News Article | April 27, 2017
Paleontologists at the University of Toronto (U of T) and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) have uncovered a new fossil species that sheds light on the origin of mandibulates, the most abundant and diverse group of organisms on Earth, to which belong familiar animals such as flies, ants, crayfish and centipedes. The finding was announced in a study published today in Nature. The creature, named Tokummia katalepsis by the researchers, is a new and exceptionally well-preserved fossilized arthropod - a ubiquitous group of invertebrate animals with segmented limbs and hardened exoskeletons. Tokummia documents for the first time in detail the anatomy of early "mandibulates," a hyperdiverse sub-group of arthropods which possess a pair of specialized appendages known as mandibles, used to grasp, crush and cut their food. Mandibulates include millions of species and represent one of the greatest evolutionary and ecological success stories of life on Earth. "In spite of their colossal diversity today, the origin of mandibulates had largely remained a mystery," said Cédric Aria, lead author of the study and recent graduate of the PhD program in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at U of T, now working as a post-doctoral researcher at the Nanjing Institute for Geology and Palaeontology, in China. "Before now we've had only sparse hints at what the first arthropods with mandibles could have looked like, and no idea of what could have been the other key characteristics that triggered the unrivaled diversification of that group." Tokummia lived in a tropical sea teeming with life and was among the largest Cambrian predators, exceeding 10 cm in length fully extended. An occasional swimmer, the researchers conclude its robust anterior legs made it a preferred bottom-dweller, as lobsters or mantis shrimps today. Specimens come from 507-million-year-old sedimentary rocks near Marble Canyon in Kootenay national park, British Columbia. Most specimens at the basis of this study were collected during extensive ROM-led fieldwork activities in 2014. "This spectacular new predator, one of the largest and best preserved soft-bodied arthropods from Marble Canyon, joins the ranks of many unusual marine creatures that lived during the Cambrian Explosion, a period of rapid evolutionary change starting about half a billion years ago when most major animal groups first emerged in the fossil record," said co-author Jean-Bernard Caron, senior curator of invertebrate paleontology at the ROM and an associate professor in the Departments of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Earth Sciences at U of T. Analysis of several fossil specimens, following careful mechanical preparation and photographic work at the ROM, showed that Tokummia sported broad serrated mandibles as well as large but specialized anterior claws, called maxillipeds, which are typical features of modern mandibulates. "The pincers of Tokummia are large, yet also delicate and complex, reminding us of the shape of a can opener, with their couple of terminal teeth on one claw, and the other claw being curved towards them," said Aria. "But we think they might have been too fragile to be handling shelly animals, and might have been better adapted to the capture of sizable soft prey items, perhaps hiding away in mud. Once torn apart by the spiny limb bases under the trunk, the mandibles would have served as a revolutionary tool to cut the flesh into small, easily digestible pieces." The body of Tokummia is made of more than 50 small segments covered by a broad two-piece shell-like structure called a bivalved carapace. Importantly, the animal bears subdivided limb bases with tiny projections called endites, which can be found in the larvae of certain crustaceans and are now thought to have been critical innovations for the evolution of the various legs of mandibulates, and even for the mandibles themselves. The many-segmented body is otherwise reminiscent of myriapods, a group that includes centipedes, millipedes, and their relatives. "Tokummia also lacks the typical second antenna found in crustaceans, which illustrates a very surprising convergence with such terrestrial mandibulates," said Aria. The study also resolves the affinities of other emblematic fossils from Canada's Burgess Shale more than a hundred years after their discovery. "Our study suggests that a number of other Burgess Shale fossils such as Branchiocaris, Canadaspis and Odaraia form with Tokummia a group of crustacean-like arthropods that we can now place at the base of all mandibulates," said Aria. The animal was named after Tokumm Creek, which flows through Marble Canyon in northern Kootenay National Park, and the Greek for "seizing." The Marble Canyon fossil deposit was first discovered in 2012 during prospection work led by the Royal Ontario Museum and is part of the Burgess Shale fossil deposit, which extends to the north into Yoho National Park in the Canadian Rockies. All specimens are held in the collections of the Royal Ontario Museum on behalf of Parks Canada. The Burgess Shale fossil sites are located within Yoho and Kootenay national parks in British Columbia. The Burgess Shale was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. Parks Canada is proud to protect these globally significant paleontological sites, and to work with leading scientific researchers to expand knowledge and understanding of this key period of earth history. New information from ongoing scientific research is continually incorporated into Parks Canada's Burgess Shale education and interpretation programs, which include guided hikes to these outstanding fossil sites.
