Blazing ahead of climate change: The potential for assisted migration of Alberta’s native plants

The northern blazing star is being used to test assisted migration as a climate change conservation tool. (Photo by ABMI)

The northern blazing star is being used to test assisted migration as a climate change conservation tool. (Photo by ABMI)

It’s the Goldilocks principle. All species, including plants, animals and fungi, are uniquely adapted to a specific combination of climate and environmental conditions that they need to grow, reproduce and thrive; things need to be...

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Historical ecology: Probing the mysteries of ancient landscapes

A sunny Garry oak savannah (Photo by Jenny McCune)

A sunny Garry oak savannah (Photo by Jenny McCune)

A challenge for humans in our attempts to manage ecosystems is that we’re often dealing with beings much longer lived than ourselves. For example, a Douglas-fir tree can live to be 800 years old or more. A century is a long time for a human,...

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Pollinator edge effects on Manitoba's grasslands

A small andrenid bee sheltering in a wild strawberry flower (Photo by Marika Olynyk)

A small andrenid bee sheltering in a wild strawberry flower (Photo by Marika Olynyk)

Animal pollination is a key ecological process, ensuring the reproduction and genetic diversity of most flowering plants, and providing food for pollinators. In Manitoba, insects are the most important pollinators. Our short summers are busy as...

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Call of the wild: Up close and personal with screech owls in Fernie, BC

Western screech-owl (Photo by US Fish & Wildlife Service)

Western screech-owl (Photo by US Fish & Wildlife Service)

There is nothing more incredible than witnessing a whole family of owls interacting and communicating with one another. This is what I discovered after an intimate and humbling experience with a family of screech-owls in the Elk Valley this past...

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Where have all the pollinators gone?

Research site (Photo by Diana Robson)

Research site (Photo by Diana Robson)

After a summer filled with ticks, mosquitoes and biting flies, I was ready for a pest-free pollinator survey at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) properties near Riding Mountain National Park this September. Autumn field work can be quite...

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Listening for the yellow rail

Yellow rail (Photo by Dominic Sherony, Wikimedia Commons)

Yellow rail (Photo by Dominic Sherony, Wikimedia Commons)

The Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) surveys biodiversity across the province of Alberta. From the grasslands and parklands of the south to the boreal in the north, we record the terrestrial and wetland species present, gather soil...

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Pollinators (and people predators) galore

Bee on Hedysarum (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

Bee on Hedysarum (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

After the relative calm of my June field work on Nature Conservancy of Canada land near Riding Mountain National Park, I was kept very busy observing insects in July and August. In total I saw approximately 64 insect species making over 1,200...

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Good news for "The Grasses"! New study reveals presence of Newfoundland pine marten on NCC property

Cabin at the Grassy Place, NL (Photo by John Gosse)

Cabin at the Grassy Place, NL (Photo by John Gosse)

It was a brutally cold and stormy day when local Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) steward Mike Targett and friend, Eddie Dempsey, escorted me to the upper reaches of Robinson’s River in western Newfoundland. The hour-long snowmobile trip...

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A bird's-eye view: Mark Mallory's fascination with birds, and what they can tell us

Semipalmated plover, Johnson's Mills, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Semipalmated plover, Johnson's Mills, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Mark Mallory likes birds, and he’s not alone. Birds are popular, and not just among high-strung bird nerds elbowing their way through crowds for glimpses of avian visitations. Birds are one of the most diverse groups of organisms in the...

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