Steven Spielberg. Quentin Tarantino. Michael Moore. You? You can join an elite group of award winning video directors by entering Nature Canada’s Favourite Places Video Contest. OK, so it’s not the Oscars, but it’s just as good. If you are looking for a little fame and even less fortune – and have even a little bit of creativity – this is your golden opportunity! Nature Canada’s Favourite Places Video Contest showcases your favourite place to get in touch with nature.Upload your video to YouTube, fill out the Nature Canada registration form, check out the rules, tell your friends to vote and that’s all there is to it. This is the first time we’ve ever had a video contest, and to… read more →
The global demand for water is enormous – and growing. About 3,800 cubic km of freshwater are withdrawn annually from the world’s lakes, rivers and aquifers, twice the volume extracted 50 years ago. Canada has some of the world’s most extensive water resources. But we also consume far more per person than in other countries. Each of us uses about 260 litres of water each day – about 10 times the global average. Without clean, abundant freshwater life on earth would not exist. The majority of the world’s population depends on freshwater environments to provide water for drinking, irrigation, food, employment and recreation. So what can be done to preserve our precious water supply? Many solutions exist, few of which… read more →
Last weekend my wife and I decided to try out a baby backpack that a friend lent us, so we made the short drive into Quebec to visit Gatineau Park, one of the real treats of living in the Capital Region. Gatineau Park — which, at 70 years old this year, is one year older than Nature Canada — is a 361-square kilometre jewel of a park located where the Canadian Shield and the Saint Lawrence lowlands meet. Those who are familiar with the park’s history know that it took pressure from nature lovers and conservationists to cajole the government of the day to establish the park (thank you to the citizens of 30’s Canada who raised their voice for… read more →
A very interesting article from the Globe and Mail on the impact of wind turbines on bats. Unfortunately, whatever source of energy we humans decide to produce, there will be impacts on other species. Another reason to focus on conserving energy!
This month, the gang at Nature Canada selected this picture, which the photographer has dubbed ‘Life at the water’s edge’, which captures two damselflies mating on grasses in Cootes Paradise, Hamilton, Ontario. Thank you Jean Crankshaw! (Update from online community member James Wolford: the two insects are not “mating”, but rather are in the “in tandem” position, with the male at the top in the photo and the female below. This position is either a pre-mating or post-mating relationship. If they have already mated, the male could be “guarding” the female to prevent her from being mated by another male before she lays eggs fertilized by her current mate. Thanks James!) In the last few months, we have been receiving… read more →
I just came back from an event here in Ottawa where Environment Minister John Baird announced that three new national wildlife areas will be established in Nunavut! More than 450,000 hectares of Arctic wilderness in Nunavut, including one globally significant Important Bird Area, will be protected at three sites located on the northeast side of Baffin Island: Niginganiq (Isabella Bay); Qaqulluit (Cape Searle); and Akpait (Reid Bay). This is great news for Canada’s birds, biodiversity and the cause of wilderness preservation. Two of Canada’s Important Bird Areas are found within the Qaqulluit and Akpait NWAs announced today. This means critical breeding and feeding grounds for millions of migratory birds will be preserved. The Inuit people are to be congratulated for… read more →
Next Birdlife International Olympic event — the sprint, in honour of the world’s fastest human sprinter, Jamaican Usain Bolt, who set a 200m World record of 19.30 seconds – equivalent to 37.3 km / hr. From Birdlife International: Birds are amazing athletes – Can you spot which of the bird species below can fly up to 350 km/hr?A – Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) B – Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) C – Tuamotu Kingfisher (Todiramphus gambieri) D – Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus) I’m way out of medal contention, with only two correct answers out of 5 so far. Hope you do better! Go to Birdlife International’s Web site to compete, and perhaps win a copy of the Rare Birds Yearbook 2008.
Canada Establishes Three National Wildlife Areas in Nunavut: Nearly Half a Million Hectares to be Preserved View backgrounder on national wildlife areas in Canada Ottawa (August 22, 2008) –Nature Canada today congratulated the Government of Canada, the community of Clyde River and the Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated upon the announcement that Canada will protect more than 450,000 hectares of Arctic wilderness in Nunavut, including a globally significant Important Bird Area, by establishing three new National Wildlife Areas: Niginganiq (Isabella Bay); Qaqulluit (Cape Searle); and Akpait (Reid Bay). All three sites are located on the northeast side of Baffin Island in Nunavut. “This is great news for Canada’s birds, biodiversity and the cause of wilderness preservation,” said Julie Gelfand, president of Nature… read more →
Deceptions around the Mackenzie Gas Project are surfacing. This recent article about the report on impacts to Kendall Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary reminds me of the promise by the Chinese government to allow protesters as a condition for hosting the Olympic games. They make a promise they’re not likely to keep and they get the games. Then they break their promise (oh surprise!) but what can the world do…? The proponents of the Mackenzie Gas Project have promised (among MANY other things) that they will keep the footprint on Kendall Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary under the 1% disturbance threshold set by Environment Canada (something Nature Canada believes they can’t accomplish because the 1% threshold has already been surpassed). In this… read more →
A growing body of research is revealing that climate change is affecting birds in many different ways. Last month on this blog, Sarah wrote about a study in Global Change Biology that provided more evidence that birds migrating to or through the eastern U.S. are arriving earlier to correspond to optimal food and habitat conditions like insect emergence and leaf budding, which occur earlier in the spring as the climate warms. Now, yet another study has added to our understanding, this one out of the UK., where British birds are apparently laying their eggs earlier in the year as a result of climate change. From The Herald: The report said birds were being forced to rapidly adapt their behaviour in… read more →