News Article | April 18, 2017
BANFF, Alberta, April 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sunshine Village Ski Resort has unveiled seven very reasonable parking expansion options and is asking for Canadians to urge Ottawa politicians to engage with Parks Canada so that visitors are not denied access to the national park. Within the first few days of launching, hundreds of Canadians have used a special website – Sunshineparkingsolution.com – to email Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna expressing discontent at the Parks Canada plan to deny parking (starting November, 2017) on the access road where up to 800 vehicles have parked without incident for more than 40 years on busy days. The progressive satellite parking solutions are detailed on the website, which also includes an easy-to-use process to send emails to Ottawa asking senior politicians to intervene and demand Parks Canada to work collaboratively with Sunshine to create long-term parking solutions. “We have worked for years with respected environmental consultants to propose reasonable parking expansion proposals, all 7 of which have been turned down by Parks Canada without valid reason,” said Dave Riley, the resort’s Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President. “We are shocked that Parks Canada would attempt to take access road parking away from our visitors without first implementing a reasonable alternative.” The resort’s leasehold occupies less than two one/thousandth of Banff National Park or 3,358 acres of the park’s more than 1.6 million acres. The Lake Louise and Marmot Basin ski resorts in the mountain national parks continue to be allowed to park guests on their access roads. This Parks Canada plan discriminates against Sunshine Village. Mr. Riley noted Sunshine Village implements advanced training and safety precautions on the access road and fully protects Parks Canada by indemnifying them in the lease and naming them on its insurance policy. In over 40 years of parking on the access road, there has never been an injury accident. “The real story here is that Canadians are having their access taken away and that is not acceptable with the public,” added Mr. Riley. “It is contradictory and a terrible decision that Parks Canada would be waiving the Parks gate fee for 2017 while simultaneously threatening to eliminate existing parking on the Sunshine Access Road.” Sunshine urges everyone to go to www.sunshineparkingsolution.com to learn the facts and voice support for a solution. Sunshine Village Ski Resort Sunshine Village, close to the town of Banff, provides skiers and boarders with 12-lifts including eight modern high-speed quad chairs, the most in the Canadian Rockies, and is home to Canada’s first heated chairlift, Teepee Town LX. Stay slope-side at Banff’s only ski-in ski-out hotel and experience 3,300 acres of terrain over three mountains in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia along the Continental Divide. Sunshine Village has Canada’s longest non-glacial ski season, open from November to late May. For more information visit www.skibanff.com.
News Article | April 26, 2017
"Bison calves have been born in Alberta's Banff National Park for the first time in 140 years, Parks Canada officials said on Tuesday, marking a milestone in attempts to reintroduce a wild herd to the area. Conservation officers said three calves had been born since Saturday in the remote Panther Valley on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains and that seven more were expected, the first such births in almost a century and a half in the area now making up the park. Western Alberta is dealing with unseasonably cold spring weather, but Bill Hunt, resource conservation manager for Banff National Park, said the calves were well-equipped to deal with harsh conditions."
