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Fighting phragmites on Georgian Bay

NCC staff and volunteers working to control phragmites on Georgian Bay, ON (Photo by Sara Meyer/NCC staff)

NCC staff and volunteers working to control phragmites on Georgian Bay, ON (Photo by Sara Meyer/NCC staff)

When I started with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in the spring of 2022, I had limited knowledge of the invasive species called phragmites (phrag, as many in the conservation circle call it), and also known as common reed, the immense...

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Tree girdling

Scotch pine girdling (Photo by Chirathi Wijekulathilake/NCC staff)

Scotch pine girdling (Photo by Chirathi Wijekulathilake/NCC staff)

I am a conservation intern at the Nature Conservancy Canada (NCC) in Newfoundland and Labrador, and in this role I often have family and friends asking me what NCC is, what their role is in the conservation community, and most commonly, what my...

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Conservation notes from another northern nation

Sparsely vegetated volcanic landscape east of Lake Myvatn, North Iceland, with geothermal steam in background (Photo by Paula Noel/NCC staff)

Sparsely vegetated volcanic landscape east of Lake Myvatn, North Iceland, with geothermal steam in background (Photo by Paula Noel/NCC staff)

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel in Iceland this fall, a country that, despite its relatively mild climate, is situated further north than Iqaluit! Thanks to the warming influence of the Gulf Stream current, Iceland temperatures...

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A "knot" so regular day in the garden

The back-garden (photo by Luca Brunato)

The back-garden (photo by Luca Brunato)

Back in late spring of 2020, I went back to my hometown of Niagara-on-the-Lake to help my father with the garden. This is an annual practice where I come over, and we spend the entire day weeding, pruning, shaping and landscaping our garden areas...

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Tracing the roots of invasive species

A murmuration of starlings (Photo by John Holmes, Wikimedia Commons)

A murmuration of starlings (Photo by John Holmes, Wikimedia Commons)

In the media world of conservation, there seems to be no shortage of news on invasive species — plants, animals and organisms that were introduced (accidentally or deliberately) to an area outside of their native range and where their...

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What happens to invasive species in the winter?

Second-year garlic mustard plant (Photo courtesy Invasive Species Centre)

Second-year garlic mustard plant (Photo courtesy Invasive Species Centre)

With the change in seasons, invasive species may become out of sight and out of mind. But they always seem to come back every year. So where do they go in winter? Researchers are working to answer this question by investigating how invasive...

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Mouse-ear hawkweed: Friend or foe?

Mouse-ear hawkweed flower (Photo by mhalsted, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Mouse-ear hawkweed flower (Photo by mhalsted, CC BY-NC 4.0)

A species is considered invasive or alien when it is located outside its natural distribution and threatens humans and/or the environment. There aren’t a lot of clear answers about the impact of certain invasive species and the problem is...

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Keep your coffee mug covered: How spongy moths put a lid on my camping trip

A caterpillar crawling on my pants (Photo by Jensen Edwards/NCC staff)

A caterpillar crawling on my pants (Photo by Jensen Edwards/NCC staff)

As a west-coaster, I’ve come to relish the soothing splats of raindrops on my tent — so long as, of course, I am dry and warm inside. That sound, that damp smell that steams up from rainforest ferns, they awaken in me memories of...

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What's up with the very hungry caterpillars?

Each spongy moth caterpillar can eat one square metre of leaves in one season (Photo by Paul Prior, CC BY 4.0)

Each spongy moth caterpillar can eat one square metre of leaves in one season (Photo by Paul Prior, CC BY 4.0)

If you have young children in your life, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by the late and celebrated children’s author Eric Carle, is probably a familiar read and has been a fan favourite since 1969. This spring and summer though, there is...

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Be on the lookout for these eight common invasive species

Purple loosestrife (Photo by Liz West, Wikimedia Commons)

Purple loosestrife (Photo by Liz West, Wikimedia Commons)

Spending all this time at home has helped me realize something: I’ve been in denial about the invasive plants growing around my home. The little patch of garlic mustard by our front steps, which I’m sure came from seeds on my boots...

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