2018 was a whirlwind. Meetings. Pitches. Travel. Learning to do audio on YouTube. Turning our apartment into a wall-to-wall Post-it note storyboard. You see, we’re trying to create the first prototype of Nature Labs by fall 2019 and, as a result, we had fewer days in the field than ever before. Yet 2018 was good to us. We made our time in the Rocky Mountains count like never before, narrowing our search to specific individuals and landscapes we’ve come to know well while working to create the stories that will underpin Nature Labs.
In order of date, please enjoy a behind the scenes look at the making of Nature Labs and what became our top wildlife encounters from 2018.
Moose in Maligne
With one of Canada’s most iconic landscapes as the backdrop, a moose cow and calf go for a late fall swim at sunset.
It has long been a dream to see a moose swim Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park, part of the World Heritage Site that includes the Robson Valley ecosystem, the biological gem that is at the heart of our current storytelling work. When this pair first dipped their hooves into the lake’s icy waters, we could hardly believe our luck. And it’s not because we were trying to catch the perfect moment in nature; it’s because this image tells a much bigger, much more important story.
For years, moose sightings in some parts of the Canadian Rocky Mountains were few and far between – including around Maligne Lake. Yet, like all natural cycles, when nature is left to its own devices, the food chain autocorrects. Today, in this ecosystem, the moose population is exploding. This cow and calf were just one of seven sets of moose mother and young we documented from Robson through into other parts of this transboundary wildlife corridor. Within the next several years, keystone species – such as wolves – will see their populations increase, helping restore their numbers in spaces, like this one, where they have been absent.
Why is this story important? It’s an example of habitat carrying capacity and food chains at work, a key component of the grade 10 Science curriculum, one of the four courses that will be the focus of Nature Labs. More importantly, it’s stories like this one that can help students ask better questions in order to find better answers to how we can sustain our fragile biodiversity – the systems that sustain all of us.
Help us create a world where we all strive to create a better balance between the needs of people and nature.
Whether it’s $50 or $500, every dollar counts.
Federally registered non-profit #1063793-9