||June 2010 issue
|Orcas are among the species profiled on “Return to the
wild,” a new virtual exhibit.
Did you know that sea otters float on their backs in groups called “rafts,” sometimes holding paws with fellow otters to
avoid drifting apart? Embracing the notion of power in numbers, this is how they protect themselves
against predators such as bald eagles and sharks. Peregrine falcons, for their part, are consummate creatures of
habit, regularly returning to the same nesting sites. Falcon pairs have apparently used one site in England for more
than 760 years!
“Return to the wild” website
This is but a glimpse of the intriguing wildlife facts featured in “Return to the wild,” a virtual exhibit profiling
24 aquatic, terrestrial and airborne animal species found throughout North America. Launched in June, the website
was produced by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) with the support
of the Canadian Heritage Information Network, as part of its Virtual Museum of Canada initiative to provide access to collections across the
country through the internet.
“Return to the wild” also offers interactive maps and descriptions of six ecozones in Canada: Arctic, northwestern
forest, desert, prairie, boreal forest and eastern forest. Each species profile is linked to a series of articles on that animal
from Canadian Geographic’s archives, which give insight into the evolution of wildlife conservation in Canada over the
past 80 years and underline the RCGS’s continued commitment to environmental stewardship. Visitors interested in a historical perspective on the
cougar, for example, can click on a link to an October 1950 story entitled “The eastern panther is not extinct.”
In addition, 12 lesson plans, developed by the Canadian Council for Geographic Education and aimed at students in middle
and secondary school, are available on the site.
— Monique Roy-Sole
The Royal Canadian Geographical Society is launching a bilingual multimedia initiative to encourage
and help Canadians to protect watersheds.
Barbara Stymiest, Group
Head, Strategy, Treasury and Corporate Services at the Royal Bank of Canada,at right, with Society
President Gisèle Jacob
(Photo: David Barbour)
The Society has received a Leadership Grant from the RBC Blue Water Project —
a 10-year, $50-million grant program to support charitable endeavours that foster a culture
of water stewardship in Canada and internationally.
“Access to clean water is probably the most important issue of our time,” says
Barbara Stymiest, Group Head, Strategy, Treasury and Corporate Services at the
Royal Bank of Canada. “The Blue Water Project is about partnering with organizations that are doing fabulous work
in the area of watershed protection.”
The cornerstone of the Society’s project will be an interactive map that will
enable users to learn about specific watersheds in Canada and to find information on getting involved in community
conservation efforts through action guides for citizens and students.
The project will also include special issues of Canadian Geographic and its French-language sister
publication Géographica in June 2011; a poster map; a thematic module on the
Canadian Atlas Online; lesson
plans for teachers; and a photo contest, to be announced in the upcoming July/August issue of Canadian Geographic.
— Monique Roy-Sole
Wanted: green trailblazers
Do you know someone who is committed to improving Canada’s environment? Has he or she blown
you away with novel green initiatives?
The Canadian Award for Environmental Innovation
(Photo: Doug Taylor)
The Canadian Award for Environmental
Innovation, launched by The Royal
Canadian Geographical Society and 3M Canada in 2009, recognizes individuals
in business, government, academia or community organizations who are
actively contributing to the protection or restoration of the environment.
“The submissions received last year prove Canadians have an undeniable commitment
to environmental issues,” says Chip Allan, 3M Canada’s executive director
of community relations. “We hope this award helps recognize the people who
share 3M’s innovative spirit through their important environmental
initiatives, while encouraging others to be creative, get involved and
make a difference.”
Last year’s inaugural winner, Sidney
Ribaux, co-founded Équiterre, a
Montréal-based social and environmental organization that has become one of the
most influential in Quebec. Focusing on issues such as ecological agriculture and
energy efficiency, Équiterre encourages citizens, businesses and governments to
make environmentally responsible choices.
To nominate a candidate, visit The Canadian Award for Environmental
Innovation website by Aug. 31, 2010. The award will be presented at the Society’s College
of Fellows Dinner in Ottawa on November 4.
— Ainslie Cruickshank
On May 22, Canada Post released this set of five stamps, featuring the winning images
of Canadian Geographic’s 2009
Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year Contest. The
stamps were issued in honour of the 80th anniversaries of
The Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Canadian Geographic to coincide with International Biodiversity Day
and the reopening of the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, which is curating a travelling exhibit of the best
30 photographs from the contest. Visit the Canadian Geographic Photo Club for information on
the third annual Wildlife
Photography of the Year Contest.
Stamp images courtesy of Canada Post Corporation 2010. Reproduced with permission.