What does the world sound like without any human noise? Apparently, it’s getting harder to answer that question, as human-made noise has infiltrated almost every corner of the globe. And it’s having an effect on the ecology of the planet. Human-made noises are disrupting communications between animals in nature. From Wired Magazine: “…animals divide up the acoustic spectrum so they don’t interfere with one another’s voices. He shows me a spectrogram of a wilderness recording, in which all the component noises are mapped according to pitch. It looks like the musical score for an orchestra, with each instrument in its place. No two species are using the same frequency. “That’s part of how they coexist so well,” Krause says. When… read more →
We are hearing a lot about what each one of us can do to help protect the planet. I am a fan of everyone doing their part to save Mother Earth. It is important that we all start caring and doing what we can as individuals. However, we need to do more. Recycling your paper waste or buying organic lettuce is not the only part of the solution we need to work on. We need to ensure that the necessary laws and market signals are implemented that will affect how large industries behave. And in order to do that, we need to support the environmental groups, think tanks and conservation organizations that are working to promote these changes. For well… read more →
The Save Our Boreal Birds Campaign is going strong – nearly 48,000 people from 62 countries have signed our petition to protect the Boreal Forest for the more than 300 bird species that regularly breed in the region! Haven’t signed yet? Check out the petition and add your name. Canada’s Boreal Forest stretches from the Yukon to Newfoundland, and at 1.4 billion acres it is one of the world’s most important ecosystems. It hosts an incredible diversity of breeding birds, including year-round residents like Boreal Chickadee (photo by Jeff Nadler) and Gray Jay; nomadic breeders such as White-winged Crossbill and Pine Siskin; and warblers, sparrows, flycatchers, and other migratory species that breed in the Boreal each summer and then migrate… read more →
Nature Canada staffer Sue Robertson returned from the cottage with this pic of Willie, the resident croaker. Says Sue: Willie is very vocal. Many times at night we listen to him over the call of our neighbour loon. Willie lives on one side of our dock and constantly talks to another friend on the other side of our dock…. Thanks Sue — perhaps you’ll fill out a FrogWatch observation form and enter Willie in Nature Canada’s climate change study.
These days, we hear a lot about the effects of climate change on species and habitats. Scientific studies looking for a link between climate change and animal behaviour often focus on birds, and for good reason. Birds are one of the best known groups of species on the planet, they are found in virtually every habitat, and much of their life cycle (like egg laying and migration) is often intimately linked to climatic conditions. A new study in Global Change Biology provides more evidence that a warming climate is directly affecting bird behaviour. Researchers found that many birds migrating to or through the eastern U.S. are arriving earlier. This times their arrival to correspond to optimal food and habitat conditions… read more →
On the ground conservation work in support of the endangered piping plover has been cut by Environment Canada without explanation. Two of Nature Canada’s provincial affiliates, Island Nature Trust in PEI and Nature New Brunswick, have been impacted by the decision. Each group is receiving less than half of the amount they requested. We are not talking about large amounts of money here. Moreover the work done by these groups is often done in collaboration with volunteers from the naturalist communities in the area. This results in significant leveraging of resources and has a big impact on the ground. Nature Canada has been supporting work by communities at Important Bird Areas for almost 10 years now and has found that… read more →
Last month, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave a speech at the UN Conference on the Convention on Biological Diversity. In it, he said, “Protecting biodiversity is one of the paramount environmental challenges facing the world today.” I could not agree more. And Canada has to do much more to to protect “our rich natural heritage”. Just this week, I submitted to the Government of Canada through Environment Canada and Minister John Baird’s office a proposal that would help us protect Canada’s birds and important bird areas in the western hemisphere. With the help of the Quito office of Birdlife International and Ian Davidson in particular, we have an Americas-wide initiative called Tundra to Tierra del Fuego; a 38 country,… read more →
Last week I attended a meeting on Business and Biodiversity. Representatives from a variety of companies were there — RioTinto Alcan, Inco Vale, Petro Canada, and the Mining Association of Canada as well as non-governmental organizations such as Nature Canada, World Wildlife Fund, and Wildlife Habitat Canada. It seems that the corporate sector is beginning to realize that protecting nature is important in maintaining their social license to operate. This is a good thing. I often feel that the nature file is a second class citizen. It has been second class to the issue of toxic chemicals in the past and now it is second class to climate change. And yet, it is the nature agenda (which includes humanity) that… read more →