Protected doesn’t always mean perfect

Volunteer cutting the giant knotweed using a hedge trimmer (Photo by NCC)

Volunteer cutting the giant knotweed using a hedge trimmer (Photo by NCC)

Imagine frolicking along on a Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) property, hoping to stumble upon some neat findings, like rare herptiles and unique plants. But then you look up and scan the landscape to see what may be your worst nightmare: a...

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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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Lake Erie: Recovery, or requiem?

Aerial view of Point Pelee, ON (Photo by Gerry Kaiser)

Aerial view of Point Pelee, ON (Photo by Gerry Kaiser)

Someone recently asked me how I would invest a million dollars to help conserve Lake Erie. My first thoughts were that I would use that money to protect wetlands and other habitats on the coast, or maybe to help farmers create wider buffer strips...

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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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Giants of the forest: My father's discovery of Ontario's tallest white spruce

White spruce bark (Photo by Rob Duval, Wikimedia Commons)

White spruce bark (Photo by Rob Duval, Wikimedia Commons)

When I was young we lived in Cochrane and Dad worked for the Department of Lands and Forests (now the Ministry of Natural Resources) as a forester. Around 1958 or 1959, he was cruising a lease for Abitibi somewhere in the Hudson’s Bay...

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10 fascinating facts about wild turkeys

Wild turkey (Photo by D.P. Lawrence CC-BY-NC)

Wild turkey (Photo by D.P. Lawrence CC-BY-NC)

Today marks Thanksgiving in Canada. The first official, annual Canadian Thanksgiving took place on November 6, 1879. In honour of Thanksgiving, here are 10 facts to gobble up about wild turkeys, a species that has been documented on Nature...

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Lovebirds: The day I broke a turkey's heart

Wild male turkey (Photo by Wayne Dumbleton, CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Wild male turkey (Photo by Wayne Dumbleton, CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0)

One of my favourite field work stories comes from my very first field season. I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea what I was doing back then. I couldn’t identify most plants, was slightly scared (ok, terrified) of dragonflies...

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A throwback to working in Backus Woods

Forest canopy in Backus Woods (Photo by Neil Ever Osborne)

Forest canopy in Backus Woods (Photo by Neil Ever Osborne)

I had the pleasure of working for the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) for the summer of 2019 as a conservation technician out of the Norfolk County, Ontario, office. When I first came to Norfolk, I was expecting to see mostly farmland and...

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One tree at a time: Canada’s forests

Tamarack forest (Photo by NCC)

Tamarack forest (Photo by NCC)

What is the one habitat type that runs through every province and territory, surrounds communities where most Canadians live and covers about one-third of the country? If you guessed forests, you would be right! We’re lucky to live in a...

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Emblems of Canada: tree edition

Red maple (Photo by Jean Isaacs)

Red maple (Photo by Jean Isaacs)

Trees have played a significant cultural role in the lives of many Canadians; they are engrained in our national identity. Take the Canadian flag, for instance. It features a single, prominent red maple leaf in the centre, which speaks to the...

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