptors. Among them were NCC's Program Manager for Georgian Bay-Huronia, Kristyn Ferguson. Here she shared a story about her successful snowy owl encounter, along with tips for would-be birders on how to enjoy the birds without negatively affecting them.
8. Ick! It's a tick!
In recent years ticks have become an increasing problem in natural areas throughout the country, which is particularly concerning since some species of tick carry Lyme disease. Conservation Volunteers Coordinator Kailey Setter spends dozens of hours in the field each year and is all too familiar with these troublesome pests. In this blog post she shared some tips on ensuring tick safety when out in a natural area.
7. Happy Pi Day: The importance of 3.14 in nature
Ok, technically this is a post from 2014. But on March 14 of this year we re-shared this blog post, which provided links to articles explaining some of the fascinating ways that pi is found in nature.
6. #HowToNature series: How to bird
This year we launched our #HowToNature series, which explored a range of nature-related activities. NCC birding enthusiast Kristyn Ferguson provided a two-part introduction to novice birders wanting to try their hand at one of North America's most popular pastimes.
5. Invasive species are a lot like...breakfast
In this creative post, Conservation Volunteers intern Maggie Cascadden explored the parallels between invasive species and the first meal of the day. She also provided handy recipes for conservation enthusiasts looking to bite back against invasive species.
4. The farm kid gets a job
What does it mean to live in a place where you grew up doing homework on an hour-and-a-half-long school bus ride with the driver swerving to avoid hog-nosed snakes and mule deer? How can growing up surrounded by some of Alberta's richest biodiversity pave the road to becoming a biologist? In this touching post, Conservation Coordinator Wonnita Andrus reflected on how growing up in Bindloss, Alberta led to her career in conservation.
3. Can battling invasive species be a mistake?
If "invasive species" is a human concept, and NCC as a conservation organization is meant to protect nature, is it worth spending countless hours each year battling invasive species or should we let nature simply take its course? In this thought-provoking two-part blog post, Nick Lapointe, former NCC conservation analyst and partnership manager, explored a controversial topic in conservation.
2. It's the great pumpkin pollinator! Meet the squash bee
Another recycled post from 2014, this October we re-shared this post by guest blogger Susan Chan. Susan introduced many readers to a little-known pollinator that plays a crucial role in pumpkin patches each year. Without the squash bee, Halloween and Thanksgiving could look very different.
1. Return of the raven: What the rewilding of southern Canada teaches us
When you're in the business of trying to protect habitat for Canada's native species, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed or discouraged by the challenge of protecting our country's biodiversity. But as Dan Kraus, Weston conservation scientist and NCC director of conservation program development, discussed in this year's most popular post, there is also much to celebrate. Starting with the raven as an example, Dan explored a few of our country's conservation successes and why there is reason to have hope for our country's wild species.
Speaking of blogs, NCC President & CEO, John Lounds, wrote an op ed about the need for conservation in the battle against climate change that was selected by the Huffington Post as one of its top 10 blog posts of 2015.
Thanks for reading along with us this year and sharing our stories. Do you have a favourite that didn't make it onto our top 10 list? Share it with us in the comments section, below.