The Darkwoods Conservation Area in Canada’s Rocky Mountains is just one of the areas protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. (Bruce Kirkby/Nature Conservancy of Canada)

Professor to help conservation group protect biodiversity

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A University of Guelph biologist is joining forces with a major conservation group to help Canada protect natural spaces and endangered species. Prof. Ryan Norris is an authority on migratory birds and monarch butterflies. But he will expand his research toward a wide range of endangered and threatened species.

Norris was named the Weston Family Senior Scientist for the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and will help the organization with its ongoing acquisition and protection of tracts of land across the country.

Professor and biologist Ryan Norris and graduate students will research and advise the Nature Conservancy of Canada on biodiversity protection. (University of Guelph)

‘The time is now to be doing conservation science’

He will retain his position at the university and lead a program of conservation research, planning, information and help bring it to public attention. The philanthropic W. Garfield Weston Foundation will also offer fellowships to five to 10 graduate students annually.

The announcement notes that the United Nations recently announced that as many as one million species in the world are at risk of extinction.

As we continue to develop lands, protected areas are going to play a larger role across Canada. We will be even more reliant on these areas to preserve biodiversity in the next 40 years,” said Norris in a statement.

“We need to continue to build our capacity for using scientific evidence to not just help acquire and effectively manage protected lands but also to assess their effectiveness in conserving threatened species. The time is now to be doing conservation science.”

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Categories: Environment
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