News Article | May 1, 2017
A proposed trail linking Banff and Jasper is being criticized for potential environmental damage. Never mind the thousands of cars that travel the same route each day. Parks Canada has come up with a fantastic idea that will make every cyclist’s heart leap for joy. It has proposed a paved cycling trail that would follow the route of the spectacular Icefields Parkway linking Jasper National Park in the north to Lake Louise and Banff in the south. Such a trail would allow cyclists (and hikers) to get off the shoulder of a very busy highway, full of gawking tourists cruising in oversized RVs, and into a safer space of their own. The proposed cycling trail is three meters (10 ft.) wide and would follow the route of the Parkway, set back about 20-30 meters (65 to 100 ft.) from the highway itself, buffered by trees. It’s said that 99.99 percent of Jasper National Park would be unaffected by the trail. As you can see in the diagram below, there’s not much deviation from the highway. Alas, some people strongly oppose the creation of such a trail. Alison Ronson of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society worries that a trail would be disruptive to sensitive habitat and wildlife populations, and that it could lead to unpleasant run-ins with grizzly bears – “meals on wheels,” her organization has called it. She questions Parks Canada’s idea that the trail will be used by young families pushing strollers, rollerbladers, and recent immigrants, telling CBC radio host Anna-Maria Tremonti today, “The reality is that the mountainous environment is not conducive to that kind of activity.” I couldn’t disagree more. Just because Ronson may not be comfortable navigating hilly terrain does not mean other people feel the same. I traveled through the Canadian Rockies last summer with three young children in tow, including a baby. I hauled those kids up Banff’s Sulphur Mountain on foot – a three-hour, 5.5-kilometer hike uphill. If they can handle that, they can certainly handle a paved hiking trail. Ronson’s concerns about surprise grizzly encounters are fair, but lose their potency when compared to the dangers posed by vehicles traveling at highway speeds. Personally, I’d rather meet a grizzly head-on than a barreling RV. Her solution? Widen the shoulder – but that hardly provides the kind of protection that cyclists need and deserve. (One can assume that Ronson does not often cycle alongside busy highways, because it’s a terrifying experience and one that even avid cyclists, like Edmund Aunger, urge people to avoid at all costs.) What’s puzzling is that opposition to this trail seems rooted in the idea that it’s disruptive to nature, and yet nobody is questioning the damage caused by the 3,200+ vehicles driving along the Parkway every day in the summer. It seems a no-brainer to improve transportation infrastructure for non-motorized travelers, particularly in national parks where getting out of vehicles, keeping the air clean, and interacting with nature and wildlife as gently as possible should be the ultimate goal. A bike path has potential to reduce the number of cars traveling through the park, because many hikers and cyclists whose dream is to visit the Icefields Parkway would now have a way to do so safely, which currently does not exist. © K Martinko -- Parking lot at the Athabasca Glacier, early in the morning. It had filled up significantly by the time I left. The amount of car traffic is overwhelming. If park preservation is supposedly a top priority, here’s a radical suggestion: Take motorized vehicles off the Icefields Parkway entirely and open it up to travelers generating their own power (or public transportation that limits numbers of travelers). The sensitive wildlife habitats would certainly be thankful for that. In the meantime, let’s stop punishing travelers who do not wish to conform to the gas-guzzling status quo and have every right to experience Canada’s mountain beauty without polluting it in the process.
News Article | April 25, 2017
CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Bison calves have been born in Alberta's Banff National Park for the first time in 140 years, Parks Canada officials said on Tuesday, marking a milestone in attempts to reintroduce a wild herd to the area.
