When a new species is identified, its discoverer typically has the privilege of naming it. Hundreds of wildlife and plant species around the world are named for explorers, scientists, and celebrities. Species such as the Humboldt squid, Steller sea lion, Douglas fir, and Stasimopus mandelai, a species of South African spider named in honour of Nelson Mandela, are named for specific people. We talk about these species often but may not always… Read More
We often assume that if we convince people to care about wildlife they will support conservation. Of course, people are unlikely to support something they don’t feel personally attached to. Unfortunately, simply caring about wildlife does not always lead to positive conservation behaviour or support for policies. So the task is not only to make people care about wildlife but to do so in a way that will inspire them to take… Read More
When the naturalist and ornithologist George Ord formally named pronghorn in 1815, he was unsure whether the species was an antelope or a goat. In the journals of their famous expedition from 1804-1806, Lewis and Clark made over 200 references to what they described as “wild goats or antelopes”. Pronghorns are also featured in the petroglyphs and pictographs of Indigenous nations throughout the continent. Over the years, and perhaps serving as a… Read More
If you derive any enjoyment from the largely intact suite of wildlife that lives in North America, you have benefitted from wildlife researchers and the role that scientific research has played in North American conservation over the last century.
It is a generally accepted truth among hunters that heavy winters with deep snow are bad for deer, making it especially difficult for them to evade predators like wolves and coyotes. As I was looking for some recent science that might be interesting to hunters, I came across a new study about boreal woodland caribou that sheds some new light on the effects of snow depth and wolf predation on calf recruitment…. Read More
I have no real personal connection with wild sheep (Ovis spp.). I’ve never seen one, eaten one, and know relatively little about them. Perhaps because of this lack of opportunity to interact with them on some personal level, I’m somewhat fascinated by them. At least a part of this fascination has to do with some pretty remarkable life history, physical characteristics, and habits of the species. I’ve also been reading some pieces by Canadian biologist Valerius… Read More
I don’t believe that science is detached from the social, cultural, and political implications of the knowledge it produces; however, these posts are intended to specifically focus on recent updates in scientific knowledge concerning species that hunters might be interested in. In an effort to keep these posts focused and concise, therefore, this post is a two-parter. The research paper I’m talking about here relates to a hotly debated and highly emotive… Read More
As a hunter and outdoorsman, I’m fascinated by wildlife and ecology. Not surprisingly, I have a particular interest in understanding everything I can get my hands on about North American wildlife, especially those species that are also important table-fare in various communities. This first post may be somewhat removed from the regions and species many of us hunt, but I chose this story because it’s a species that is relevant to the areas I work… Read More