Mountain Nature and Culture Podcast
About This Show
This podcast explores the natural and human history of the Canadian Rockies as well as its attractions and culture. We'll look at the ecology and wildlife as well as the unique plants and birds that make the Canadian Rockies home. Looking back through our history we will share the stories behind the scenery. This is the place for all things Rockies.
Most Recent Episode
016 Winter Ticks, Winter Insect Survival and New Northward Migrations
< 1 day ago
Story 1 - Winter Ticks Have you ever gone on a spring hike and returned to your car only to find that you had unwittingly picked up an eight legged hitchhiker? Maybe you didn't notice and, a few days later found a growing eight-legged grape tucked away in your navel, or worse - and let's leave it at that for now. Well suck it up princess - how would you feel if you had some 140,000 of the little suckers with their thirsty mouths embedded into your hide slowly draining your vitality? As much as that may sound like something out of a bad horror film, it can be just another day in the life of a moose wandering the mountain landscape. Story 2 - Insect Cold Weather Strategies In episode 12, we introduced the idea of winter ecology. When it comes to surviving long northern winters, there are as many strategies as there are species…and the smaller you are, the more challenging these winters can be. Over millions of years, our smallest residents, the insects have had to create very specialized ways of keeping the species going every year. While winter brings, challenges, spring brings rebirth. Now if you’re an insect, you already have one thing working against you - you're cold blooded - so you can't stoke the furnace with a good meal like warm blooded mammals and birds. When it comes to insects and spiders, there are not just a few strategies, rather and entire continuum of ways that they try to game the system, all in the hopes of surviving the theoretically unsurvivable. Story 3 - Northward Migrations Insects and spiders are not the only things moving north. There are hundreds of plants, animals and birds that are also altering their seasonal patterns to, in some cases survive, and in other cases, take advantage of, changing climatic norms. Climate change is a carousel filled with winners and losers. Cold dependent species like polar bears, are finding that they're habitat is simply melting away with the winter pack ice. Other species, like grizzly bears, are explori