Wild Boar

How many wild boar are actually roaming the prairies? No one knows – not even Dr. Ryan Brook, associate professor at the U of S, who leads the only wild pig research project in the country.

“We have this overwhelming pile of data showing we have a lot of pigs, that they’re reproducing at alarming rates, and that they are spreading quickly,” he said. “The only thing we don’t have yet is a population estimate for the number of wild pigs in the prairies.”

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Cypress Hills Cougars

A 200-pound cat spanning eight feet from nose to tail is some people’s worst nightmare, while others spend years trying to catch a glimpse of one in the wild. Some call them cougars and others call them mountain lions, but they’re all the same animal – Puma concolor. Once they lived right across Canada’s southern belt, but settlement and predator persecution extirpated them from many areas, pushing them west toward the safety of the mountains.

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The Windshield Effect

Known as the windshield effect, or the windshield phenomenon, people around the world began noticing fewer and fewer dead insects on their vehicles beginning in the early 2000s. The trouble was there was very little research on global insect populations, much less how many smashed ones should be on the average vehicle after a summer highway drive.

“The research to prove it is really starting to come out,” said Dr. Erin Bayne, professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta. “I certainly have noticed it for a considerable amount of time driving throughout the southern prairies in particular.”

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