Kid-friendly, nature-themed activities to do during COVID-19

While outside, stop a moment and watch. You might see a rabbit hop by or birds searching for a snack

Kid-friendly, nature-themed activities to do during COVID-19I know how tough it is to amuse kids when times are normal, but during this COVID-19 crisis, I can appreciate that it’s much harder. I raised three wonderful children and two of them are now raising children of their own. So I thought I’d share some ideas on how to engage your kids and…

Decline of biodiversity, health of Indigenous peoples interconnected

Indigenous resource management key to ending environmental degradation and loss of culture

Decline of biodiversity, health of Indigenous peoples interconnectedWhen Danika Littlechild was growing up in Maskwacis, Alta., her uncle would pick her up after school and walk her home through the bush to her kôhkom’s (grandmother’s) house. He would show her different plants and fungi along the way, teaching her their names and telling stories about when to harvest and how to use them for…

Study shows most efficient ways to capture invasive lionfish

Diving at dawn and dusk could save time and money in battle against the voracious predators

Study shows most efficient ways to capture invasive lionfishAlthough time is in short supply in the war against the lionfish invasion in the Atlantic and Caribbean, a University of Alberta study suggests taking time to plan the where, when and who of this fight will give wildlife officials the best shot at keeping the voracious trespassers at bay. “Many invasive species removal plans…

Why birds practise their mating songs in winter

In winter a young bird will practice singing as it tries to mimic its elders

As winter settles in and the cold enshrouds our northern landscape, we expect the woods to be pretty quiet, with only the rustling of windblown leaves and the occasional chirp of a chickadee or the scolding of a red squirrel. But what’s that? Is that bird singing its spring song when it’s so cold outside?…

New tools developed to better track permafrost methane emissions

Will significantly improve estimates of current and future methane emissions

New tools developed to better track permafrost methane emissionsResearchers have developed new tools that will better track methane emissions from northern permafrost ecosystems, ultimately allowing for more accurate global predictions of future greenhouse gas emissions. The new emission dataset and map of northern wetlands and lakes the new tools will yield will significantly improve estimates of current and future methane emissions, said McKenzie…

Is the polar bear’s life becoming even more perilous?

Life's tough for polar bears: climate is extreme, ice varies, food's scattered. Yet they persist

Is the polar bear’s life becoming even more perilous?I recently had several encounters with polar bears in the Canadian Arctic at Coningham Bay on Prince of Wales Island, along the Nunavut coast. We had been advised that bears sometimes frequented this interesting area because Beluga whales often came here to moult and feed, and they are a plentiful and reliable source of food…

Food supply chain resilience put to the test by B.C. floods

Supply chains in Western Canada have always been vulnerable and that’s not going to change anytime soon

Food supply chain resilience put to the test by B.C. floodsImages from British Columbia over the past week have been heartbreaking: human casualties, dairy cows barely breathing above water before being pulled to safety, the loss of livestock across the Fraser Valley. Just devastating. And the flow of goods on rail and roads is severely compromised. Many now claim that flash floods and atmospheric rivers…

How animals use mimicry to survive and thrive

Mimicry is usually designed to protect prey from predators. But some also use the tactic to fool prey

How animals use mimicry to survive and thriveWhat you see may not be what you get when it comes to the natural world. Many animals use mimicry to fool predators and prey into thinking they’re something else, with insects putting on the best show in this regard. Tens of thousands of species of insects aren’t what they seem at first glance. But…

Eight worst wildfire weather years on record happened in the last decade

Communities need to be prepared for more to come

Eight worst wildfire weather years on record happened in the last decadeThe world’s eight most extreme wildfire weather years have occurred in the last decade, according to a new study that suggests extreme fire weather is being driven by a decrease in atmospheric humidity coupled with rising temperatures. “Extreme conditions drive the world’s fire activity,” said former University of Alberta wildfire expert Michael Flannigan, who conducted…

Fossil thought to be missing link between lizards, snakes debunked

The ‘snake with four legs’ is instead a long-bodied marine lizard

Fossil thought to be missing link between lizards, snakes debunkedFilling in the links of the evolutionary chain with a fossil record of a “snake with four legs” connecting lizards and early snakes would be a dream come true for paleontologists. But a specimen formerly thought to fit the bill is not the missing piece of the puzzle, according to a new study led by…
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