Buzzing down the house: Determining the habitat for declining bumble bees

Bumble bee foraging on red clover (Photo by Amanda Liczner)

Bumble bee foraging on red clover (Photo by Amanda Liczner)

Bumble bees are important pollinators of crop plants and wild plants. Unfortunately, bumble bee species are declining globally. These declines are likely due to several factors, including climate change, a pathogen spread from imported bees,...

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Identifying bats by their distinctive voices

Big brown bat (Photo by Brock Fenton)

Big brown bat (Photo by Brock Fenton)

Having studied bats for more than a decade, I have been fortunate to be able talk to students in their classrooms while doing bat presentations, or to landowners while I trapped bats on their properties. Everyone has a bat story. Everyone loves...

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Poweshiek winter wonderland

Poweshiek skipperling (Photo by Jaimee Dupont/NCC staff)

Poweshiek skipperling (Photo by Jaimee Dupont/NCC staff)

Forget about crocuses and birds — the first sure sign of spring on the prairies is when the insects start to fly around. Have you ever wondered what happens to the insects in the winter? A few, like the monarch, fly south with the birds, but...

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What a difference a year makes

The summer-blooming showy goldenrod, being visited by a bee fly, was less abundant than the spring-blooming flowers. (Photo by Diana Robson)

The summer-blooming showy goldenrod, being visited by a bee fly, was less abundant than the spring-blooming flowers. (Photo by Diana Robson)

One of the first papers on pollination I tried to publish was rejected because it contained data from only one field season. I withdrew the paper, and did another year of research. Why is having two years of data so important, you may ask?...

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Hope, the gray ratsnake

Hope, the gray ratsnake (Photo by NCC)

Hope, the gray ratsnake (Photo by NCC)

This summer, I had the opportunity to go out with Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) field staff and reptile biologists from partner organizations to track a gray ratsnake dotingly named Hope, to which we'd previously attached a radio tracking...

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Nature through the eyes of young Canadians

Students from John Norquay Public School, Nature Days Vancouver (Photo by HSBC Bank Canada)

Students from John Norquay Public School, Nature Days Vancouver (Photo by HSBC Bank Canada)

When I set out to research young Canadians’ views of nature and their childhood experiences within nature, I had no idea that the results would be only the beginning of a larger conversation about the difference between attitude and...

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There are bears on Prince Edward Island

Marine tardigrade, known affectionately as a 'water bear'. (Photo by Emma Perry)

Marine tardigrade, known affectionately as a 'water bear'. (Photo by Emma Perry)

What’s that, you say? There are bears on PEI? Yes! Well, sort of. Tiny, microscopic water bears! I live in Prince Edward Island, the smallest Canadian province, with the highest population density. We have a long history of humans living on...

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Internal parasites and the conservation of birds

Mosquito (Photo from The Weather Network)

Mosquito (Photo from The Weather Network)

Most people, especially Canadians, know how annoying being swarmed by mosquitoes in the early summer can be. There is nothing quite like braving clouds of host-seeking insects while exploring our beautiful forests. However, while most of us can...

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Biting down on the eastern subterranean termite

Petri dish trials to examine behaviour patterns in eastern subterranean termite populations. (Photo by Vicki Simkovic)

Petri dish trials to examine behaviour patterns in eastern subterranean termite populations. (Photo by Vicki Simkovic)

Watching a termite farm through a glass aquarium is fascinating, as you peer into the life of a mysterious species whose activities are normally hidden from view. Workers can be seen excavating tunnels, using their jaws to move soil grain by...

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Monarch butterfly habitat selection

Monarch butterfly (Photo by A. Dabydeen)

Monarch butterfly (Photo by A. Dabydeen)

The monarch butterfly is one of the most recognized and loved insects in the world. It is known, in part, for its phenomenal migration from its Canadian breeding grounds to overwintering sites in the mountains of Mexico. Unfortunately, the...

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