Alberta grizzly bear shooting sparks debate on safety

High Prairie, Alta. — The shooting of a grizzly bear preying on cattle in the Peace district has re-ignited the debate over how far ranchers can go to protect themselves and their livestock. Leroy Scott Peats of the Whitemud Provincial Grazing Reserve near Dixonville, Alta., has been charged for allegedly shooting a female grizzly and […] Read more

B.C. Livestock Protection Program praised

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — The Livestock Protection Program that the British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association launched last spring has the support of the province’s ranchers. “It’s a good program and a necessity,” said Ian Mitchell, who ranches in the North Thompson area. “I don’t remember my parents talking about wolf problems around the kitchen table 30 years […] Read more

Ottawa research farm under threat

OTTAWA — Ottawa author Richard Hinchcliff has been a friend of his city’s Central Experimental Farm for most of his adult life. “The crop research done there is important right across the country,” he says. “The research is still of great practical benefit, including cereal and oilseeds.” Besides the historic farm buildings, public spaces include […] Read more

Ranchers worry about returning bison to Banff

The major concern is that Plains bison established in Banff National Park will get out of the park and spread disease to cattle

LETHBRIDGE — A plan to release bison into Banff National Park next year has beef producers worried the great beasts could roam further than the park gates. Thirty to 50 Plains bison from Elk Island National Park near Edmonton are moving to Banff, where they will be located on the northeast side of the Cascade […] Read more

Listening to rhythms of the Earth

Researcher plants hundreds of microphones to eavesdrop on animal activity and other interactions in the environment

An Alberta researcher is listening for climate change. However, instead of standing beside a field in the hopes of seeing and hearing a bird, Erin Bayne has mounted hundreds of computerized microphones around Alberta to listen to wildlife year round. “There are all kinds of animals that make sounds at all times of the year. […] Read more

Power lines form ‘gauntlet’ for birds: biologist

Biologists are particularly concerned about a new line that is just about ready to be activated near a popular Alberta lake

Bird watchers flock to Frank Lake to observe some of the 194 different birds species that have been identified there. The lake, six kilometres east of High River, Alta., is one of the 597 designated important bird areas of Canada, and at this time of year is a staging site for migrating trumpeter and tundra […] Read more

Wolf culling test in Sask. produces few results

Despite demands from cattle producers to kill wolves to protect cattle, studies show it doesn’t always work

About six weeks are left in a wolf pilot project in northeastern Saskatchewan to determine if culling will reduce livestock losses. So far, the results aren’t positive. “Some of the objectives are to actually find out whether a project of this sort works,” said Mike Gollop of the province’s environment ministry. The fur and problem […] Read more

Groups want return of wild buffalo

It is said that buffalo herds on North America’s Great Plains were once so large that it could take seven hours for one of them to pass. Today there are about 20,000 wild buffalo, but a multi-nation treaty signed by Canadian and U.S. Indian bands last month affirms First Nations’ desire to restore free-range buffalo […] Read more

Ask BirdGenie app who sings that song

Help for novice bird watchers | App records bird’s song and gives three likely answers

When birder Charlotte Wasylik walks out of her house near Vermilion, Alta., she can identify almost all of the birds singing, squawking and tweeting around the farm. However, non-birders can only wish for Wasylik’s trained ear when they’re sitting in the backyard or walking through the bushes listening to the birds. There is help for […] Read more

Research reveals strong memory in hummingbirds

Mind muscle | Hummingbirds can recall feeder and flower locations

A hummingbird’s brain is 7,000 times smaller than that of a human, but the tiny, mighty bird can memorize flower locations, encode geometry and track the passage of time. Many humans can’t do as well. So says University of Lethbridge researcher Andy Hurly, who talked about the big brains and big memories of hummingbirds during […] Read more