The theme of this year’s World Wetlands Day is biodiversity. As Australia’s bushfires rage on, the state of their biodiversity remains front-page news. Dr. Chris Dickman, a professor of ecology at the University of Sydney, assess the devastation and shares why he believes Australia is the canary in the coalmine for the rest of the world. Then, Canada’s own biodiversity expert, Dr. Kai Chan, helps us to understand what lessons Australia’s biodiversity challenges can teach us here at home.
Ducks Unlimited Canada CEO, Dr. Karla Guyn, talks wins and challenges in conservation, how conservation partnerships lead the way, and the vision to strengthen Canada’s conservation community.
In The Reeds host Jennifer Sanford is joined by the pod’s former host, Wayne MacPhail, as they celebrate the best and brightest moments of the year. Together, they open the vault to 20 previously aired episodes. Don’t miss the end, as Jennifer shares what inspires the spirit of the pod.
What to do about carbon is a major issue. But what do we actually know about carbon? And how can the wetlands, grasslands, and coastal area we conserve help? We’re talking Carbon 101 on this special edition of our In the Reeds podcast.
In this episode, we’re continuing our conversation on sea-level rise.
In Nova Scotia, the Acadian dykelands can no longer be maintained to the 2050 climate projections. The community must make critical decisions about dykeland maintenance and salt marsh restoration. But achieving a way forward will take community consensus – and concessions.
Our guest, Dr. Kate Sherren, is a researcher and professor at Dalhousie University. She studies the relationship between climate adaptation and public resistance in Atlantic Canada, especially in the face of climate-related changes, sea-level rise, and storm surge.
Everything in conservation is about risk. That’s why, when you hear us talk about conservation, we always start with what’s at stake.
A big risk to our landscape is the rising of sea levels – and thus here is part one of our two-part series on sea-level rise.
In this episode, Jennifer is joined by Globe and Mail journalist Matthew McClearn, author of Sea Change.
When the United Nations first ever biodiversity report was released in May, the results seemed pretty dire.
But there is no better guest to help us make sense of a way forward than Dr. Kai Chan. He was one of the report's authors and he joins our pod to help answer this question:
In the great debate of climate change, what will it take to change?
Abigail Derby Lewis marvels at monarchs and the perilous journey they make each year from Canada and the U.S. to Mexico and back.
She's the Senior Conservation Ecologist and Senior Program Manager, Chicago Region at the Field Museum's Keller Science Action Center. Abigail's also a science translator, she turns research knowledge into practical actions citizens can take to conserve nature.
And, Ms. Derby Lewis is also the first of a series of folks we'll be introducing you to who turned their passion for conservation in careers, creativity, and action in the community. Conservation of wetlands, of course, is near and dear to all of us at Ducks Unlimited Canada. But, we know we can’t tackle conservation alone and we’re happy to celebrate our fellow travellers.
Abigail became passionate about conservation when, as a nine-year-old girl she looked into the face of a zoo-keep silverback gorilla. She went on to study primates all over the world. But, these days she's making certain that Chicago provides migrating monarchs the vital milkweed they need to feed and reproduce.
I talk to her about the flight and plight of the monarchs, the role cities can play in providing those butterflies and other pollinators safe haven, and what you can do in your community to make certain that cities are habitable, not just for humans, but for the insects that are just passing through.
We begin this episode 40 miles above the fertile fields of Alberta. From up here the rectilinear hashmarks of crop boundaries are pocked and dented by darker, irregular patterns, like raindrops pooling on a patio table. Those are pothole wetlands left behind by the scraping and gouging of the receding Wisconsin glaciation thousands of years ago. These days you’ll find these watery basins, often as many as 40 per square kilometre, all over the prairies in Canada and the U.S. But, when the glaciers receded their were many, many more of them, millions of them. They became an essential habitat for hundreds of plant, animal and insect species - especially at their margins. But in the last century humans have managed destroy a lot of those formerly abundant wetlands. In some places 70 per cent are already gone. Those that remain are often sometimes precariously surrounded by vast fields of canola, wheat or barley.
In previous podcasts we’ve talked about the importance of those wetlands to waterfowl, for flood and drought protection, as natural water filters and as environments that increase our general health and sense of well-being.
But, in this episode we’re going to explore another advantage of prairie potholes. To do that, we need to get a lot closer to the ground.
Down there, a few feet about the heart of a wetland we’re in insect territory. Thousands of species of bees, flies, spiders and beetles make their homes in hollows, holes and native grasses. And many of those insects are pollinators. Others are predators that could make a light lunch out of other insects that attack the crops that surround the wetland.
So, could the insects this wetland husbands be of service to the surrounding crops? In other words, could pollination and pest control be another advantage of keeping wetlands around?
To find out I talked with Paul Galpern, a Landscape ecologist at the University of Calgary.