It’s Time to Talk About Bugs

White-lined sphinx moth from Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that insects take up the most space on the taxonomic web of life? Did you know that about 75% of flowering plants are pollinated by insects? You might have also heard that insect biodiversity is on the decline. Sadly, what you may have hear is right. In a paper published in the Journal ‘Biological Conservation’lead authors Francisco Sánchez-Bayo and Kris A.G.Wyckhuys state “almost half of insect species are rapidly declining and a third are being threatened with extinction”.

Can you imagine a world without insects? To some it may sound like a dream come true but insects are integral to the functioning of our world! From the food we eat to the waste we excrete, we have insects to thanks (we would literally be swimming in detritus if not for decomposers!). Tune into this episode where we show these important little creatures some well-deserved attention!

Download here

Checking out bugs with Peter Heule: Q&A with the Royal Alberta Museum’s live animal supervisor

Terra Informer Olivia deBourcier interviewed Peter Heule, a live animals supervisor at the Royal Alberta Museum, about bugs. Originally aired on The Gateway Presents, we’ll hear about butterfly migration, what animal science is all about, how kids understand bugs better than grown ups think, and what a wild world there is left to discover!

The Good News: The Big Bee!

In light of the bad news about insect populations, there is hope! Recently, the world’s BIGGEST BEE, thought extinct for 38 years, has been found alive on the Indonesian islands of the North Moluccas. As long as an adult thumb, with jaws like a stag beetle and four times larger than a honeybee this dinosaur of a bee continues to be threatened, particularly by deforestation for agriculture, but the very fact that it persists suggests that extinction is not inevitable! Hannah Cunningham explains in this ecobabble the ways that we can all help pollinators keep on keeping on!

From planning what you plant, building bee hotels (a simple DIY bee hotel) to reducing your use of pesticides, there are many ways you can make your world more pollinator friendly

Related Links

National Geographic

The Guardian

Infrastructure for the People

ibke path

This week on Terra Informa we are talking about cycling! In this archive episode, Terra Informers Shelley Jodoin and Amanda Rooney speak with Vice Chair from Paths for People, Conrad Norbert, an Edmonton non-profit organization advocating for the creation of infrastructure with pedestrians and cyclists in mind.

In June of 2017, Paths for People released multi-use trail policy recommendations. We discuss re-imagining the use of public space, hopes and ideas for the future, and the policy recommendations recommendations.

Download the program log here

Download the episode here

Sounds (and Sights) of Spring

On this week’s episode of Terra Informa, we tackle a wide variety of subjects. One of them being organic alternatives to products, both in food and in pesticides. We also have discussion on how one makes writing an art, as well as the sounds of spring as brought to you by five-year-olds. All on this week’s episode of Terra Informa!

Download this week’s show here.

 A chick poses for the camera. Photo Credit - Nikki Wiart

A chick poses for the camera. Photo Credit – Nikki Wiart

Mosaic Minds

Mosaic Minds just wrapped up it’s third unconference this past weekend. They’ve hosted unconferences on community building and renewable energy in the past. This time, the sessions were surrounding a very important and popular topic – FOOD. Natalee Rawat asked co-founder of Mosaic Minds, Anna McRobbie to explain what an “unconference” means and how it is separates itself from a traditional conference and later she interviews David Laing, of the Seeds, Feeds and Needs Cooperative. David facilitated a session at Mosaic Minds. He talks about the community and his Cooperative built on organic farming.

Mosaic Minds Website
To get involved, send David Laing an email. The email address is: thessalhydra@hotmail.com.

Sounds of Spring

What does spring sound like? Well on a farm, there’s chirping chicks, bawling lambs, and clucking chickens. In this next segment, Terra Informa’s Nicole Wiart joined a group of 5 year olds as they toured through her Aunt and Uncle’s farm to check out all of the new and noisy baby animals.

Below are some pictures of Nikki’s adventures on the farm!

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What makes a naturalist’s books light up?

Do you ever wonder why some authors can make their words ring out and sizzle right off the page, but some can’t write a catchy sentence to save their life? Terra Informer Chris Chang-Yen Phillips has been curious for a while about the difference between two writers from the early days of the American conservation movement: Aldo Leopold and John Muir. Why is there so much poetry, so much fire in Leopold’s books? Chris was showshoeing in Kananaskis a little while ago with ecology grad students Paul Cigan  and Sonya Odsen. You can imagine his glee when he overheard them talking about just this question.

Learn more about Aldo Leopold’s “A Sand County Almanac” here!  

More on John Muir 

What’s Happening in Canada in the Near – Future:

Dr Gabor Mate will be presenting Living Well in Toxic Culture at 7pm, on Thurday May 9th, in Thunder Bay, Ontario at the Victoria Inn. He will be looking at how a society dedicated to material pursuits rather than genuine human needs and spiritual values, stresses its members; undermines healthy child development; and contributes to chronic illness. Using a holistic approach he provides a perspective that enlightens and empowers people to promote their own healing. Tickets are $25 at the door, or online at Eventbrite.ca. It is a fundraising event, and proceeds go to the Canadian Mental Health Organization.

Help make Surrey streets more vibrant by encouraging active and sustainable transportation. There is a community event in Surrey on Saturday May 11th from 1 to 3:30 pm at the Semiahmoo Library. Participants will learn about current challenges facing Surrey streets and will share their perspectives through an interactive street audit exercise. For more info email beth.hurford@best.bc.ca. Program registration is appreciated, but drop ins are welcome.

Up North in Whitehorse from Tuesday May 7th to Tuesday May 21st, 7 to 9pm, the MItcham Community House is offering classes on Vegetable Gardening for beginners. Enjoy the benefits of home-grown food. Bring $5 to the first class to pay to the tutor for your starter kit. You can contact the organizers at mitcham@connexus.net.au.