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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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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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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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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Photo credits: Banner | Lila Tauzer © WCS Canada

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