Putting bison back where they belong heals land and people: researchers

Ecological restoration offers opportunities for reconciliation and decolonization

A project conceived to rebuild a long-lost bison herd in Banff National Park is not only healing the land, according to a pair of University of Alberta undergraduate researchers, but has created a framework for reconciliation and decolonization to follow moving forward. What started out as a literature review of the Bison Belong Project soon revealed…

Researchers pinpoint where wildlife most likely to be killed by trains

Reducing speed limits outside towns of Banff and Lake Louise could mean fewer fatal collisions, study suggests

Researchers pinpoint where wildlife most likely to be killed by trainsThe number of mammals killed by trains in Canada’s Rocky Mountains could be slashed if the railway reduced speed limits along eight km total of track on either side of the Banff and Lake Louise townsites, according to a study by University of Alberta researchers who used the train mortality record to pinpoint the most dangerous…

Tracking common nighthawks to shed light on declining populations

U of A biologists track the migratory birds over 10,000 km with GPS to study their route – and the cause behind their declining numbers

Tracking common nighthawks to shed light on declining populationsA new study by University of Alberta biologists has created a comprehensive picture of the 10,000-km migratory route of common nighthawks using GPS data. The study is the first step in analyzing where and why the birds’ population numbers are declining. “Like many migratory bird species, common nighthawks are declining, but the rate of those…

Eating human food could mean trouble for urban coyotes, study shows

New U of A research illustrates link between anthropogenic diet, human-like gut bacteria and poor health

Eating human food could mean trouble for urban coyotes, study showsA diet rich in human food may be wreaking havoc on the health of urban coyotes, according to a new study by University of Alberta biologists. The research team from the Faculty of Science examined the stomach contents, gut microbiome and overall health of nearly 100 coyotes in Edmonton’s capital region. Their results also show coyotes…

Do reptiles and amphibians actually hibernate during winter?

No. Instead, they go through brumation and remain mostly conscious and are sometimes even active

Do reptiles and amphibians actually hibernate during winter?Man, it’s cold out there! I wonder where the snakes and turtles are? They can’t migrate so they must be here somewhere. Reptiles such as turtles, lizards and snakes, like so many other animals, have to survive our cold, long winters. Generally, they go underwater or underground and hibernate … or do they? They do…

Research reveals new clues to hunting habits of elusive falcons

Study gives a rare glimpse into urban behaviour of birds of prey

Research reveals new clues to hunting habits of elusive falconsA popular Edmonton, Alberta landmark for local birdwatchers is teaching some valuable lessons about falcons – some of the most difficult raptors to observe. The Alberta Grain Terminal, a hulking brick structure in west Edmonton that’s been used to load grain rail cars for 96 years, is also a hotspot for pigeons and their predators,…

Bird bullies are just protecting their resources

Sometimes we see smaller birds apparently bullying larger birds of prey. Here is why

Bird bullies are just protecting their resourcesWhen birds bully others of their own or other species, there are no malevolent feelings involved as is often the case with humans. Bullying is defined as “using superior strength or influence to intimidate, typically by force.” In essence, this is exactly what happens in nature on a very regular basis. Protection or retention of…

Get those bird feeders up and enjoy the show

Here are some tips so the birds – and those who enjoy watching birds – get the most out of your feeders

Get those bird feeders up and enjoy the showThe last few days have been really exciting bird-wise as hawks, ducks, geese, loons and many small passerines (e.g. kinglets, sparrows and finches) are on the move. Winter is here whether we like it or not and those hardy northern birds have decided it’s time to migrate. North winds and cool nights have caused an…

Less winter snow could spell disaster for snowshoe hares

Changing climate in the Canadian North will have a ripple effect for many species, study shows

Less winter snow could spell disaster for snowshoe haresWarmer winters with less snowfall could wreak havoc on snowshoe hare populations in the Canadian North – and the fallout has consequences for other wildlife such as lynx and coyotes, according to a new study by University of Alberta ecologists. “Our study shows that snowshoe hare survival is significantly reduced in shallow snow, particularly when…

Iqaluit and beyond, through snow and ice

Everyone was on high alert, and while the crew sailed and fretted, we watched the parading wildlife

Iqaluit and beyond, through snow and iceI left you last time off the coast of Baffin Island, where we shared the shore with polar bears and followed the tracks of early explorers. Let’s see what happened next on my 20-day journey northward. Nunavut was separated from the Northwest Territories in 1999, as a result of the enactment of the Nunavut Act…
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