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Stopping habitat loss is the key to saving Canada’s endangered species

Evening grosbeak (Photo by Anna Tchoulik)

Evening grosbeak (Photo by Anna Tchoulik)

Canada has been losing and saving species for a long time. Since European settlement, over 100 species have been lost here. These include plants and animals that are extinct and extirpated and species that are considered historic (no one has seen...

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Twelve spooky facts about Canadian bats

Townsend's big-eared bat (Photo by Brock Fenton)

Townsend's big-eared bat (Photo by Brock Fenton)

There are 18 known bat species in Canada. Although they are subjected to a spooky stigma around Halloween, they’re nothing to be afraid of. Here are 12 things you didn’t know about these not-so-scary mammals: 1. The snooze...

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Going batty in BC

Early morning scene of a small town in Transylvania, Romania, while volunteering with Operation Wallacea, Romania chapter. (Photo by Katie Bell)

Early morning scene of a small town in Transylvania, Romania, while volunteering with Operation Wallacea, Romania chapter. (Photo by Katie Bell)

The moon is full and bright, with fog settled in the valley, making for an eerie view. It is early morning, just before sunrise. I am with a group of volunteers and one biologist. We are on our way back to camp after a two-hour walk around a small...

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Coasting along Canada’s habitats

Musquash Estuary, NB (Photo by NCC)

Musquash Estuary, NB (Photo by NCC)

Canada is a nation bordered by three oceans: Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic. In many ways, the habitats, local culture and economies are shaped by them. Often when those of us who don’t live near the shoreline think of oceans, we picture a...

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True colours: The science of fall colours

Riding Mountain, MB (Photo by Cathy Shaluk)

Riding Mountain, MB (Photo by Cathy Shaluk)

Canada’s forests are home to many colourful characters. Throughout the year you’ll see vibrant wildflowers, decorated songbirds and gaudily painted insects and fungi. Each has its moment of glory in the annual forest parade. But the...

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How spending time in nature benefits your baby’s gut health

Sleeping infant (Photo by Daisy Laparra from Pexels)

Sleeping infant (Photo by Daisy Laparra from Pexels)

Being close to nature has motivated my life choices — where I live and how I spend my free time. In these times of COVID-19, where I work is now where I live, and I am lucky to live on a ravine in one of Edmonton’s natural areas, as...

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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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How do you solve a problem like migration?

A flock of shorebirds takes to the air at Oak/Plum Lake Important Bird Area, a migration stopover site in Manitoba. The mixed-species flock includes Wilson’s phalaropes, red-necked phalaropes, stilt sandpipers, pectoral sandpipers, dunlin, white-rumped sandpipers and semipalmated sandpipers. (Photo by Christian Artuso)

A flock of shorebirds takes to the air at Oak/Plum Lake Important Bird Area, a migration stopover site in Manitoba. The mixed-species flock includes Wilson’s phalaropes, red-necked phalaropes, stilt sandpipers, pectoral sandpipers, dunlin, white-rumped sandpipers and semipalmated sandpipers. (Photo by Christian Artuso)

I can feel the rapid thrumming of the bluebird’s heart against my palm as I carefully manoeuvre its foot into position over a tiny Ziploc bag. I pick up my nail scissors and take a deep breath to steady my hand. I will only get one chance to...

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Gotta catch 'em all? Count me in!

Carden Alvar butterfly count, 2017 (Photo by NCC)

Carden Alvar butterfly count, 2017 (Photo by NCC)

As part of the 2019 Carden Alvar Butterfly Count, we were armed with a few nets and catching jars as our mighty group of eight, comprised of Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) staff and conservation volunteers, set out on a mission: to identify...

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Small but mighty — Migrating green darner dragonflies

Common green darner (Photo by Nancy Norman, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Common green darner (Photo by Nancy Norman, CC BY-NC 4.0)

In February when I wrote this blog, I was thinking about my “snowbird” colleagues taking vacations to escape the cold, Canadian winter. Little did I know that right around that time, a species of dragonfly was beginning to migrate...

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