Designating the 8th of June as World Oceans Day was proposed by Canada back in 1992 during the Earth Summit (also known as the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)) in Rio de Janeiro. Ever since, it has been celebrated unofficially until its designation in 2008 by the United Nations General Assembly. The designation is largely due to the fact that oceans contribute immensely to our well-being. They provide us with food, recreational opportunities such as diving, and most of the oxygen we breathe! They also play an important role in regulating the climate and their evaporation is the main source of rainfall. However, we haven’t been able to show our appreciation as we continue to unsustainably harvest… read more →
Volunteer Piping Plover guardian Kim Toews has sent us a quick update on the nests at Sauble Beach this season: Nest 1 F1 & M2 (1st female to arrive / 2nd male to arrive) This female and male are a returning pair from last season. The female had several mating attempts with M1 before her 2009 mate returned. In 2008, the female successfully nested at Oliphant. There have been indicators that the hatch may occur soon. It will be interesting to see how many chicks hatch as our female laid her third egg in a heavy snow-storm and we had two evenings of -4 degrees C temperature. Two Merlins observed hovering inside the perimeter fence. One falcon flying towards a… read more →
Today is World Environment Day (WED), a day that was commemorated by the United Nations General Assembly on June 5th, 1972. This designation is one of the major ways that the United Nations encourages people to become more aware of the environment and is a reminder to governments to take action towards conserving it. Celebrations for WED 2010 should be the largest yet, given that it is also the International Year of Biodiversity. Get out today and do something for the environment: plant a tree, collect garbage from a shoreline, use your bicycle for the day, or one of the many other actions you can take to help our planet. Happy World Environment Day!
The Sandy Pond Alliance, a coalition including Council of Canadians, MiningWatch Canada, the Newfoundland and Labrador Natural History Society, the Sierra Club of Canada – Atlantic Chapter, along with scientists and activists in Newfoundland & Labrador, today launched a legal challenge against the federal government for allowing the dumping of mining waste into Canadian lakes and rivers. The announcement was made at press conferences held simultaneously in St. John’s and Ottawa this morning. The dumping of mining waste into pristine lakes and rivers converts them into “tailings impoundment areas”, rendering them industrial waste basins that are generally unsuitable as wildlife habitat. Despite prohibitions on polluting waters known to be fish habitat listed under section 36 (3) of the federal Fisheries… read more →
What makes Important Bird Areas (IBAs) so important? Birds can tell us about the state of biodiversity that underpins our lives. IBAs are defined by birds, but they are vital for all life on Earth. Watch this video to learn more: (If you can’t see the full width, view the original here.) This video was produced by BirdLife International for the launch of Important Bird Areas Americas: Priority Sites for Biodiversity Conservation, a directory of key conservation sites across the Western hemisphere.
A new study from Dr. Andrew Derocher, one of the world’s leading polar bear authorities, predicts that polar bear populations may crash in one year by 30%. Derocher warns that the bears will starve as the number of days adults are forced to fast increases while they wait for Arctic sea ice to return. From the Toronto Star: Scientists factored in the shrinking sea ice, which affects how many seals the bears can eat before they hibernate and how easily they can find mates. Without enough food or opportunity, mating is less successful, fewer, less robust cubs are born, and teenage bears spend longer “wandering around trying to find something to eat.” All of that information can be subjected to… read more →
Participants are welcomed to submit multiple entries but they must be submitted online or received in the mail no later than 4:00 PM Eastern (1:00 PM Pacific) on May 28, 2010.Hurry up and submit your nature inspired work of art, writing, or photography and you could win a week-long stay at Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, hosted by Parks Canada, gifts from Scholastic, Panasonic, and Opus Framing and Art Supplies, cash prizes, and the opportunity to have their work published in the 2011 Get to Know Contest Calendar. For more information, visit www.gettoknow.ca.
Suffield Coalition Concerned About Delay in Government Response – National Wildlife Areas Needed to Help Fight Extinction May 25, 2010 (Calgary) –The Suffield Coalition today expressed concern about the failure by the Government of Canada to make a decision on EnCana’s proposal to drill in the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Suffield National Wildlife Area. The Joint Review Panel (JRP) that was established by the Federal Minister of Environment and the Alberta Energy Utilities Board to consider EnCana’s proposal to drill 1,275 shallow gas wells in CFB Suffield National Wildlife Area made its recommendations on the project in January 2009. There have been no decisions made by the Government since, and there are growing concerns that the project might be approved without… read more →
Today is the International Day for Biological Diversity and there are many celebrations taking place around the world. This year’s theme, “Biodiversity for Development and Poverty Alleviation”, was chosen during the International Year of Biodiversity to step up efforts in raising awareness on poverty and bring about action to alleviate it. The theme also makes obvious the link between biodiversity loss and poverty; we all depend on biodiversity for our well-being one way or another, but many poor communities directly depend on biodiversity for their daily sustenance. Should we fail to address the issue of biodiversity loss more seriously, these communities, as well as many vulnerable countries, will be the ones most affected by our shortcomings. BirdLife International, of which… read more →
Nature Canada supporter Kim Toews and her son, Brendan, have been providing us with updates on the return of Piping Plovers to Sauble Beach in Ontario for several years. Here is their first update for 2010: Brendan and I are extremely happy to report that the Piping Plover have once again returned to Sauble Beach for the 2010 season! This is their fourth consecutive year (2007-10) in a row! Below is a brief update on what’s been happening with the birds this year: April 15, 2010 – Last year’s south nest male (M1) is the first plover to arrive back on the beach. April 19, 2010 – Last year’s middle nest female (F1) arrives back. April 21, 2010 – The… read more →