News Article | April 17, 2017
IMAGE: A close-up view of the ice-walled canyon at the terminus of the Kaskawulsh Glacier, with recently collapsed ice blocks. This canyon now carries almost all meltwater from the toe of... view more The massive Kaskawulsh Glacier in northern Canada has retreated about a mile up its valley over the past century. Last spring, its retreat triggered a geologic event at relatively breakneck speed. The toe of ice that was sending meltwater toward the Slims River and then north to the Bering Sea retreated so far that the water changed course, joining the Kaskawulsh River and flowing south toward the Gulf of Alaska. This capture of one river's flow by another, documented in a study led by the University of Washington Tacoma and published April 17 in Nature Geoscience, is the first known case of "river piracy" in modern times. "Geologists have seen river piracy, but nobody to our knowledge has documented it happening in our lifetimes," said lead author Dan Shugar, a geoscientist at the University of Washington Tacoma. "People had looked at the geological record -- thousands or millions of years ago -- not the 21st century, where it's happening under our noses." River piracy, also known as stream capture, can happen due to tectonic motion of Earth's crust, landslides, erosion or, in this case, changes in a glacial dam. The new study documents one of the less-anticipated shifts that can occur in a changing climate. Shugar and co-authors Jim Best at the University of Illinois and John Clague at Canada's Simon Fraser University had planned fieldwork last summer on the Slims River, a geologically active system that feeds Kluane Lake in the Yukon. When they arrived in August, the river was not flowing. River gauges show an abrupt drop over four days from May 26 to 29, 2016. By late summer, "there was barely any flow whatsoever. It was essentially a long, skinny lake," Shugar said. "The water was somewhat treacherous to approach, because you're walking on these old river sediments that were really goopy and would suck you in. And day by day we could see the water level dropping." The research team puzzled about what to do next. They got permission to use their mapping drone to create a detailed elevation model of the glacier tongue and headwater region. The resulting paper is a geological postmortem of the river's disappearance. "For the last 300 years, Slims River flowed out to the Bering Sea, and the smaller Kaskawulsh River flowed to the Gulf of Alaska. What we found was the glacial lake that fed Slims River had actually changed its outlet," Shugar said. "A 30-meter (100-foot) canyon had been carved through the terminus of the glacier. Meltwater was flowing through that canyon from one lake into another glacial lake, almost like when you see champagne poured into glasses that are stacked in a pyramid." That second lake drains via the Kaskawulsh River in a different direction than the first. The situation is fairly unique, Shugar said, since the glacier's toe was sitting on a geologic divide. Clague began studying this glacier years ago for the Geological Survey of Canada. He observed that Kluane Lake, which is Yukon's largest lake, had changed its water level by about 40 feet (12 meters) a few centuries ago. He concluded that the Slims River that feeds it had appeared as the glacier advanced, and a decade ago predicted the river would disappear again as the glacier retreated. "The event is a bit idiosyncratic, given the peculiar geographic situation in which it happened, but in a broader sense it highlights the huge changes that glaciers are undergoing around the world due to climate change," Clague said. The geologic event has redrawn the local landscape. Slims River crosses the Alaska Highway, and its banks were a popular hiking route. Now that the riverbed is exposed, Dall sheep from Kluane National Park are making their way down to eat the fresh vegetation, venturing into territory where they can legally be hunted. With less water flowing in, Kluane Lake did not refill last spring, and by summer 2016 was about 3 feet (1 meter) lower than ever recorded for that time of year. Waterfront land, which includes the small communities of Burwash Landing and Destruction Bay, is now farther from shore. As the lake level continues to drop researchers expect this will become an isolated lake cut off from any outflow. On the other hand, the Alsek River, a popular whitewater rafting river that is a UNESCO world heritage site, was running higher last summer due to the addition of the Slims River's water. Shifts in sediment transport, lake chemistry, fish populations, wildlife behavior and other factors will continue to occur as the ecosystem adjusts to the new reality, Shugar said. "So far, a lot of the scientific work surrounding glaciers and climate change has been focused on sea-level rise," Shugar said. "Our study shows there may be other underappreciated, unanticipated effects of glacial retreat." The Kaskawulsh Glacier is retreating up the valley because of both readjustment after a cold period centuries ago, known as the Little Ice Age, and warming due to greenhouse gases. A technique published in 2016 by UW co-author Gerard Roe shows a 99.5 percent probability that this glacier's retreat is showing the effects of modern climate change. "I always point out to climate-change skeptics that Earth's glaciers are becoming markedly smaller, and that can only happen in a warming climate," Clague said. Other co-authors are Christian Schoof at the University of British Columbia, Michael Willis at the University of Colorado and Luke Copland at the University of Ottawa. The study was funded by the University of Washington Royalty Research Fund, Parks Canada, Yukon Geological Survey, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the University of Ottawa and the University of Illinois. For more information, contact Shugar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-692-4926 or Clague at email@example.com or 778-782-4924.
