Introducing the Thick-Billed Murre!
Thick-billed murres are found in Arctic waters all across the globe. Known as the “penguins of the north”, these cool looking birds have distinctive black and white feathers and are one of the deepest underwater divers of all birds, plunging to depths of over 100 metres and using their stubby little wings to “fly” through the water. Although their population is in the millions, some recent research shows declines of 20-50% in some large colonies. This is a big cause for concern, as the murres are facing dangerous threats like fishing net entanglement, ocean pollution, oil spills, and climate change.
When you adopt a thick-billed murre through the Wildlife Adoptions program, you’ll support McGill University researcher Emily Choy as she studies how thick-billed murres are using and responding to their environment on Coats Island and northern Hudson Bay. Using miniature bio-loggers, Emily will be able to track the movements of murres and measure things like heart rate, body temperature, and activity levels as they dive, fly, and hunt for food.
With this information, Emily will develop an “energy map” to assess habitat quality for these seabirds and other marine predators, and help make sure that their most important foraging areas are not being negatively impacted by human activities, like Arctic shipping traffic. Join us this Thursday at 2pm EST on Facebook Live as we chat with Emily Choy herself to learn about the murre, arctic fox, and what it’s like to work on conservation projects from the side of a cliff!!
You can read even more about her research in this awesome article on the Wild Wire Blog!
Today’s Eco Activity: Re-set The Stat!
Now that you know how climate change affects the thick-billed murre and other arctic animals, we want you to help make a difference at home! Did you know you can do that just by re-setting your thermostat?
Now that summer’s almost here it might be tempting to crank that air conditioning, but all that cold air comes at a cost to our planet. Instead of putting your air conditioner into overdrive, keep cool with these tips instead! Not only will you be reducing your household greenhouse gas emissions, you’ll be helping to slow down climate change too!
- Lose the socks and go barefoot
- Opt for no-oven meals or cook outside if you can—using the oven heats your home up as well as your food!
- Put a cold cloth on your forehead, neck, arms, or legs
- Keep cool from within by eating or drinking something cold
- If there’s a breeze outside, open your windows to get fresh air flowing through your home! If it’s hot and sunny, keep blinds and curtains closed.
Plus, try these naturally-cool ideas to keep fresh and celebrate #GlobalWindDay… that’s today by the way!!
- Use a fan to circulate the air (only when you’re in the room)
- Open a window at night instead of using air conditioning
- Learn more about the amazing power of wind in this Wild Wire article!