Tag Archives: In the news

NBP in the News: Mosquito Country

MOSQUITO COUNTRY: Kitikmeot may be having worst summer in 10 years for mosquitoes

By: Jeanne Gagnon
Northern News Services
Published Tuesday, August 2, 2011

NUNAVUT
Bzzzzt…. Some Nunavummiut are talking about how bad the mosquitoes are this summer, with residents in the Kitikmeot especially saying there are more, and bigger, mosquitoes than usual.

Joseph Quqqiaq in Taloyoak said he thinks this has been the worst year for mosquitoes in the past 10 years.

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You can click HERE to read the rest of the article, in which Terry Wheeler of McGill University is interviewed!

 

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Updates from Lake Hazen and Iqaluit

From Chris Buddle, who has been working with Team Moose in Iqaluit:

Update from Team Moose in Iqaluit

Iqaluit has been great – although we had a few days of rain and cold, the weather has mostly been cooperative and the sampling has been spectacular.  On the warm days the butterflies, bumble bees, and wolf spiders have been incredibly active.  So too have been the swarms of mosquitoes! 

The team has serviced terrestrial traps once, and the samples look terrific.  Although the malaise heads are not full of tabanids, they are certainly brimming with a high diversity of flies.  One of our more exciting finds was a nest of the Arctic Yellowjacket (Dolichovespula norwegica)– this species has been found in Iqaluit before, but we now have “official” specimens, and are confident this species is overwintering in the tundra. 

 The aquatic sampling is also very productive:  the ponds are full of Trichoptera, and although the mayflies and stoneflies are not large, they are abundant.   Patrick has been overjoyed with the black fly collecting – in one day the team managed to collect black flies from at least ten different streams and rivers – ranging from tiny seeps emerging from the tundra to the impressive Sylvia Grinnell River, located just beside the Iqaluit Airport runway. 

We have also enjoyed a lot of local media coverage, including a TV spot on CBC north’s news program “Northbeat”. Chris Buddle did a public talk at Nunavut Arctic College that was well attended by entomology “enthusiasts” in town!  The team is also spending time with a kid’s Science Camp to talk about entomology.  Needless to say, the team has felt very welcome in Iqaluit, and there is a lot of local interest in topics related to insects and spiders of the North.  We are especially thankful for the Nunavut Research Institute (see: http://www.nri.nu.ca/ ) for logistical support, and for help from Jamal Shirley.

If you’d like to check out the CBC TV feature, click here (the clip is about 2/3 of the way through the program)

Update from Team Goose at Lake Hazen

Team Moose has been in contact (via Satellite phone) with Team Goose, currently at Lake Hazen.  Although they were two days delayed in Resolute Bay, the team arrived at Hazen and they have already set all their terrestrial traps.  On one day they reported temperatures of 15C (warmer than in Iqaluit!) and they also reported mosquito activity that day.  They report that “Camp Hazen” is quite comfortable considering the remoteness of the site, and their spirits are high.  They are, however, finding access to good aquatic sites somewhat difficult, and the streams and rivers are not that productive.  Three members of the team (Sarah, Meagan, Christine) also took a (quick and soap-free) swim in Hazen!  Floating among the ice floes….brrrrr.

NBP in the news: The Creepy Crawlie Collector

The creepy crawlie collector

Crystal Ernst is spending her summer chronicling Kugluktuk’s shifting array of insects

(Jane George, Nunatsiaq News, July 19, 201o)
Dragonflies and grasshoppers.

 When you picture these two insects, you probably imagine them in a tropical climate— or at least some place in southern Canada.

 But now you can find both of these warmth-loving insects in the western Nunavut community of Kugluktuk, along with a variety of beetles, spiders, bumble bees and, of course, biting flies and mosquitoes.

The healthy and numerous bug population of Kugluktuk is one reason why Crystal Ernst, a graduate student from Montreal’s McGill Univ., came to the community this summer to collect insects and spiders.

Read the full article at Nunatsiaq News Online 

NPB in the news: Northward-bound bugs studied

Northward-bound bugs studied

‘Excellent barometers for environmental change’

(Originally published by CBC North July 6, 2010)

Canadian researchers have scattered across the North this summer to study insects not normally found in the region, like wasps and hornets, and figure out how those bugs got to the Arctic in the first place.

Biologist Donna Giberson of the University of Prince Edward Island has set up teams of graduate students in various northern communities to collect insects.

“If you see people swinging butterfly nets in the Arctic this year, this is basically the team that’s doing it,” Giberson told CBC News on a recent flight from Norman Wells, N.W.T., where one team has been based.

Click here to read the entire article!

(Our website and blog were also linked to the article…neat!)

NBP in the news: Insects a window to ecological changes in the north

From CBC Newfoundland and Labrador Morning:

The new “canary in the coal mine” Insects are a window to ecological changes in the northThe weather this year may be hard to predict but one thing’s for sure… When the temperature rises, the bugs come out. People in Labrador have noticed even the creepy crawlies are changing. This is exciting news for one group of visitors to Happy Valley – Goose Bay. They’ve come from all over the country to collect insects. Chris Buddle from McGill University is leading the group. Our Tara McLean put on her hiking boots, and followed him through back trails and shrubby terrain near town.

Team Goose was interviewed by CBC Labrador, you can download the mp3 file by clicking on this link!  Enjoy!

NBP in the News: “Northern Bug Study Tracks Climate Change”

Click here to read the full article published at cbc.ca

Also, look in the sidebar for the link to audio of an interview with students Jana Aker and Christine Roussel where they describe the upcoming field season and their research.

NBP in the News: “Barometers of Environmental Change”

Barometers of Environmental Change

(By Mary MacKay, The Guardian, 18/03/10)

Insects are the canary in the coalmine in terms of warning signs in the fragile ecosystem of the Canadian Arctic.  And now a group of professors and students from UPEI, McGill University in Montreal, Que., and the University of Toronto (UofT) in Ontario is set to seek out and study insects, spiders and their arthropod relatives to determine the effects of climate change in the north, which is under immense environmental pressure.

Click here to read the rest of the article published in the PEI Guardian