'Super immunity' may explain how bats carry coronaviruses

A University of Saskatchewan (USask) research team has uncovered how bats can carry the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus without getting sick — research that could shed light on how coronaviruses make the jump to humans and other animals.

Mapping metals in feathers

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers have mapped metals in bird feathers, a technique that could help make environmental monitoring less destructive.

Bats’ immune systems key to understanding global epidemic diseases

Why is it that bats don’t get sick when infected with viruses that can be deadly in humans?

Windows into local waters

The wet sand squishes beneath my gumboots as I walk along a beach near Tofino, on the western edge of Vancouver Island, B.C. Last night’s storm has strewn bull kelp and broken shells across the beach. It has also landed a true ocean oddity: a mermaid’s purse.

Ducks Unlimited Canada and USask partner to advance wetland and waterfowl conservation in Canada

SASKATOON – Today, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and the University of Saskatchewan (USask) announced a partnership to create the Ducks Unlimited Canada Endowed Chair in Wetland and Waterfowl Conservation—the first of its kind in Canada.

Ducks Unlimited Canada and USask partner to advance wetland and waterfowl conservation in Canada

Today, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and the University of Saskatchewan (USask) announced a partnership to create the Ducks Unlimited Canada Endowed Chair in Wetland and Waterfowl Conservation—the first of its kind in Canada.

Injured owl flies free

After months of rehabilitation, a great horned owl named Newman is enjoying a second chance at life in the wild — thanks to the hard work of a dedicated team of clinicians, students and staff at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

The effects of climate change on waterfowl

Stressed-out ducks have the potential to give University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers a glimpse of the destructive effects of climate change on wetlands — the primary habitat for ducks and other waterfowl.

Revelling in research: poster day celebrates undergraduate program

From disease in honey bees to pain management in beef calves, the research topics on display at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) annual undergraduate research poster day spanned species big and small.

WCVM researchers part of polar report

A federal science report describing field research in Canada’s Arctic features the work of veterinary parasitologist Dr. Emily Jenkins, a professor at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) and University of Saskatchewan (USask) researcher.

Watching for wild carriers of avian influenza

Most people who see a flock of wild ducks flying over a lake don’t automatically think about the diseases these birds could be carrying, but for many chicken and turkey producers, the threat of wild birds spreading disease to their flocks is all too real.

Ecologist’s work targets what makes Lyme disease tick

Dr. Maarten Voordouw and his wife Anne enjoy being outdoors, especially with their young daughters, Naia and Margot. But after any outing, particularly if the girls have been playing in the grass or leaves, the couple are diligent about checking for ticks.

USask researcher recognized for work on predator-prey relationships

It’s a life she hadn’t imagined when she was a young student.

Bats waking up to viral reactivation

I feel like a predator. Only my target isn’t a blood meal – it is something far more precious.

Veterinarian looking at ways to manage TB in northern bison herd

A Parks Canada scientist is conducting research on bovine tuberculosis in bison to improve diagnosis of the disease and to develop better vaccines. This research is conducted in collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan and the Canadian Bison Association.

Turning the tide for the bigmouth buffalo fish

The bigmouth buffalo fish, or Ictiobus cyprinellus, is one of 67 fish species found in Saskatchewan waters, but it is also one of the six fish species currently at risk of extirpation (gone from a once-populated area) in the province.

Wild pigs invade Canadian provinces—an emerging crisis for agriculture and the environment

Wild pigs—a mix of wild boar and domestic swine—are spreading rapidly across Canada, threatening native species such as nesting birds, deer, agricultural crops, and farm livestock, research by the University of Saskatchewan (USask) shows.

Investigating tularemia on the Canadian Prairies

Between June 29 and July 19, 1978, a group of seven monkeys at Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Zoo mysteriously fell ill.

WCVM alumna cares for calving caribou

One WCVM-trained veterinarian is at the forefront of caring for caribou and other wildlife as the official wildlife veterinarian for British Columbia’s Ministry of Forests.

Fish under threat release chemicals to warn others of danger

Fish warn each other about danger by releasing chemicals into the water as a signal, research by the University of Saskatchewan (USask) has found.

USask researchers find changing environment bringing bear species together

In an unprecedented finding, University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers have recorded all three species of North American bears occupying overlapping territory in Canada’s subarctic.

Falconry helped vet student’s career take flight

Pets of all shapes and sizes have always been part of Katie Radcliffe’s life, but the first-year veterinary student’s favourite animals aren’t the soft and cuddly kind.

Injured turtle on a roll with Lego wheelchair

A wild eastern box turtle at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, Md., is on the mend and on the move — thanks to some plastic Lego bricks and some clever thinking by Garrett Fraess, a veterinary student from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Toxic leftovers from Giant Mine found in snowshoe hares

Even though it was closed decades ago, the Giant Mine on the outskirts of Yellowknife has left a long environmental legacy.

No free rides for bats slows spread of white-nose syndrome

Whether you’re a tourist who is planning a cross-country camping trip or a trucker hauling freight from Toronto to Vancouver, you can help slow the spread of a devastating wildlife disease called white-nose syndrome (WNS) by checking to ensure that you’re not giving a bat a free ride.

