We Stand for Wildlife


State of Canada's Trees

Almost one in four Canadian tree species is now at risk in Canada according to a new assessment by the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada as part of its ongoing SHAPE of Nature initiative to track the health of Canada’s wildlife and wild places.  

“For a country so closely identified with forests, this is alarming news,” says Dan Kraus who led the assessment for Wildlife Conservation Society Canada using data from NatureServe Canada and the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species

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Treasure, conflict, and survival in Canada’s peatlands

Globally, peatlands store more carbon, and for longer than any other terrestrial ecosystem. Despite only covering three per cent of the earth’s surface, they store twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests combined.

“That’s the power of peatlands,” says WCS Canada's Lorna Harris.

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WCS Canada scientists get their boots muddy studying wildlife and wild places across Canada in hopes of spurring action to address our growing biodiversity crisis.

Tiny creature unlocks life before the ice age

A cave in Canada has been declared a globally significant location to preserve a rare amphipod.

Stygobromus canadensis is believed to have survived since before the glaciation of the surrounding landscape during the last ice age.

Watch the story with WCS Canada's Peter Soroye on BBC News , as well as Mountain View Today and Daily Hive.

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For the safety of the whales: keeping ship traffic under control in Canada’s Arctic Ocean

Wildlife Conservation Society Canada says one of the last places in the world where those fish thrive is Wildlife Conservation Society Canada (WCS) researchers are proposing a similar approach for whales in Canada’s Arctic Ocean to prevent collisions with marine life. They have used data collected on whale and ship movements to identify the highest potential conflict areas in this fast-changing ocean environment. Using satellite data automatically generated by many ships moving through the Arctic (Automatic Identification System – AIS) and both telemetry data from tagged bowhead whales and aerial survey data, they have zeroed in on five areas with the highest risk for collisions for bowhead whales: Cumberland Sound, Isabella Bay, Gulf of Boothia, Tuktoyaktuk, and Utqiagvik, Alaska.

Read the article by WCS Canada's Bill Halliday in Canadian Geographic.

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Latest publications

Nesting Ecology of the Barn Swallow on Agriultural Lands in Yukon
ince the 1980s, the abundance of the Barn Swallow (Hirundo rus-tica) in North America, including the far north, has declined. To better understand the species’ biology north of 60° N, near the northern limit of its range, and in a region of expanding agriculture, we studied its nesting ecology on farms in southern Yukon Territory, Canada, in 2019 and 2020. We followed 21 attempted nests in 2019, 20 in 2020, of which 52% and 60%, respectively, were inside buildings with permanently open entrances. Other nests were built on the outside of buildings. In both years we inferred successful double brooding by three pairs, which is rarely reported north of 60°N latitude. We found the swallows’ reproductive output to be similar to that at temperate latitudes: first clutches ranged from three to six eggs (mean 4.8 in 2019; 4.2 in 2020); second clutches may have averaged marginally smaller (n = 6). The mean number of fledglings per nest was 3.3 in 2019 and 3.0 in 2020. Twenty-one percent of nests failed, either by falling off a vertical substrate or because of predation by deer mice (Peromyscus spp.), Black-billed Magpies (Pica hudsonia), or domestic cats. We also compared the air temperatures at nests, usually near building roofs, to ambient temperatures, finding them on average 1.6°C warmer than temperatures outside buildings. We set out 33 platforms and 20 wooden cups designed for Barn Swallow nesting but over the two years of our study the birds did not use any of them.
Microbial isolates with Anti‑Pseudogymnoascus destructans activities from Western Canadian bat wings
Forsythe, A. et al. (incl. Lausen, C.L.). 2022. Scientific Reports 12:9895
Efficacy and ethics of intensive predator management to save endangered caribou
Johnson, C.J., Ray, J.C and St-Laurent, M-H. 2022. Conservation Science and Practice e12729
Developing a national level evidence-based toolbox for addressing freshwater biodiversity threats
Reid et al. (incl. O'Connor, C.M.). 2022. Biological Conservation 269:109533
Coupling validation effort with in situ bioacoustic data improves estimating relative activity and occupancy for multiple species with cross-species misclassifications
Stratton, C. et al (incl. Lausen, C. and Rae, J. ). 2022. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 2022;00:1-16.
Quantifying firebrand production and transport using the acoustic analysis of in-fire cameras.
Quantifying firebrand production and transport using the acoustic analysis of in-fire cameras. Thompson, D. K. et al. (incl. Yip, D.A.) Fire Technology
Activity, heart rate, and energy expenditure of a cold-climate mesocarnivore, the Canada lynx
Menzies, A. et al. (incl. Seguin, J.). 2022 Canadian Journal of Zoology
Evaluating ecosystem services for agricultural wetlands: a systematic review and meta‑analysis
Evaluating ecosystem services for agricultural wetlands: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Eric, A. et al. (incl. Mantyka-Pringle, C.) Wetlands Ecology and Management

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WCS Canada newsletter

WCS Canada's newsletters have stories about our scientists in the field, interesting insights about wildlife and important conservation alerts.

Read our latest edition:  Celebrating Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), and a whale of a story about arctic shipping noise

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Latest policy comments

WCS Canada Comments on the Summary of Initial Project Description for the Northern Road Link Project (Reference No 84331)
We are submitting our comments on the Summary of Initial Project Description for the Northern Road Link Project (Reference Number 84331). In these comments, we first provide four overarching concerns and associated recommendations on the Summary of Initial Project Description for the Northern Road Link (NRL) as a whole. Following these are some specific comments on various Sections within the Summary of Initial Project Description.
Joint Comment on the Implementation of the Fisheries Act - Cumulative Effects
We are writing to express our serious concerns with your department’s approach to implementing the amended Fisheries Act and addressing cumulative effects. Many of our organizations have previously written to you about these concerns and we therefore request a meeting with you to discuss this issue. In 2019 Parliament established a specific mandate to address cumulative effects associated with regulations and decision-making under the Act. Unfortunately, DFO is failing to follow the new legal requirement to consider cumulative effects when making policies and regulations, resulting in the ongoing degradation of fish habitat in Canada.
WCS Canada Comments on Draft Environmental and Socioeconomic Effects Statement Guidelines (ESE Guidelines) for the Proposed Casino Mine Project
An impact assessment screening is soon to occur, undertaken by the full Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB), regarding the proposed Casino copper-gold mine, in west-central Yukon. This would be a massive project, among the largest copper mines globally, with a tailings facility alone estimated at 11 square kilometres. YESAB has produced draft environmental and socio-economic effects (ESE) statement guidelines that the proponent, Casino Mining Corp, will need to follow and fulfill so as to satisfy required information submission to the Board for the impact assessment screening. Casino is expected to submit its proposal to YESAB in summer 2023. In this review of the draft ESE guidelines, we recommend some changes and additions that we think are necessary to provide the Board and the public with more comprehensive and detailed information required for a valid impact assessment

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Contact us

For general email inquiries: wcscanada@wcs.org
For fundraising inquiries: supportwcscanada@wcs.org
For media inquiries: canadamedia@wcs.org

For more information, visit our Contact Us page. 

Photo credits: Banner | Susan Morse © News | Mountain landscape: Susan Morse ©,  River: Maitland Conservation Authority ©, Caribou: Don Reid © WCS Canada, Peatlands: Mike Oldham  | Bat with WNS © NPS/Creative Commons License  | Mosaic: Northern Mountains: Hilary Cooke © WCS Canada, Wolverine: Susan Morse ©. Brook Trout: Engbretson Underwater Photography ©, Bat: Cory Olson ©, Wild Places: Hilary Cooke © WCS Canada, Ontario River: Constance O'Connor © WCS Canada, Caribou: Susan Morse © | Black-capped chickadee © Malcolm Boothroyd | Yukon mining: Chrystal Mantyka-Pringle © WCS Canada.