News Article | May 1, 2017
SAINT-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU, Quebec, May 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Beginning today, Logistik Unicorp will embark on a cross-country Canadian supplier tour in support of its offering for the government’s upcoming Operational Clothing and Footwear Consolidated Contract (OCFC2). The tour, scheduled to run from May 1 - 5, will include stops in major manufacturing hubs including Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal. Logistik is hoping to meet with more than 100 clothing and textile companies from across the country to expand its Canadian supplier base and in turn build a strong value proposition for the impending one-billion-dollar government contract. “This supplier tour represents an important step in expanding and strengthening Logistik’s Canadian supply chain. Maintaining a strong domestic economy and a healthy textile sector are both important strategic objectives for OCFC2,” said Louis Bibeau, founder and president of Logistik Unicorp. Logistik is working closely with Canada’s federal regional economic development agencies to organize the regional events and facilitate meetings with a wide range of companies. Each regional agency is working to leverage OCFC2 and the Department of National Defence’s requirement for a new and more efficient managed clothing solution, to bring new opportunities to the clothing and textile companies operating in their respective regions. “When we’re finished building our team, I am confident that Logistik’s offering will drive superior benefits to all parts of Canada, coast-to-coast,” added Mr. Bibeau. “Logistik’s managed clothing solution for OCFC2 will not only create new, long-term jobs in Canada, it will support sustainable growth efforts for the sector with a focus on product development, innovation and export.” Interested suppliers that are unable to meet with Logistik during the week-long tour are encouraged to register on the team’s new supplier registration page at: www.OCFC2.com. Canada’s leader in managed clothing solutions, Logistik Unicorp is a privately owned company headquartered in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. In Canada alone, Logistik supplies high-quality, innovative and functional garments to over 300,000 individual users in a wide variety of government and corporate organizations such as the Canada Border Services Agency, Canada Post, Correctional Service Canada, Parks Canada and the Department of National Defence (DND). Logistik’s managed services method consists of providing the complete range of program activities tailored directly to their clients’ needs: R&D, design, production, sub-contracting, procurement, quality assurance, secure warehousing and distribution. Personalized account management and customized information technology solutions further enhance Logistik’s offering. With subsidiaries in Germany, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, New Zealand, and Vietnam, Logistik also exports to customers around the world. More information about Logistik is available at: www.logistikunicorp.com.
News Article | May 24, 2017
Unique to this year, Canada Place will host a celebration for Multiculturalism Day and a two-day Canada Day event VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - May 24, 2017) - Canada Place at the Port of Vancouver announced today that its year-long celebrations for Canada 150 will include a new event to recognize Multiculturalism Day. In addition, this year's Canada Day event will span across two days for the first time. Canada Place, in partnership with the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Port of Vancouver, will present UNITE! on June 27 on the North Point. UNITE! will feature Juno and Latin Grammy award winner Alex Cuba, along with Canadian world music group, Delhi2Dublin, as co-headliners. To celebrate Canada's many communities and cultures, the stage will feature world-class dancers and drummers throughout the day, and attendees will have the opportunity to participate in workshops and interactive experiences around the site. Canada Place will also present a National Aboriginal celebration featuring Crystal Shawanda on June 17th, and Fête Francophone on June 24, honouring Francophone culture. "We have an incredible line-up of free events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of our country's Confederation," said Gillian Behnke, community relations and communications manager at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. "With our expanded Canada Day at Canada Place celebrations, we are thrilled to offer so many activities this year for our community to come together and recognize the sesquicentennial." The Canada Day at Canada Place festivities will feature five performance stages on July 1 starring headliner and rock singer-songwriter Sam Roberts, alongside Fefe Dobson, Hey Ocean!, Dragonette, Emerson Drive, Madeline Merlo and The Matinee, among others. Free and family-friendly programming will include a citizenship ceremony welcoming 150 new Canadians, a Kids' Zone and a fireworks show on July 1, as well as a pancake breakfast and the Canada 150 Parade in Vancouver on July 2. "As we mark Canada 150, this year's celebrations are going to be more