Wolverine research in the North

In the past 40 years, research into wolverine parasites has been as elusive as the animals themselves. Fortunately, that situation is changing, and PhD candidate Rajnish Sharma is the latest researcher to turn his sights on parasites affecting these carnivorous mammals.

Ducks’ feathers hold key to measuring impact of stress

Habitat loss, changes in weather, food scarcity, predator-versus-prey situations – each day wild animals are faced with these potential stressors. But what’s the cost?

On the wing: repairing the great horned owl

Like most veterinarians, I spent many hours embroiled in an assortment of volunteer work prior to acceptance into vet school. In particular, I enjoyed discovering the medicine and rehabilitation of birds of prey through the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (OWL) in Delta, B.C.

Scientists strive to revive Canada’s wood bison herds

Straddling the boundary between northern Alberta and the southernmost tip of the Northwest Territories lies Wood Buffalo National Park, the widest-reaching patch of federally-protected wilderness in all of Canada.

Co-operation key to CWHC’s 25-year success

It's a rare person who looks upon research on rats – the unwelcome kind – as the study of urban wildlife.

U of S research finds good news for caribou

A University of Saskatchewan (U of S) research team has found that the woodland caribou population in the Boreal Shield region of Saskatchewan has been slightly increasing over the past two years and currently exists at a high density for the species in Canada.

Great blue heron heals at WCVM

When a large bird fell from the sky in front of a woman walking in downtown Saskatoon, the quick thinking citizen brought it directly to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Forest-loving moose thriving on farmland

While populations of moose have been declining in much of their North American range, research from the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) shows how these icons of the northern boreal forest are finding success by moving south into farmers' fields.

Fungus threatens salamanders and newts

The fate of the world's richest biodiversity of salamanders and newts is in the hands of pet owners across North America, said Natacha Hogan, an environmental toxicologist specializing in amphibians at the University of Saskatchewan.

Researchers examine aquatic painkillers

Until recently, veterinarians removed tumours, installed prosthetic eyes and performed other painful medical procedures on beloved pets as well as on animals in zoos and aquariums without providing their patients with any painkilling drugs.

Scientists seek reasons behind fish die-off

On a normal summer day at Buffalo Pound Lake, beachgoers bask in the sun to the soothing sound of waves lapping onto the beach – and the hum of mosquitoes. But for 11 straight days in June 2012, this southern Saskatchewan paradise was disrupted by waves of dead and dying yellow perch washing onto shore.

Bolt flies free

Dr. Brandy Kragness let go of the wild bird she had cared for all winter and watched "Bolt" swiftly launch himself into the wind, flying strong and sure across the stubble field.

The birds next door

Bird health and the conservation of declining bird species are unifying themes for a new avian research centre on campus.

Meet the seal team

It is high noon on the ice shelf off Ross Island — it is always high noon in February in Antarctica — and Dr. Rob McCorkell, Dr. Gregg Adams and Michelle Shero are clustered around the south end of a northbound Weddell seal, trying to determine if she is pregnant.

Phoenix the panda visits the WCVM

Phoenix the red panda recently visited the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) for a check-up and received a clean bill of health from wildlife veterinarians.

Motorboat noise increases risk for fish

Noise from motorboat traffic makes some fish more than two and a half times more likely to be eaten by predators, according to an international team of researchers including biologists from the University of Saskatchewan (U of S).

International symposium targets bison health

The First International Symposium on Bison Health, to be held in Saskatoon from June 24-26, will offer attendees presentations from local, national and international bison experts as well as a tour of the University of Saskatchewan's Specialized Livestock Facility.

Ultrasound shows fish heart function

How do you take ultrasound images of a fish?

Researchers hunt for tiny worm in B.C. wildlife

Most people living in developed countries like Canada don't think of tapeworms as a threat to human health, but a recent discovery in British Columbia may eventually change that perception.

Student pans for worms in wolverines

The wolverine is an animal so elusive that even some wolverine biologists have never seen one alive in the wild.

Leighton's legacy is strong CWHC

When Dr. Frederick A. (Ted) Leighton stepped down from his role as executive director of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC) on July 1, he left behind a vital, successful organization that's the envy of other countries.

“Flea-finder” probes for plague in Grasslands

Endless skies, wild bison and real cowboys – all are a part of life in Grasslands National Park. My summer research has brought me to southwestern Saskatchewan, an area harbouring some of the only native prairie left in Canada — and potentially, plague.

Where the bison roam

The bison come charging into the building, and I quietly shut the hydraulic gate behind them. This is a favourite part of my day in my job as a summer research student at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM). The strength and power of these wild animals fill the entire room with energy.

Fish behaviour flags environmental change

Newly hatched baby turtles on Florida's coast have been known to rush away from the ocean, rather than toward it as they normally would do.

New director committed to wildlife health

The Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative's new director — Dr. Craig Stephen — is someone whose lifelong commitment to wildlife mirrors that of his new colleagues at the CWHC.

U of S grad to lead national wildlife centre

The Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC) has selected Dr. Craig Stephen, a wildlife health specialist and a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), as its new executive director.

U of S moose research continues

Rural residents who spot a low-flying helicopter south of Saskatoon, including areas near Dundurn, Outlook, Tuxford, Watrous and Chamberlain, need not be alarmed – it's just a University of Saskatchewan research team catching moose with a net gun.