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Bird Watching

Bird watching is the field observation of birds. The popularity of bird watching has burgeoned, especially since WWII, assisted by increased leisure time, a rich literature of books and periodicals, more organizations and better educational, communication and travel facilities.

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Ant

Ant, common name for small, mostly ground-dwelling social insects of family Formicidae, order Hymenoptera.

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Cat

The domestic cat, a species of flesh-eating mammal belonging to family Felidae, order Carnivora, is a small, lithe, intelligent, soft-furred animal.

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Reptile

Reptiles are a group of vertebrate animals that, like mammals, produce an amniote egg, with extra-embryonic sacs for waste, yolk, and protection, and often possessing a shell, particularly if released by the female before development of the embryo is completed.

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Skunk

 The skunk is a carnivorous, cat-sized mammal. Skunks were previously considered as part of the weasel family (Mustelidae) but DNA research has placed them in their own family, Mephitidae.

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Annelida

Annelids are mostly vermiform (worm-shaped), with an anterior (frontal) mouth preceded only by the prostomium, bearing sensory organs; the anus is posterior. Most have bristles (chaetae or setae), usually arranged in 4 groups on each segment.

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Midge

Midges are small, slender-bodied flies with long antennae, belonging to various families. Three families are especially important: non-biting midges (Chironomidae), biting midges (Ceratopogonidae, also called no-see-ums), and gall midges (Cecidomyiidae). In Canada, there are more than 1,300 named species of midges from these groups, and scientists expect at least as many more live here. The larvae of most non-biting and biting midges are aquatic, while most larval gall midges live and feed inside of growths on plant tissues. Midges are found all across Canada and in a variety of habitats.

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Cod Moratorium of 1992

On 2 July 1992, the federal government banned cod fishing along Canada’s east coast. This moratorium ended nearly five centuries of cod fishing in Newfoundland and Labrador. Cod had played a central role in the province’s economy and culture.

The aim of the policy was to help restore cod stocks that had been depleted due to overfishing. Today, the cod population remains too low to support a full-scale fishery. For this reason, the ban is still largely in place.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

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Black Fly

Black flies are small, dark-coloured insects belonging to the family Simuliidae. Of the world’s more than 2,300 species, at least 164 are found in Canada. Black flies reproduce in streams and are found all across Canada. They are particularly common in northern temperate and subarctic regions. Because female black flies need to feed on blood to lay eggs, their biting can be a nuisance to humans and other animals. Among the most common and notorious black flies in Canada are Simulium truncatum and Simulium venustum.

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Bee

Bees are members of the insect order Hymenoptera (including sawflies, wasps, bees and ants) whose habits of feeding on plant pollen and nectar have made them important pollinators of flowering plants and crops. There are more than 20,000 species worldwide, and nearly 800 can be found in Canada. Bees’ nesting habits range from solitary to highly eusocial. Most bees are solitary, wild species, but some are kept or managed for pollination of crops or to produce honey, including the non-native western honey bee (Apis mellifera). Other familiar bees include bumble bees (genus Bombus), mason bees (genus Osmia) and leafcutter bees (genus Megachile). More than a third of all bee species found in Canada are either mining bees in the genus Andrena, or sweat bees in the genus Lasioglossum.

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Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony

The Lac La Croix Indigenous pony, also known as the Lac La Croix Indian pony or the Ojibwa pony, is thought to be the only existing breed of horse developed by Indigenous people in Canada. It takes its name from Lac La Croix First Nation in northwestern Ontario, where it was last found in the wild. Known in the Ojibwa language as bebezhigooganzhii or mishdatim (meaning “one big toenail”), it is a small, semi-feral horse that once lived in the wild and worked as a service animal — but is also considered a spirit animal — for the Ojibwa people of northwestern Ontario and northern Minnesota. Today, this friendly, all-purpose breed is used in equine therapy, Indigenous heritage programs and tourism. Conservation efforts in Canada and the United States strive to protect the breed, which is critically endangered.

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Jay

Canada is home to three species of jay: the blue jay, Steller’s jay and grey jay.

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Marten

Marten (Martes americana), slender weasel specialized for life in the northern coniferous forests; found from Alaska and BC to Newfoundland and into the US.

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Butterfly

Butterfly, term referring to insects of order Lepidoptera [Gk "scaly wings"]. The Canadian fauna includes 272 known species, compared to 695 known from North America as a whole, and over 20 000 worldwide.

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Caribou

Caribou are members of the deer family. They may be further categorized based on where they live and how they behave. Caribou in Canada are generally categorized into three types: peary, barren-ground and woodland. Taken together, caribou are found in most Canadian provinces and territories, with the exception of the Maritimes.