exciting than ever," said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. "Canada Day and Canadian Multiculturalism Day in Vancouver will be excellent opportunities for Canadians to celebrate our country, our values and our diversity. I invite Vancouverites and visitors alike to join in the festivities and show the world everything that makes our country special during this once-in-a-lifetime anniversary." "Canada 150 provides Canadians with a chance to celebrate important parts of our country's rich history and heritage, such as our diversity and our commitment to democracy, equality and mutual respect," said the Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament (Vancouver Centre). "It will be a year to remember, so let's join our friends and neighbours this June and July to celebrate everything that makes this country great!" Following Canada Day, Canada Place will launch its summer series of free programming at the newly renovated North Point of the facility, including Monday evening Zumba® classes, Waterfront Cinema on Thursday nights and Picnics on the Point each Friday. The Canada150 at Canada Place events are presented by Port of Vancouver and made possible thanks to the generous support of partners including CIBC, Canadian Forces, Coast Capital Savings, Hong Kong Airlines, Safeway, TD, Air North, Vancouver Convention Centre, Westpark, Seaspan, City of Vancouver, West Vancouver, Parks Canada, Steam Whistle Brewing, Vancouver Sun, Vancouver 24 Hrs, Global BC, Rock 101, CKNW, CFOX, CTV, QMFM, Virgin, CBC/Radio-Canada, 937 JRfm, The Peak, OMNI and CHMB. For additional information on the Canada 150 celebrations visit: www.canadaplace.ca. Canada Place at the Port of Vancouver is an internationally-recognized landmark and venue for world-class events and inspirationally Canadian experiences. For the last 31 years Canada Place has served as a hub for national celebrations, including National Aboriginal Day and Canada Day at Canada Place. Canada Place is also homeport to the Vancouver-Alaska cruises, and houses Vancouver Convention Centre East, Pan Pacific Hotel, FlyOver Canada, World Trade Centre and WestPark. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority manages the Port of Vancouver and is the owner and operator of the Canada Place.
News Article | May 24, 2017
Spilled grain, rail-killed ungulates, and the effects on other species of increased light and warmth may all attract grizzly bears to forage along railways in Canada's mountain parks, which could increase their risk of being hit by trains, according to a study published May 24, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Maureen Murray from the University of Alberta, Canada, and colleagues. Trains frequently kill wildlife along railways worldwide but little is known about what attracts animals to the rail area. Potential attractants include agricultural products that leak from train cars, vegetation that benefits from light and disturbance, and scavenging opportunities from rail-killed animals. To assess these effects, collaborators in Canada's Banff and Yoho National Parks fitted 21 bears with GPS collars. The U of A team then measured stable isotopes and analyzed 230 grizzly bear scats collected over three years, some of which could be attributed to GPS-collared bears. Isotope analyses focused on 15N, which reflects dietary animal protein and 34S, which showed an increased amount of railway vegetation for rail-using bears in a previous study. The researchers found that 19 of the 21 collared bears used the tracks at least once while collared, but only four used it more than a fifth of the days they were monitored. Unexpectedly, the isotopes of nitrogen and sulfur did not vary with amount of rail use, but 15N increased with body mass in male bears and scats containing sulfur pellets also contained grain. Scats found within 150 m of the rail were six times more likely to contain nutrient-rich grains, including wheat, barley, canola seeds, and lentils. Scats near the rail also contained more ant parts and ungulate hair, while scats containing grain also contained a greater diversity of both plants and animals. Colleen Cassady St. Clair, PI of the study, said she was surprised by the large variation among bears in rail use and the apparent diversity of their foraging targets. "We could attribute scats containing grain to only four of the GPS-collared bears; three skinny teenagers plus the biggest, most dominant male bear." To reduce the risk of trains killing the bears, the researchers recommend that managers continue to remove grain and ungulate carcasses from the railway, reduce grain spills from trains, and target mitigation on the specific bears and locations that generate high rates of rail-based foraging. In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS ONE: http://journals. Citation: Murray MH, Fassina S, Hopkins JB III, Whittington J, St. Clair CC (2017) Seasonal and individual variation in the use of rail-associated food attractants by grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in a national park. PLoS ONE 12(5): e0175658. https:/ Funding: We are grateful for funding to conduct this project from the Joint Initiative for Grizzly Bear Conservation by Parks Canada and Canadian Pacific and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, grant number File CRDPJ 441928 - 12, url: http://www. . The funders had no role in study design, data analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript, but Parks Canada provided the hair samples used for the SIA analysis. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
