Summer is here, and with it comes camping and other activities that involve travelling inter-provincially or perhaps down into the United States. While you want to take the experience home with you, that should not include accidentally packing up a bat! Continue reading
It seems so simple, almost too simple, how effective are the clean, drain and dry actions in preventing the spread of whirling disease and invasive species?
From oars to inner tubes and flippers to waders, any gear used in water can spread whirling disease or invasive species. By their very nature, aquatic diseases like whirling disease have qualities that allow them to spread and survive adverse conditions. For example, the whirling disease parasite is microscopic and survives in the environment up to 30 years. Whirling disease impacts fish populations, in the Western United States whirling disease caused up to 90% declines in wild fish populations.
The Clean, Drain and Dry practices provide simple and effective direction on how to prevent the spread of whirling disease and aquatic invasive species. Continue reading
Albertans are eager to get outside and shake off the memory of a long, cold winter. But before you pack up the tent, load the kids and dog into your family vehicle and hit the road for a memorable long weekend adventure, here are a few friendly tips and reminders to keep in mind.
Nature is unpredictable, and your equipment can unexpectedly fail, so planning ahead is the key to an enjoyable and memorable experience.
Although spring was slow to arrive this year, yacht to know the aquatic invasive species team has already sprung into action in fight against aquatic invasive species! The mandatory inspection stations have started this year’s search for invasive species on watercraft entering Alberta and have already found the first mussels of 2018 on a sailboat headed for Ghost Lake. When canoe expect all of the stations to be open? They will all have their flashlights out to put a spotlight on these invasive hitchhikers by the end of May, so expect to be inspected!
Robert Thirsk High School has brought its foods program to life thanks to a student with a passion for stewardship, a hands-on natural sciences program and an application to Alberta Environment and Parks Climate and Environment Student Action Challenge. Continue reading
Meet Kikki, a gyrfalcon biologists found injured in a field near Beaumont on April 1, 2016.
One year after she was found, Kikki was released back to the wild thanks to the work of Steve Schwartze, who worked with the falcon to get it to peak physical fitness before releasing it in March 2017.
“To hunt successfully, a bird of prey needs to be firing on all 12 cylinders,” Provincial Wildlife Status Biologist Gordon Court says. “And this is why when injured falcons are helped by wildlife rescue organizations, there can be a lot of work to be done before they can be released back into the wild.”
If you’ve been thinking of upgrading to energy efficient products around your home, now is the time to do it. The Residential Retail Products Program provides instant savings on items like programmable thermostats, water saving devices, and smart power bars – giving Albertans another way to save money and make their homes more comfortable.
This is one part of a suite of Energy Efficiency Alberta programs that help Albertans improve their home’s energy efficiency to reduce both their energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions.
This energy and cost savings program is funded in part by the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada.
The campaign starts April 5 and instant savings will be available at hundreds of participating stores across Alberta. To find a location near you and for details on eligible products and related information visit www.efficiencyalberta.ca.
Swooping, spiraling, diving and whirling. Seeing the graceful movement of a hawk on the hunt, you can start to understand why they are compared to Olympic athletes and why there is still an immense interest in falconry.
“Falconry is recognized by the United Nations as a World Heritage Activity. It’s been practiced for 4,000 years. And while it’s not widely celebrated here in Alberta, there is a global tradition of hunting with birds of prey,” Provincial Wildlife Status Biologist Gordon Court says. “While some people in Alberta would like to own a falcon, it’s strictly regulated and you must hunt with them. It takes a lot of work to look after one of these birds – that’s probably why there are fewer than 40 people in Alberta who are licensed to do so.”
Sloughs, potholes and marshes, oh my! The names may bring back happy memories growing up on the farm, less happy memories of itchy bug bites or perhaps you haven’t thought about wetlands since grade 5. In Alberta, wetlands are grouped into five classes; bog, fen, marsh, swamp and shallow-open water. While they are sometimes thought of as a lightweight player in the world of water, these underestimated water-features do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to a healthy environment.
Small, short-beaked, and ubiquitous, it’s easy to overlook the unpretentious sparrow.
Blending into their environments with dun-coloured plumage, these small seed-eating birds are found on every continent other than Antarctica, and live in almost every human city. Because they are so small and easy to overlook, their diversity and importance to an ecosystem can be missed – and in some parts of the globe, they’re disappearing. Which is why March 20 has been designated World Sparrow Day.
In Alberta alone, there are more than 20 different species of new-world sparrows, from Nelson’s sharp-tailed sparrow to the common white-throated sparrow – one of the most recognizable sparrows in the backyards and parks of our cities. Continue reading