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Peatlands: Vital for carbon storage and stewardship

Peatlands: Vital for carbon storage and stewardship
(August 05, 2020)   -   Peatlands, a type of wetland, are unique ecosystems particularly noteworthy because of their unusually deep organic soils formed by thousands of years of waterlogged decaying plants and mosses. They are a vital resource – a filter for ensuring rivers run clean, a haven for wildlife and, as we now increasingly appreciate, a huge storehouse for carbon.

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Northern fish are tough, but climate change is causing some to dwindle

Northern fish are tough, but climate change is causing some to dwindle
(July 06, 2020)   -   Northern stream fish come from a long line of hardy adapters. But the survival tools these fish have used for millennia — exceptional tolerance to cold, slow growth rates and long lifespans — could be a disadvantage as environmental conditions in the north warm and more fast-paced species move in.

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New framework identifies climate change “refugia” in boreal forest

New framework identifies climate change “refugia” in boreal forest
(June 11, 2020)   -   A major research project from the University of Alberta and Wildlife Conservation Society Canada outlines pockets of Canada's boreal forest that may give wildlife more time and space to adjust to a changing climate.

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Key Biodiversity Areas

Key Biodiversity Areas
(June 05, 2020)   -   One way to focus conservation efforts is by using a new conservation tool called Key Biodiversity Areas(KBAs). KBAs are areas with exceptionally high biodiversity values. KBAs may be areas important toendangered or rare species or ecosystems, sites that hold large aggregations of species at certain timesof the year (e.g. migratory stopovers for birds, or caribou calving grounds) or large ecologically intactareas with low levels of human disturbance.

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Thinking big to conserve small but important species

Thinking big to conserve small but important species
(May 21, 2020)   -   Through the Key Biodiversity Areas program, rare, endemic and underappreciated species are finally getting their due as important components of their ecosystems.

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It’s time to start paying attention to Canada’s peatlands

It’s time to start paying attention to Canada’s peatlands
(May 01, 2020)   -   Meg Southee, WCS Canada's GIS Analyst and Spatial Data Manager writes about the importance of conserving northern peatlands for Canadian Geographic.

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Hasty development of Ontario’s Ring of Fire could have devastating impacts

Hasty development of Ontario’s Ring of Fire could have devastating impacts
(February 27, 2020)   -   WCS Canada scientists, Justina Ray and Cheryl Chetkiewicz explain what's at stake when developing the Ring of Fire in the far north in Ontario

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Beluga whales’ silence speaks volumes

Beluga whales’ silence speaks volumes
(January 20, 2020)   -   We don’t fully understand how the growing acoustic disturbances caused by human activities on the ocean – such as sonar, oil drilling or the movement of large shipping vessels – is affecting whales and other marine mammals. But judging by their behaviour when exposed to these noises, we can speculate that it is at best unwelcome and at worse a survival threat that interferes with communications, causes extreme stress, and can even lead to death.

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Commentary: Burning wood for energy is not a climate-friendly policy

Commentary: Burning wood for energy is not a climate-friendly policy
(January 10, 2020)   -   Don Reid and Hilary Cooke, based out of the Whitehorse office of WCS Canada explain why biomass energy, or wood burning, isn't a green alternative.

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Warmer, wetter climate benefits some birds as wetlands vanish

Warmer, wetter climate benefits some birds as wetlands vanish
(November 04, 2019)   -   The grasslands of the Canadian Prairies are a hidden gem for bird watchers, with millions of migratory birds passing through the area each year. But they are also one of the most transformed landscapes in the world, vanishing more quickly than the Amazon rainforest. Our new study found that climate change is affecting birds and aquatic insects more strongly than the temperature and precipitation in a given year. 

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