News Article | May 12, 2017
Discovering Biodiversity Even at the Heart of the Nation's Capital OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - May 12, 2017) - Next May 16, right at Parliament Hill itself, comes the launch of a new cross-Canada initiative, BioBlitz Canada 150, one of the Canada 150 Signature Projects. Coordinated by the Canadian Wildlife Federation and more than 60 partner organizations, this series of BioBlitz events will reach thousands of Canadians from sea to sea to sea in a celebration of our wild natural heritage. The launch will take a "nature selfie" of the Hill, outdoors, in habitat that lives on at this historic site. A select all-party squad of parliamentarians, some of whom are accomplished scientists in their own right, will team up with expert naturalists and head out to demonstrate what a BioBlitz is. Before media representatives and a film crew, they will have 45 minutes to survey a section along the base of the wooded slopes and the riverside, in a friendly race to list all the living species they can see, hear or reach. "This fascinating project will help us raise our environmental awareness," said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. "Let's take this opportunity to celebrate Canada 150 by connecting with Canada's natural beauty and learning more about Canada's wild species -- a priceless resource." "BioBlitz Canada 150 calls all citizens to be citizen-scientists this year," added Rick Bates, CEO of the Canadian Wildlife Federation. "Canadians, like our parliamentarians, range from very expert to just getting to know our wildlife better. But everyone can truly contribute real scientific knowledge in 2017 for the future of Canada's natural heritage." Leading the way, Senator Rosa Galvez (Independent) and MPs Will Amos (Liberal), Richard Cannings (NDP), Elizabeth May (Green) and Robert Sopuck (Conservative) will show how Canadians everywhere can come together too in 2017 to explore Canada's rich biodiversity. In 2017, 35 official BioBlitz events across the country will include 5 flagships in Regina, Toronto, Vancouver, Quebec City and Halifax, with 20 community celebrations and science activities, as well as 10 specialized science-intensive surveys by taxonomic experts. The BioBlitz Canada 150 events, including the demonstration launch, will gather real scientific data, tracking the changing species mix in each area -- maybe even making discoveries of species new to science. This information will ground our knowledge of such issues as climate change and the state of our biodiversity. The results will be shared in the public domain, accessible to all citizens, wildlife managers, conservation groups, science and education institutions, and government organizations to help shape wise decisions now and into the future to help conserve these wild species for generations to come. For more information about BioBlitz Canada 150 and for the list of events, as they roll out across the country, please visit bioblitzcanada.ca. The Canadian Wildlife Federation is dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, sponsoring research, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending legislative changes and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. Visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca for more information. BioBlitz Canada is a national partnership of leading conservation, education and research organizations with the goal to document Canada's biodiversity by connecting the public with nature in a scientist-led participatory survey of life from sea to sea to sea, and make sure this important information can be useful to current and future science, with open-source access to all. Its vision is to help Canadians learn about and connect with nature, be it in one's own backyard or the most important ecological sites in Canada. Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada, Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, Biological Survey of Canada, Birds Studies Canada, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service (Environment and Climate Change Canada), iNaturalist Canada, Nature Canada, Nature Conservancy of Canada, NatureServe Canada, New Brunswick Museum, Parks Canada, RARE Charitable Research Reserve, Royal Ontario Museum, Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Stanley Park Ecology Society, Toronto Zoo, Vancouver Aquarium and other organizations. About iNaturalist Canada: Launched in 2015, iNaturalist Canada is a virtual place where Canadians can record and share what they see in nature, interact with other nature watchers, and learn about Canada's wildlife. The app is run by the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in collaboration with iNaturalist.org and the California Academy of Sciences. Parks Canada, NatureServe Canada and CWF's Hinterland Who's Who have been key partners in the development of iNaturalist Canada and will continue to play a role in the program.