wildlife conservation

Something’s not “Right” with the Right Whale Population…

La_Baleine

This week, we’re going live for a one-hour special for FunDrive, our home station’s annual fundraiser. Stay tuned in the next two weeks for a recording of that show. But we still have news to share and a fantastic archive interview you need to hear!

If you live in Edmonton and have been to West Edmonton Mall you are probably familiar with ‘the whale’. You know, the one that was prolific in the 90’s and caused mass dismay when it was put into storage? There was cause for celebration in 2015 when the mall reintroduced the big bronze whale into its natural habitat among bustling shoppers. This metal mall whale is a small replica of the right whale that can be found, not at a mall in Edmonton, but in the Atlantic ocean. If you’re fond of that kind-of-dirty but iconic mall whale you might be sad to hear that this has been a tough year on the oceans’ Right Whale population. In August, the bodies of more than 9 right whales have floated to the surface along the Atlantic coast.

Terra Informer Amanda Rooney spoke with Sean Brilliant, the Canadian Wildlife Federation‘s senior conservation biologist, about right whales and what can be done to help conserve this iconic Canadian species and why it matters. Sean also told us about the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s campaign to reduce single use plastics – one of the greatest threats to ocean life.

 

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Painting: La Baleine (c. 1840) – Unknown

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You’d better Believe It’s Still Summer

Up here in Edmonton, it’s sometimes hard to remember that summer officially lasts until the end of September. So, to keep the heady heat of summer fresh in our minds, this week we’re having a small celebration of the outdoors. We’ll sip beers on Edmonton’s street-side patios, and listen to birds in the hot, dry BC interior. All that and a little more on this it’s-still-summer-edition of Terra Informa.

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Large crowd socializing on treelined street, green canopy overhead.

Photo credit: reallyboring on Flickr.

Sustainable Microbreweries

Nicole Wiart has had her fair share of drinking on the patios this summer. It got her thinking about who makes her beer and where it comes from. She started digging around Edmonton to find out what it means to be a local, Canadian microbrewery. What challenges do small sustainable businesses face? You’ll hear from a local brewmaster and two associate professors at the University of Alberta talking local beer.

Ecobabble: Biochar

Environmental biologist Tracy Flach explains how an ancient technology being used in a new way could help stabilize our climate and our soil.

BioBlitz in the Flathead Valley

Birding can be a relaxing past-time, a way to connect with the world around you. This summer though,

This summer, amateur birders, ornithologists, and aquatic scientists turned a pleasant hobby—birding—into a tool of resistance to coal and gas development in BC’s Flathead River Valley. Chris Chang-Yen Phillips reached Greg Ross, a birder from Cranbrook, who took part in the “BioBlitz.”

Breakthroughs and Setbacks

This week on Terra Informa, a breakthrough in saving wildlife, and a setback for boosting green energy. Matt Hirji explains how 80’s rock has helped one researcher trying to bring back disappearing seabirds called petrels. Then, Chris Chang-Yen Phillips and Alyssa Hindle explain how Ontario’s Green Energy Act helped an engineer in Windsor start manufacturing solar panels after he lost his job with Ford, and why the province is being forced to scrap that part of the law.

Two men install solar panels on a sunny roof.

Windsors Unconquered Sun is one the solar panel manufacturing companies that have benefited from the Green Energy Act. (Photo: Unconquered Sun)

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Who has the power in Ontario’s green energy industry?

If you were to ask most Canadians if they wanted more renewable power being built in their province, they’d say yes. And if you asked them whether they’d like to get some local jobs out of the deal, they’d probably say why not. Sometimes, though, people in Canada aren’t the only ones who get a say in what happens here. The World Trade Organization recently forced Ontario to change legislation that required some domestic production for new renewable power projects. Chris Chang-Yen Phillips and Alyssa Hindle have this story about one of the ways we’ve given up our decision-making power, and what we’re getting out of the bargain.

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Aleutian Seabirds

This next story is little ditty about a seabird in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The petrel is a bird that spends its entire life at sea, only landing on remote islands to copulate. But, things have gone from bad to worse for this seabird in recent years and many biologists are hatching up ideas to help the petrel population survive in an era of marked by climate change and overfishing. Some of these ideas even have 80s rockers tapping their toes and thinking about our responsibility to protect the world’s most vulnerable ecosystems. Matt Hirji talked to Rachel Buxton about her research into the area.

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