Out­stand­ing in the Fields

Who are Canada's great­est nat­u­ral­ists?

Canadian Wildlife - - FIELD NOTES -

To mark Canada’s 150th an­niver­sary and to cel­e­brate our na­tion’s enduring love of the wild, two ven­er­a­ble Cana­dian na­ture or­ga­ni­za­tions to­gether are lead­ing a public cam­paign to iden­tify and cel­e­brate the great­est field nat­u­ral­ists in our coun­try’s his­tory.

Led by the Ottawa Field-nat­u­ral­ists’ Club (the coun­try’s old­est, founded in 1863) in com­bi­na­tion with the Cana­dian Wildlife Fed­er­a­tion, the project team will re­search, pro­file and rank fa­mous fig­ures and un­named heroes who each ad­vanced the knowl­edge, aware­ness and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of Canada’s bio­di­ver­sity.

There is no short­age of candidates that spring to mind: nat­u­ral­ist and chron­i­cler Catharine Parr Traill; early botanist Brother MarieVic­torin Kirouac; and au­thor and icon Far­ley Mowat. And there are many more candidates whose names are not so fa­mil­iar to most Cana­di­ans: He­len Bat­tle, the first woman in Canada to earn a PHD in marine bi­ol­ogy; Nor­man Crid­dle, a pi­o­neer en­to­mol­o­gist, who home­steaded in turn-of-the-cen­tury Man­i­toba; and Elka­nah Billings who, in 1852, founded the jour­nal the Cana­dian Nat­u­ral­ist and Ge­ol­o­gist and be­came the first pa­le­on­tol­o­gist for the Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey of Canada.

Watch for re­sults to be an­nounced later in 2017 both in the Ottawa Field-nat­u­ral­ists’ Club’s Cana­dian Field-nat­u­ral­ists’ Jour­nal and in these pages. To learn more about how you can join the ranks of Canada’s field nat­u­ral­ists, check out the Bioblitz Canada 150 na­tional pro­gram in Engage with CWF on page 42.

Late March Snowy owls, who are pre­par­ing to make their way to their breed­ing grounds, seek out re­main­ing patches of snow and ice as cam­ou­flage. Mid-april Pregnant bar­ren-ground cari­bou cows lead the spring mi­gra­tion to their calv­ing grounds fol­low­ing...

Early April Mal­lards be­gin to re­turn to the Prairies from their win­ter­ing places to the south, an an­nual jour­ney cov­er­ing as many as 1,000 km.

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