WCS Canada

Latest News

Climate Change in Yukon and Northern Ontario: New Publications

Climate change is already taking hold across Canada, particularly in northern regions like Yukon and northern Ontario. Our field scientists recently published two papers in Global Ecology and Conservation that investigate this challenge and propose methods to minimize its impact. Drs. Erika Rowland, Nancy Fresco, Donald Reid and Hilary Cooke examine how future climate change may alter the vegetation across the Yukon, consequently affecting the makeup of protected areas across the territory. Dr. Brie Edwards, Meg Southee, and Dr. Jenni McDermid illustrated the way lake size and shape, combined with climate conditions, effects the type of fish present in a given lake and show that lakes in northern Ontario will become even more important in the coming years.

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WCS Canada Weighs in on Species at Risk

Laws devoted to the protection and recovery of species at risk are meant to provide added protection measures after regular management approaches have been insufficient to stave off extinction risk. Once a species is “listed” by government as at risk of extinction, it becomes eligible for additional protection measures, particularly those related to safeguarding affected habitats. Depending on how complex the threats are, the set of actions required to reverse or mitigate impacts can be multifaceted and challenging to implement. WCS Canada scientists, who have considerable field and policy experience with a number of Canadian species, have contributed comments on species at risk recovery strategies that were put out for public review in the last several months.

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North American Caribou Workshop

The 16th North American Caribou Workshop was held in May in Thunder Bay - the first time in 20 years it was hosted in Ontario. This year’s workshop theme is Connections: exploring the link between people, disciplines and ecosystems to further caribou conservation and management. More than 250 people from science, academia, indigenous communities, NGOs, government, and practitioners – drawn by their common interest in caribou – will assemble to share their knowledge, ideas, stories, and most recent discoveries. This conference will provide a discussion forum to confront these challenges and fill gaps in knowledge and understanding of this fascinating animal.

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Bat White-Nose Syndrome Found in the West
On March 31, the United States Geological Survey and Fish and Wildlife Service announced that White Nose Syndrome (WNS) had been confirmed in a little brown bat in Washington State – the first instance of the deadly disease in western North America. WCS Canada is hard at work preparing western Canada for the arrival of this disease that has already decimated bat populations in the east. Here are five easy things you can do to help our bat populations in the wake of this new discovery.
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New Bat Habitat Discovered in Western Alberta

BatCaver, an ongoing WCS Canada program, has recently discovered two new bat hibernacula - places where bats hibernate during winter months - in the Alberta foothills. Bats hibernate underground for a large portion of each year, and these newly discovered locations help shed light on the mystery of where many species of bats go each winter. To address these critical knowledge gaps, the BatCaver program has deployed over 50 roostloggers - equipment used to record bat ultrasound - underground across western Canada. WCS Canada research into bats in western Canada aims to improve our understanding about the behaviour and ecology of 14 Canadian bat species prepare for the arrival of a deadly fungal disease, White Nose Syndrome.

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