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The voice of nature

"Beaver," ink with watercolour wash. (Painting by Leanne Cadden)

Capturing ecosystem health through sound When I was six years old, my family moved to a suburban neighbourhood on Vancouver Island. We came from Ontario, so we were not at all acquainted with the incredibly wild and lush biodiversity of British...

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Terminarch: Making music out of birdsong

Sage thrasher (Photo by Dick Cannings)

Sage thrasher (Photo by Dick Cannings)

One of the best things about composing music for the concert hall is that inspiration can come from just about anywhere. My latest work, Terminarch, is a 10-minute piece for a quartet of percussionists based on the birdsong of 12 endangered...

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Celebrating and conserving all-Canadian wildlife

Eastern wolf (Photo by Rebecca Rogge, iNaturalist)

Eastern wolf (Photo by Rebecca Rogge, iNaturalist)

Every nation plays an important role in stopping wildlife extinction. Here in Canada, we have an estimated 80,000 known wild species. They range from pygmy shrew to polar bear, and from stellate sedge to Sitka spruce. Canada plays a critical role...

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Backpack Essentials: Don’t let the ticks bite!

Backpack Essentials (Image by NCC)

Backpack Essentials (Image by NCC)

This blog post is part of the Backpack Essentials series, a series that explores the items that Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) staff carry with them when heading outside. It is inspired by the quarterly Nature Conservancy of Canada Magazine...

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Where the river stops: Why habitat connectivity is critical for healthy fish populations across Canada

Spawning Chinook salmon (Photo by Fish On in the Yukon)

Spawning Chinook salmon (Photo by Fish On in the Yukon)

Before you read any further, stop and think about a fish migrating up a river. Chances are that fish is a salmon and that river is in BC. There’s good reason that salmon in BC have come to symbolize fish migration. The return of millions of...

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Tales of recovery: Cooper's hawk

Cooper's hawk (Photo by Jim Johnson, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Cooper's hawk (Photo by Jim Johnson, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Not that long ago, we used the “Santa Claus method” to classify wildlife. There was the nice list. Animals like deer and trout and ducks were on that list. These were mostly animals that we liked to hunt and fish, but also animals that...

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Restore it and they will come

Henslow's sparrow (Photo by Adam Timpf)

Henslow's sparrow (Photo by Adam Timpf)

One spring day last year, I was doing what I always do: walking the family dog and noting on my ebird app what birds were around. This daily ritual exercises the dog and allows me to collect data on what birds and wildlife are inhabiting our farm...

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Smile for the camera

Deer caught on trail cam (Photo by NCC)

Deer caught on trail cam (Photo by NCC)

We use a lot of intricate technology at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). When I’m out surveying an ecosystem in eastern Ontario, radio waves are bouncing between satellites in the sky and a receiver in my phone, to precisely locate...

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Canada’s role in saving wildlife

Blanding's turtle (Photo by Gabrielle Fortin)

Blanding's turtle (Photo by Gabrielle Fortin)

Endangered Species Day was established 15 years ago. It is a day for the human species to learn about the other species that are at risk of disappearing and, perhaps most importantly, what we can do about it. Related content Stopping...

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Tales of recovery: Greater short-horned lizard

Greater short-horned lizard. (Photo by Leta Pezderic/NCC staff)

Greater short-horned lizard. (Photo by Leta Pezderic/NCC staff)

I’ve been lucky to have seen many reptiles that are at risk in Canada. I started my ecological career at Point Pelee National Park counting Blanding’s turtles and map turtles. I’ve seen queen snakes poke their heads through the...

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