Dis­patches

What’s hap­pen­ing right now…

Canadian Wildlife - - FEATURES - Com­piled and edited by Kat Eschner

Keep­ing you up-to-date on what’s hap­pen­ing in research, in con­ser­va­tion and in the wild right now

EARLY MAY

Har­lequin ducks are leav­ing their win­ter home on Bri­tish Columbia’s coast­line. They are head­ing into the Rocky Moun­tains, where they will breed on the banks of fas­trun­ning moun­tain rivers. The har­lequin is the only North Amer­i­can duck species that mi­grates east-west rather than north-south.

MAY

In cities and ru­ral ar­eas across the coun­try, rac­coons are hav­ing and rais­ing kits. Young rac­coons de­velop ban­dit masks at about 10 days old — of­ten be­fore their eyes are even open.

LATE MAY

North­ern white-tailed deer fawns are be­ing born through­out East­ern Canada. Does will leave fawns alone for hours at a time, re­turn­ing a few times a day to pro­vide food. (See In Fo­cus, page 6.)

EARLY JUNE

The mi­gra­tion of the painted lady but­ter­fly is well un­der­way. Th­ese colour­ful in­sects have more er­ratic mi­gra­tion pat­terns than other but­ter­flies. But some years, thou­sands of them mi­grate north into Canada to breed. They have been sighted as far north as Baker Lake, Nu­navut.

To learn more about what’s going on in the wild, check Hin­ter­land Who’s Who at hww.ca.

JUNE

The end of lob­ster sea­son doesn’t only mark a big mo­ment in fish­er­men’s cal­en­dars in the Mar­itimes. It’s also timed to the be­gin­ning of moult­ing sea­son, which is when lob­sters shed their hard shells and mate. Fe­male lob­sters can carry live sperm for up to two years.

LATE JUNE

East­ern grey squir­rels start their sec­ond an­nual mat­ing pe­riod through­out East­ern Canada. Fe­males usu­ally bear kits in shel­tered nests inside hol­low trees or in leaf nests. Males have noth­ing to do with them af­ter mat­ing.

Ja­panese sci­en­tists study “Lyuba,” a fe­male woolly mam­moth calf who drowned dur­ing a river cross­ing about 40,000 years ago. Mud pre­served her body un­til it was dis­cov­ered by a Rus­sian hunter in 2007.

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