Celebrating the International Day for Biological Diversity with micro conservation

Biodiversity (Graphic by NCC)

Biodiversity (Graphic by NCC)

There’s nothing like the potential loss of Earth’s rich biodiversity and planetary life support systems to make one feel, well, a little overwhelmed. Our individual actions can seem like small roles on a very big stage. But it’s...

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Canada’s largest parks and protected areas are Canadians' gift to the world

Looking down Columbia Lake Valley from the Dutch Creek Hoodoos (Photo by NCC)

Looking down Columbia Lake Valley from the Dutch Creek Hoodoos (Photo by NCC)

Canada’s greatest contribution to sustaining our planet’s biodiversity and ecological services may very well be our abundance. From some of the world’s largest intact forests and wetlands, to wild northern rivers, to spectacles...

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Caring for Canada's wetlands

Birding at the Tabusintac Estuary, NB (Photo by NCC)

Birding at the Tabusintac Estuary, NB (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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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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Why no net loss in biodiversity offsets fails nature and people

Misty Darkwoods forest, BC (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

Misty Darkwoods forest, BC (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

There is a new conservation tool making its way through the forests, wetlands and boardrooms of Canada: biodiversity offsets. Biodiversity offsets offer an opportunity to mitigate development impacts to nature that cannot be otherwise avoided....

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Why Canada needs more forest conservation

Forest in Saint-Georges-de-Clarenceville (Photo by NCC)

Forest in Saint-Georges-de-Clarenceville (Photo by NCC)

Canada is a nation defined by many things: multiculturalism, hockey, universal health care, politeness, eh? We’re also a nation defined by our landscapes. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King once referred to Canada as a country with...

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The 21st century field naturalist

Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve,BC (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve,BC (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

Today’s birder or wildflower enthusiast would be almost unrecognizable to Canada’s first field naturalists. Percy Taverner (1875-1947), a Canadian pioneer in ornithology, carried a shotgun to identify birds in the hand, and used...

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I hugged a tree, and I liked it

Maximizing the human/tree interface by tree hugging (Photo by Dan Kraus/NCC staff)

Maximizing the human/tree interface by tree hugging (Photo by Dan Kraus/NCC staff)

I need to start out by saying that I'm a scientist. I'm not a hippie. I don't burn incense, own healing crystals or wear tie-dye. I drive a car, eat meat and enjoy reading things like updates to the income tax act. And, I'll openly admit I...

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Lake Erie: Recovery, or requiem?

Shore of the Middle Point Woods property, Pelee Island, Ontario (Photo by Sam Brinker, OMNR)

Shore of the Middle Point Woods property, Pelee Island, Ontario (Photo by Sam Brinker, OMNR)

Someone recently asked me how I would invest a million dollars to help conserve Lake Erie. My first thoughts were that I would use that money to protect wetlands and other habitats on the coast, or maybe to help farmers create wider buffer strips...

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Return of the raven: What the rewilding of southern Canada teaches us

Common raven (Photo by pcb21, Wikimedia Commons)

Common raven (Photo by pcb21, Wikimedia Commons)

Thanks to a bird, I recently needed to change the ring tone on my mobile phone. My ring had long been the classic call of the common raven — a deep gurgling croak that reminded me of being in wilder places. Places such as the northern shores...

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