Muddy Boots Blog

Muddy Boots is our internal blog where our staff members share experiences getting their boots muddy with on-the-ground conservation research! You can find our contributions to external blogs and Op Eds here.

The remarkable 50-year conservation journey of Dr. John Weaver

The remarkable 50-year conservation journey of Dr. John Weaver
(February 27, 2020)   -   John Weaver packed a formidable number of accomplishments into his adventures across the wild landscapes of western North America. Here, we celebrate his successes as he retires after a 50-year career in wildlife conservation!

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Unlikely allies work together to save wolverines

Unlikely allies work together to save wolverines
(January 20, 2020) Wolverine at live trap in Rainbow Lake, Alberta. Credit: Matt Scrafford/WCS CanadaBy Matt ScraffordI was living in Rainbow Lake, Alberta and studying wolverine ecology for my PhD at the University of Alberta when I got a call from a local trapper. He told me that he had something to show me and that I needed to get out to his cabin quickly. I finished breakfast, gathered my gear and drove the snowmobile out to his trapper cabin, which was situated in a large open area where two old logging roads...

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Working in the wild world of biodiversity conservation

Working in the wild world of biodiversity conservation
(January 09, 2020)   -   Jaime Grimm, WCS Canada's 2019-2020 Conservation Intern reflects on her experience working on various elements of wildlife conservation.

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Rising to the twin challenge of climate change and biodiversity loss

Rising to the twin challenge of climate change and biodiversity loss
(December 20, 2019)   -   Addressing the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss has left many of our political leaders and institutions floundering. At WCS Canada, we continue to deliver science-driven solutions for addressing these problems, from identifying key wild areas for protection to developing new ways to help wildlife survive specific impacts, like rising temperatures. While it is easy to lose hope in these challenging times, we think there have been some important signs of progress this year.

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Canada’s invisible biodiversity crisis

Canada’s invisible biodiversity crisis
(December 02, 2019)   -   Far from being a vast untouched wild landscape, Canada’s northern expanses are being relentlessly exploited for resources. Add the effects of climate change to the impact of human activities and you have what could be called a “threat cocktail” – a wicked combination of impacts that often reinforce and amplify each other. If we act now, future generations may still have a chance to experience “wild Canada” firsthand.

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High tech and elbow grease – a winning combination for wildlife

High tech and elbow grease – a winning combination for wildlife
(October 21, 2019) By Jacob Seguin Lake sturgeon used to be so plentiful in the Great Lakes that steamboats crossing the waters would burn their dried carcasses in their boilers to supplement their coal supplies. Then, because of caviar’s sudden popularity, lake sturgeon were fished out of much of the Great Lakes watersheds in a matter of decades –  less than the lifespan of an individual fish. When the fish you are catching only spawns once every four to six years, and even then only maybe 1...

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Ontario turns Endangered Species Act into an empty shell

Ontario turns Endangered Species Act into an empty shell
(May 10, 2019) By Justina Ray A UN scientific report detailing the growing global biodiversity crisis says that the Earth could lose one million species over the decades ahead. It confirms that we are in the midst of the sixth great wave of extinctions to have swept the Earth, but this time, the wave is the result of human activities and will require a major change in direction from human societies to save species.The Ontario Government chose this inauspicious moment to introduce major revisions...

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Wading in: WCS research scientist Liset Cruz-Font paints a picture of life in the field

Wading in: WCS research scientist Liset Cruz-Font paints a picture of life in the field
(February 18, 2019) I have been going out into the field for more than 20 years, starting in Cuba, and now in Canada. Coming to WCS Canada to work on lake sturgeon telemetry – tracking tagged fish remotely using receivers – was a dream job for me. What would I need to do?  Everything that I love. First, work with (and be part of) a great team of diverse people. Second, uncover the mysterious movements of lake sturgeon, that ancient fish that has managed to survive for millennia while swim...

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The many strands of WCS Canada's research in the far north in Ontario

The many strands of WCS Canada's research in the far north in Ontario
(September 21, 2018) One of the reasons that I like fieldwork is that it always involves learning new skills, and often these are obscure skills that I never expected I would need in my career as a biologist. As an example, this summer I found myself sitting on a grassy riverbank near the shores of James Bay, wearing my full rain gear on a sunny day as protection against the relentless blackflies, learning to splice rope. Splicing rope involves braiding strands of rope together to join two ropes or to form a loop at...

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A northern spring: hope for the birds, and for me

A northern spring: hope for the birds, and for me
(July 16, 2018) You hear them long before you see them: a raspy, gurgling call builds on the horizon. Sandhill cranes. Hundreds, even thousands, flying in endless branching formations or circling on a rising thermal. Over a period of less than two weeks in early May, an estimated 250,000 will follow Yukon’s Tintina Trench, traveling from wintering sites in the southern U.S. toward breeding sites in western Alaska and Siberia.     Sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) migrate in large ...

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Photo credits: Banner | Lila Tauzer © WCS Canada

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