Nature Conservancy of Canada asks Manitobans to measure snow for climate change research

The Nature Conservancy of Canada, in partnership with Manitoba Conservation, wants Manitobans to become winter weather watchers and help track snowfall and temperatures in the province as the climate changes.

White-tailed deer numbers on the decline, record snowfalls partly to blame, conservation group says

White-tailed deer populations are declining in Manitoba in recent years. Severe winters and deep snowfalls are a factor in the decline, say Nature Conservancy of Canada officials. (Stu McKay)

The Nature Conservancy of Canada, in partnership with Manitoba Conservation, wants residents to become winter weather watchers and measure snowfall and temperature to track the effects of climate change.

"The job of a winter weather watcher is to record daily temperatures and snow depths at a number of predetermined winter weather watching monitoring stations," said Kevin Teneycke, Manitoba region director of conservation for the Nature Conservancy.

The NCC will match up volunteers with one of 12 monitoring locations across Manitoba where they can collect data. The hope is with more data, government can better manage large game species like deer, Teneycke said.

The white-tailed deer has been in decline in recent years as Manitoba has been hit by a series of severe winters, he said.

"Winter can greatly affect a number of species, a number of ways — everything from reproductive rates to individual survival," said Teneycke.

Cold weather combined with deep snow is particularly hard on deer, he said, and severe weather such as record snowfall is associated with climate change.

"Climate change has been something that NCC has certainly incorporated into some of our conservation planning efforts. We're taking a look at assessing and kind of getting an idea of are we doing things today to conserve biodiversity that are going to be relevant tomorrow," said Teneycke.

To get involved in the winter weather watchers program, contact the Nature Conservancy of Canada at 1-866-683-6934 or


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