Andrew Bryant – “Sidehill gougers & sea monsters: one biologist’s journey”
by Heather Harbord, 19 Oct 2017.
Our very own Dr. Andrew Bryant came to tell a story – or more accurately, a whole bunch of stories – about his work with endangered species.
In “Follow the money”, newly-graduated Andrew does just that. He passed up a low-paying “dream job”, instead becoming a park naturalist, answering damn fool questions from tourists in Algonquin Provincial Park. Things worked out. He wound up reintroducing Peregrine Falcons – and having a cliff named after him.
“Loaded for bear” begins with a chance encounter with a grizzly bear, on an otherwise Julie-Andrews-kind-of-day. This led to a slight change in Andrew’s career-path – and a minor supporting role in creatimg the world’s first protected sanctuary for grizzly bears – in a place called the Khutzeymateen.
“Follow the girl” sees Andrew arrive in the south Okanagan. There he spent time rapelling into abandoned mine shafts in search of hibernating bats. Twenty-seven years later, he was surprised to learn that somebody had actually read his report – and acted upon it.
“Watch out for sea monsters” takes Andrew back to Ontario, where he used tape-playback methods to search for endangered Kirtland’s Warblers. Not finding any, he did get a good scare while paddling around Manitoulin Island. The warblers, as it turned out, didn’t need his help anyway.
Here and there we also got to learn about sidehill gougers, zoom back and forth across the country, and see some truly one-of-a-kind photographs.
He really needs to settle down and write that book!