There's always something new to discover at FortWhyte Alive.
The results are in: we had a great time at the first-ever Family Adventure Race held at FortWhyte Alive! Participants of all ages ran, paddled, biked and navigated around the forests, lakes and trails here at FortWhyte on a beautiful autumn day. Thank you to the 30 teams that came out to adventure with us. And a huge thanks to the folks of Ground Up Adventures - North, who are the driving force behind this race and other family-friendly initiatives in Manitoba and beyond.
Scientific Name: Bison bison
DescriptionBison, commonly called buffalo, have dark brown fur that is thickest on the head and gradually gets shorter towards the rump. There is a distinct hump on the back and both male (bulls) and female (cows) bison have short, dark, upwardly curved horns. Adults measure approximately 1.5 to 2m (5 to 6 ½ ft) tall at the shoulders, with the bulls being larger than the cows. Their body weights range from 360 to 540 kg (790 to 1200 lbs) in females and 460 to 1000 kg (990 to 2200 lbs) in males. That’s as much as a small car! Food Sources Bison’s diet consists of buffalo grass, blue grama, wheatgrass, needle and thread, reed grasssedges, and twigs from scrubland bushes. Bison have a greater digestive ability than cattle, being able to breakdown tough plant cellulose more efficiently. Recent studies have shown that grazing by bison increases the diversity of plant species in tall-grass prairie plots: this is presumably due to the fact that bison preferentially eat dominant grass species, giving other plants a chance to colonize.
Mating occurs in July and August and a single calf is born 9 ½ months later. Calves have cinnamon coloured fur and weigh between 23 and 27 kg (50 to 60 lbs) at birth. They are able to stand and nurse within 30 minutes after being born and are able to walk in a few hours. The hump and horns begin to develop at the age of 2 months and are weaned at about 5 months.
RemarksWild bison in North America once numbered 60 million, but over-hunting and habitat loss decreased their population to approximately 500 animals in 1900. Killed for their horns, fur, or just for sport, it seemed that this animal was destined for extinction. With the help of conservationists, the few remaining were protected and their population grew rapidly. -Ranger Rachel
Mother Nature treated us once again to a gorgeous autumn evening for the Second Annual FortWhyte Farms Harvest Supper. To everyone that came out to eat, drink, learn, play, and dance as the sun set: thank you. We simply could not do the work we do at FortWhyte Farms without the overwhelming support from our community.
Special thanks to:
And, finally, thank you to all of those that support FortWhyte Farms year-round! We hope to see you all next fall!
Scientific Name: Tamais striatus (Eastern Chipmunk)
DescriptionThe Eastern Chipmunk has 1 white stripe on each side of its body, with both stripes ending at the rump. It has faint tan stripes on side of face, and a white belly. They are larger than its cousin the Least Chipmunk, measuring in at a body length of 21-30 centimeters and a weight of 66-140 grams. Food Sources Primarily eats acorns, seeds, plants, grasses, berries, and will occasionally eat slugs, snails, spiders, and insects.
HabitatEastern chipmunks are at home in forests where there are plenty of hiding spots, such as under rocks or in fallen trees. This cover helps the critter escape its predators.
RemarksChipmunks are generally ground dwellers, but will not pass up an opportunity to climb an oak tree for a ripe acorn. They have a reputation as big eaters because of their large cheek capacity and the fact that they have been known to hoard enough food to last them for years. -Ranger Rachel