Every fall and winter, Nature Manitoba offers a series of indoor presentations featuring guest speakers on relevant, local, nature-related topics.
They are usually on Monday evenings at 7:30pm, and take place at the Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre (340 Provencher Blvd) on the second floor (Salle Antoine-Gaborieau). Admission is only $3 ($2 for members).
The best reason to get off the couch and learn something new!
Monday, February 2, 2015 at 7:30 pm.
Presented by Dr. Steve Ferguson, Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans (Freshwater Institute, University of Manitoba)
The Arctic ice-free season has increased in area and duration providing killer whales with an expanding arena for predation. A research group called “Orcas of the Canadian Arctic” set out to understand this change. Initially we compiled a database to document the historical occurrence, distribution, feeding ecology, and seasonality of killer whales in the region. Sighting reports, anecdotal evidence, Inuit traditional ecological knowledge, and photographic identification indicated that killer whale occurrence is increasing. Killer whales fitted with satellite transmitters showed that the whales moved from bay to inlet during the summer while feeding on bowhead, beluga, and narwhal whales. The tagged whales left the Arctic region prior to heavy ice formation in the fall. Tissue analysis showed differences between killer whales from the Arctic and Atlantic regions. Atlantic killer whales fed on both marine mammals and fish, whereas Arctic killer whales preyed upon whales and seals but not fish. Prey use different strategies to minimize the risk of being eaten by killer whales. In response, killer whales have learned specific attack methods for each of their prey. As the Arctic warms, the bowhead, beluga, and narwhal whales are at risk from increasing predation by killer whales. Is this how the Arctic will be transformed?
Monday, March 9, 2015 at 7:30 pm.
Presented by Randy Mooi, Curator of Zoology at the Manitoba Museum
(* Date and Program Change: This Discovery Evening was originally scheduled for March 2, but will now take place on March 9th.)
September 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon (ectopistes migratorius). In the mid-1800's, the species was considered the commonest bird in North America, with population estimates as high as five billion: flocks are famously described as darkening the sky and breeding colonies numbered in the tens of millions. Yet within 50 years, they had disappeared from the wild. Although Manitoba did not host massive breeding colonies, the scanty historical accounts include mention of massive flocks.. How common was it here? Where did it breed? When did it disappear? What physical evidence of the species is there for the province? What role did Manitobans play in its disappearance? Join Dr Randy Mooi on a sleuthing expedition as he tracks down the history of the Passenger Pigeon in Manitoba.
Monday, March 16, 2015 at 7:00 pm.
Presented by Christian Artuso, Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas Coordinator
(NOTE: Presentation to follow A.G.M. which starts at 7 pm)
From 2010 to 2014, over 1,000 skilled and dedicated volunteers travelled to almost every corner of Manitoba in an unparalleled effort to complete a comprehensive survey of the distribution and relative abundance of all bird species that breed in the province. This volunteer army donated over 40,000 hours of survey effort and completed over 36,000 point counts, summing to a staggering total of over 300,000 records of 299 species, including five species confirmed as breeding in Manitoba for the first time. These data will redefine our understanding of many Manitoba birds. We will discuss some of the highlights and interesting findings and swap a story or two of the many trials and tribulations along the route to this extraordinary success.