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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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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What’s that sound? What underwater listening can teach us about the Arctic

What’s that sound? What underwater listening can teach us about the Arctic
(July 04, 2017)   -   Large whales can communicate over hundreds of kilometers, something unheard of for a land mammal.  Think of being able to send a signal using only your voice to someone on the other side of your city or even town – impossible.  But underwater communication is different: Sound travels more than four times faster underwater than it does in air, which means sound also travels much farther underwater than it does above the surface.  

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Up Close and Personal: Polar Bear Research in Hudson Bay

Up Close and Personal: Polar Bear Research in Hudson Bay
(April 07, 2015)   -   A bear had been spotted in the distance and we needed to leave the area to avoid disturbing her. As you can imagine, this announcement had anything but the desired effect on the group of eager young ecologists who defiantly clambered for their binoculars to catch a glimpse of this emblematic Canadian species. The bear kept her distance, remaining not much more than a speck on the horizon to the naked eye. Still, I was captivated not only by my own reaction to being in her presence, but the excit...

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Frozen Toes, Wet Sock, and Icy Boots - Studying Bats in the Canadian Winter

Frozen Toes, Wet Sock, and Icy Boots - Studying Bats in the Canadian Winter
(February 26, 2015)   -   As the pouring rain changed almost instantly to snowfall, I wrung out my mitts and watched the water dent the snow.  I was soaked to the bone but had to keep moving to stay warm.  The bats didn't seem to mind the hideous weather.

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Unexpected Gifts: What the Christmas Bird Count taught me about Science, Conservation, and Community

Unexpected Gifts: What the Christmas Bird Count taught me about Science, Conservation, and Community
(February 12, 2015) ~ Contributed by Hilary Cooke, Associate Conservation Scientist, Whitehorse, YukonCanada 1973 Christmas Dove StampI stayed in my northern home of Whitehorse, Yukon this past holiday season. It was the first of 41 years that I hadn't spent Christmas with family and, with no plans aside from Christmas dinner, I was feeling conflicted about spending it alone. I was, however, participating in the Christmas Bird Count and what I didn’t realize was the sense of community I would experience, and ...

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Happy New Year from WCS Canada

Happy New Year from WCS Canada
(January 05, 2015)   -   Dr. Sue Lieberman, Chair, WCS Canada, reflects on our conservation programs from the past year and looks forward for an exciting year of biodiversity conservation to come.

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Reindeer - an Enduring Holiday Icon - Face Increasing Threats

Reindeer - an Enduring Holiday Icon - Face Increasing Threats
(December 16, 2014)   -   Reindeer are an enduring and beloved Christmas icon. Although Dasher and Dancer only slightly resemble their wild cousins, caribou are strong and graceful. Letting our imagination run wild, we might be forgiven for thinking that reindeer – or caribou as they’re called in North America –seem to “fly” as they run across frozen lakes.

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Field Journal

Field Journal
(December 01, 2014) I was always a curious child, interested in new places and new adventures. I didn't travel much as a child but instead went outside and explored ─ in the nearby pond, under logs, up a tree.  The natural world didn't scare me; in fact, unexpected observations and encounters were the most exciting parts of exploring. The more I looked around, the more questions I had: why does moss grow only on the north side of those trees, what do those tiny frogs eat, who make...

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A picture paints a thousand words, but a map paints a million!

A picture paints a thousand words, but a map paints a million!
(November 19, 2014)   -   Today is International GIS Day!  A day to celebrate geography and geographic information systems (GIS) around the world by show casing real-world GIS applications to students and the general public. You can find more details on events occurring around the world (displayed, fittingly, on a map).

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Photo credits: Banner | Lila Tauzer © WCS Canada

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