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Winter Botany

This is reprinted from a series published in our 1994 Nature Manitoba News. Text and art (adapted for digital use from illustrations) by Tom Reaume. Enjoy!


There are a couple of ways of getting to know this plant.  You may be out looking for it intentionally, as I was on November 22, or you might discover it burs attached to a pant cuff or matte in your dog’s fur after a walk along the river.

It is known as Cocklebur by weekend botanists.  Linnaeus named it Xanthium strumarium, and your dog calls it something else.

Salmon Shark Found in the Canadian Arctic

by: Jim Reist

In late summer of 2019 a Salmon Shark (Family Lamnidae, Lamna ditropis) was captured in the marine waters of the central Canadian Arctic (a few kilometers north of Kugluktuk). The Salmon Shark is normally a species found in temperate and sub-arctic Pacific Ocean waters, so finding one in Arctic waters is quite unusual. Right now this is being characterized as an extreme extra-limital occurrence. However, this isn't the only example of recent changes occurring in the Canadian Arctic marine ecosystem.

Banding at Delta Marsh Bird Observatory

Delta Marsh Bird Observatory has been banding songbirds since 1992. It was originally found at Delta Marsh but due to flooding and habitat loss the station was moved to Oak Hammock Marsh Wildlife Management Area in 2011. We are the only station in Manitoba that is a part of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network. We have banded over 50,000 birds and over 100 species, over the last 26 years.

Above: Banding Station (courtesy of DMBO)

Manitoba's Bats in Trouble

A relatively new disease is putting some of Manitoba’s bat species at risk, and could even drive some species to extinction. White-nose syndrome (WNS) was first detected in Manitoba in the winter of 2017/18, and now that it’s here Manitoba bats are at risk.

Above: hibernating bats (by Mary-Anne Collis)

Volunteer Opportunity

Want to make a difference with Nature Manitoba?  We are looking for volunteers to work with our communications team.  We have short term and longer term positions available on our Communications Committee.

Short term help for our 100th Anniversary:

Manitoba’s Agalinis Species

By: Chris Friesen, Manitoba Conservation Data Centre

When we think of plants, we tend to think green. This is because the vast majority of plants produce chlorophyll in their above-ground parts which they use to harvest sunlight to produce their ‘food’, with water and additional nutrients obtained from the soil through the roots. However, some species have evolved ways of obtaining these resources by ‘stealing’ them from other plants!

Summer Job Opportunity with our IBA Program

Manitoba Important Bird Areas Program Assistant

The Manitoba Important Bird Area (IBA) Program is hiring a Program Assistant. This position is based out of Winnipeg and includes travel to various IBAs in southern Manitoba. The position is a 300-hour part-time contract at $13-$15hr depending on experience - start date May 2019.

For more information on the Manitoba IBA program, visit: