Super cool species to know this Halloween

Vampire finch (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Vampire finch (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

The leaves have changed, the air has cooled and the pumpkins have been carved. You know what that means — it’s Halloween! This spooky custom has always been my favourite. Growing up, I always took the opportunity to dress up as the...

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A reckoning with bats

Northern long-eared bat (Photo by Al Hicks, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)

Northern long-eared bat (Photo by Al Hicks, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)

Well folks, it’s that magical time of year once again. The leaves are changing colour, the air is crisp and decorations are making their annual migration from the basement to the lawn. Indeed, fall is here, and Halloween is right around the...

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Leave those leaves on the ground

Tuliptree leaf in fall (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

Tuliptree leaf in fall (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

As a child, I heard somewhere that if you catch a leaf as it falls from a tree, it’s good luck. So, naturally, I spent most autumns staring up at the huge trees in the conservation area behind my house, waiting patiently for a leaf to dance...

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The places we protect for nature must be connected

An elk killed by a vehicle in Alberta's Bow Valley. (Photo by Kelly Zenkewich, Yellowstone to Yukon)

An elk killed by a vehicle in Alberta's Bow Valley. (Photo by Kelly Zenkewich, Yellowstone to Yukon)

Written by Dan Kraus, Wildlife Conservation Society Canada, Karen F. Beazley, Dalhousie University, Jodi Hilty, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, Christopher J. Lemieux, Wilfrid Laurier University and Pam Wright, University of Northern...

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The ants that herd aphids

Oleander aphids (Photo by cory_silas_sheffield, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Oleander aphids (Photo by cory_silas_sheffield, CC BY-NC 4.0)

On July 21, 2021, I was carrying out annual conservation monitoring at the Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area (OMB), when I came across an unusual sight: much of the silver sagebrush that covers the property was covered...

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The best free nature apps

Engaging with nature doesn't mean you have to put down your phone (Photo by ©ysbrandcosijnfotografie via Canva)

Engaging with nature doesn't mean you have to put down your phone (Photo by ©ysbrandcosijnfotografie via Canva)

Some nature lovers may find technology and the natural world at odds. How can you enjoy tranquility with the ping of your smartphone? While nature may be a refuge to unplug, I would like to present an alternative view. Apps and the technology that...

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Learning new things in familiar places

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

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

To most people, warmer weather means soaking up the sun at the beach, making a northern weekend getaway to a picturesque cottage, or spending time with friends and family around the campfire or barbeque. While this applies to those of us in the...

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World Habitat Day 2021: There is no protected habitat too small to benefit biodiversity

Great blue heron with a cityscape in the background (Photo by iStock)

Great blue heron with a cityscape in the background (Photo by iStock)

October 4 is World Habitat Day, which has been celebrated annually by the United Nations since 1986. This year’s theme is accelerating urban climate action. The day is followed by Urban October, a month where we are encouraged to reflect on...

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Three takeaways from a communications internship in conservation

Big Valley planting site (Photo by NCC)

Big Valley planting site (Photo by NCC)

It’s hard to believe that the summer of 2021 went by so quickly. I was hired as a communications and engagement intern with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in the spring, working alongside Saskatchewan staff, to tell stories of...

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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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