Polar bear and her cub video


This video from Canada says about itself:

A Lucky Break for a Starving Polar Bear Mom and Her Cub

24 November 2016

Near Churchill, Manitoba, a polar bear mom and her cub stumble across a fish carcass washed up on the shore. After a long migration across the wilderness with very little food, this feels like a feast.

Many garter snakes mating, video


This video says about itself:

If You’re Scared of Snakes, Don’t Watch This

26 June 2014

Every year, thousands of snakes gather at the Narcisse Snake Dens in Manitoba, Canada. It’s billed as the largest gathering of snakes anywhere in the world. Manitoba’s climate and geology make it the perfect place for red-sided garter snakes to live and mate. It has become a tourist attraction, but it’s not for the faint of heart.

Canadian butterfly threatened


This video says about itself:

Rarer than a Panda – Researchers working to save endangered butterfly in Southeastern Manitoba

Jul 15, 2013

Researchers from both Canada and the United States are rushing to figure out why a small, brown and orange winged butterfly no bigger than a toonie is dying off quickly.

Listed as an endangered species in Manitoba in 2012 and listed nationally as threatened, the Poweshiek skipperling butterfly population has dropped dramatically throughout North America. In Canada, It is known to only inhabit 17 fields in southeastern Manitoba, primarily on the Nature Conservancy of Canada‘s Tall Grass Prairie Natural Area. In the United States, the closest population appears only in a handful of sites in Iowa and North Dakota.

Researchers from the University of Winnipeg, Minnesota Zoo and University of Michigan are now just outside of Winnipeg performing valuable research on this declining species. Since the adult butterfly is active for only two to three weeks, researchers are using this critical time to collect information on the Poweshiek skipperling’s genetics and genetic diversity to save this important critter from extinction.

By Chinta Puxley, The Canadian Press:

Researchers work to save endangered prairie butterfly; only a few hundred left

July 15, 2013

WINNIPEG – A once-common prairie butterfly is being called a “canary in a coal mine” because of a rapid decline that is prompting researchers from Canada and the United States to try to save it.

The little brown butterflies, known as poweshiek skipperlings, were once so plentiful that researchers didn’t even bother to count them. Now there are fewer than 200 left in Canada, most of them in Manitoba.

Cary Hamel with the Nature Conservancy of Canada said the butterfly’s rapid decline is a sign that the prairie grass ecosystem is at risk.

“Butterflies are a bit of a canary in a coal mine. They’re really sensitive to changes in weather. They’re sensitive to changes in habitat loss. They’re sensitive to invasive species and land management,” Hamel said.

“The fact that the poweshiek skipperling and other prairie butterflies are all declining should really have us stand up and take notice that something is going wrong with our native prairies.”

Since the butterfly is primarily found on land owned or managed by the conservancy, the organization is doing all it can to ensure the creature’s survival, Hamel said. It has partnered with researchers at the University of Winnipeg, the University of Michigan and the Minnesota Zoo to keep the fluttery creature alive.

Richard Westwood, professor of environmental science and studies with the University of Winnipeg, said the poweshiek skipperling once would have thrived from Canada all the way down to Texas — just like the original tall grass prairie.

But that habitat has shrunk dramatically.

“The tall grass prairie is probably the most threatened ecosystem in North America. There is only about one per cent of it left,” Westwood said.

“(The butterfly is) being confined to these very, very small remnants in comparison with the vast areas of prairie that used to exist before.”

Making matters worse, the poweshiek skipperling is a bit of a “homebody” and can’t travel to a different part of the ecosystem if it is threatened, Westwood said.

“If you have something catastrophic happen to that particular prairie — it gets farmed or grazed too heavily or wildfire comes along and destroys the habitat or wipes out the species — it’s pretty well finished in that particular area,” he said. “You don’t get movement between these isolated areas.”

Westwood said researchers are cautiously optimistic the species can be saved with the right mixture of education and intervention. Some farming practices and wildfires that are particularly devastating to the species could be prevented.

As a kind of insurance policy, the Minnesota Zoo has collected eggs from some of the females and will be hatching them in a controlled setting. Erik Runquist, butterfly conservation biologist with the zoo, said the goal is to breed a stable population before eventually reintroducing the insects into the wild.

The butterflies are very vulnerable and have been particularly battered by poor weather this year, Runquist said. The zoo wants to help kickstart the population by treating the butterflies like any other endangered species, he said.

“If you think of tigers, there are only 3,500 wild tigers in the world. Most of the tigers that are in zoos are part of a managed, co-operative breeding program focused on maintaining large, genetically robust populations.

“We want to do the same thing with the butterflies.”

Canadian wildlife victory against Big Oil


This video says about itself:

This is a video of a snowy owl being released at Oak Hammock Marsh in Manitoba, Canada. He was brought to the Praire Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre where we were able to take care of him and eventually release him.

From Wildlife Extra:

Canada protects endangered prairie from huge gas drilling plan

Prairie grasslands and species at risk – Government sets high bar for Suffield National Wildlife Area

December 2012. The Canadian Government has turned down a request from Canadian oil and gas giant Cenovus. A group of conservation bodies, known as the Suffield Coalition, have applauded the government’s decision to deny approval of Cenovus’ (previously EnCana) proposal to drill 1,275 natural gas wells and construct associated infrastructure in the Suffield National Wildlife Area (NWA).

Suffield National Wildlife Area

Suffield NWA was established in 2003 to protect endangered native prairie and the many species of animals and plants at risk in the area, including at least 15 federally listed species threatened with extinction. It’s home to at least 19 federally listed species at risk, including the burrowing owl, the loggerhead shrike, and Ord’s kangaroo rat.

‘Project would result in significant adverse effects on at risk’

The Canadian Government responded to the January 2009 recommendations of the Joint Review Panel that conducted an environmental review of Cenovus’ proposed expansion. It agreed with the Panel’s conclusion that the proposed project would result in significant adverse effects on certain species at risk and would interfere with the conservation of wildlife. This decision sets a high bar for protecting the integrity of this unique area of fragile native prairie.

“We are greatly encouraged by this decision,” says Sandra Foss, past-president of Nature Alberta. The groups will now turn their efforts to addressing the many existing environmental issues within the NWA. “This decision reinforces the conservation value of Canada’s NWAs,” says Nature Canada‘s manager of protected areas, Alex MacDonald, “and sets a great example of putting conservation first in the management of protected wild spaces.”

Because the NWA lies within Canadian Forces Base Suffield, the Department of Defense was delegated authority over the NWA when it was established under the Canada Wildlife Act. …

The Suffield Coalition comprises seven groups: Alberta Wilderness Association, Federation of Alberta Naturalists, World Wildlife Fund Canada, Nature Saskatchewan, Southern Alberta Group for the Environment, Grasslands Naturalists, and Nature Canada.