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Ghosts from the Arctic Are Still with Us

March 05, 2015

Like ghosts from the Arctic, snowy owls have descended from the far north this winter. They’re showing up in fields, along highways and even in a few backyards. These migrations southward from the arctic tundra are a birdwatcher’s dream. And like dreams themselves, they are neither predictable nor fully understood. Learn about this amazing migration and see a live map of sightings »

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

Why Monarch butterflies need a helping hand

February 17, 2015

An iconic North American migration is in jeopardy. The monarch butterfly migrates back and forth from Mexico to Canada every year, its orange and black sails peppering blue skies. In the past 20 years, almost one billion monarchs have gone missing across North America. That’s about 1,000 acres, or 600 soccer fields of dead butterflies laid side by side. This abrupt drop in monarch numbers – estimated to be between 65% - 75% of the population – is causing scientists, policy makers and conversationalists in Canada, Mexico and United States to sound the alarm and take steps to reverse the decline. Read more at The Conversation »

Outdoor Radio: Exploring Life Above and Below the Ice

February 19, 2015

Nordic skating, pond hockey, small planes landing and ice fishing – there’s a lot happening on Lake Morey’s ice.This month on Outdoor Radio, VCE biologists Sara Zahendra and Kent McFarland skate out and talked about life in the cold water below with some ice fisherman far out on the lake. Listen to Outdoor Radio »

‘Nature’s Medicine Cabinet’ Helps Bumble Bees Reduce Disease Load

February 18, 2015

Researchers studying the interaction between plants, pollinators and parasites report that in recent experiments, bees infected with a common intestinal parasite had reduced parasite levels in their guts after seven days if the bees also consumed natural toxins present in plant nectar. Read more »