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.


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First evidence of double-brooding by a Yukon bird – the barn swallow

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First evidence of double-brooding by a Yukon bird – the barn swallow
(September 21, 2020)   -   Don Reid and Maria Leung have been following the nesting success of barn swallows - a threatened species - at farms in Yukon each year. For the past two years, they've observed evidence that some birds are successfully raising two sets of fledglings in a single summer! This is the first well-documented evidence of double brooding by a migratory bird in Yukon.

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Taking different paths: How WCS Canada scientists have adapted to the challenges of COVID 19

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Taking different paths: How WCS Canada scientists have adapted to the challenges of COVID 19
(August 24, 2020)   -   Usually, at this time of year, many of our scientists would be deep into their field seasons. But current circumstances have required both adopting some creative solutions and simply accepting that some field work is not going to happen this summer. We decided to check in with a few of our scientists to get a glimpse into their new normal and how they are adapting to current (and ever changing) conditions.

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Animals take to the streets

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Animals take to the streets
(April 21, 2020)   -   The recent increase in wildlife sightings in our cities and waterways during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a ray of light, but is a far cry from wildlife recovery. These signs of resurgence will be temporary, unless we can take this opportunity to change our approach to the natural world.

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Northern Inspiration: Bringing science and youth together in the Moose Cree Homeland

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Northern Inspiration: Bringing science and youth together in the Moose Cree Homeland
(April 14, 2020) By Claire FarrellYouth voices around the world are calling loudly for action on climate change and biodiversity loss, including voices from Indigenous youth such as Autumn Peltier and international voices like Greta Thunberg.  But this urgency really became tangible for me as I travelled north to Moose Factory on the edge of James Bay over winter roads that were quickly becoming impassable. Conditions on winter roads (ice roads) connecting far north communities are particularly poor this y...

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

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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

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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

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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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Canada’s invisible biodiversity crisis

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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

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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

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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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