Zack Metcalfe

Zack Metcalfe is a freelance journalist, columnist and author based in the Maritimes.

Author Articles

Atlantic Whitefish

It was the spring of 2016 when I saw my first Atlantic whitefish, an infant, squirming and spasming in the holding tank of a rotary screw trap. It was such...

I’m not sure what woke me – the cold penetrating my sleeping bag, the first impressions of dawn, the internal alarm of the wildlife photographer – but I remember very...

I found her on my third day, a speck of honey and cream lost in the shimmering savannas atop Mont Albert, Quebec. Through my camera lens I saw a robust...

I was raised on the Teeswater River in southwestern Ontario, minor when compared to the neighbouring Saugeen but to me, it might as well have been the Mississippi. We owned...

It would be difficult to recount all the broken promises which led us here. Two independent forestry reviews, adopted in spirit then ignored in reality; a public push for the...

It was a mild day in the fall of 2017 when I, true to form, attended a conference on Maritime biodiversity in Caledonia, Nova Scotia. In various working groups we...

Do you remember the American chestnut? If I plopped you in front of one without a field guide or search engine, would you recognize it? If I dumped a bag...

Veganism is, by orders or magnitude, the most carbon efficient method of feeding the human animal, on par with switching to an electric vehicle or covering one’s roof with solar...

Any other year I would have watched the election live, with an interactive webpage open on my laptop and CBC commentary interjecting from my television. Instead, I passed September 20th...

I started calling myself a “conservation journalist” on September 1st of 2014, not because anyone hired me or because the market was hungry for stories on climate change or species-at-risk,...

Authors Blog

(Photo: a cougar stands on a riverbank)
The eastern cougar is the only 7 foot long, 200 pound wildcat that may or may not be living in your backyard. The eastern cougar is the only 7 foot...
(Photo: a Canadian lynx walks through the snow)
Feast or famine, as the old saying goes. We either have too much or too little, never just what we need. This is doubly true of the Canadian lynx. Feast...
The pine marten is an adorable creature, with fur softer than any pillow and a personality not unlike that of an inquisitive cat. I know this because I had the...
Puffins by Brian Gratwicke via Flickr
There’s perhaps no seabird more iconic to the Maritimes than the Atlantic puffin, a bird as modest and beautiful as the region itself. There’s perhaps no seabird more iconic to...
Basking Shark | Chris Gotschalk photo
Do you know how many people were killed by sharks in 2014? Six. Do you know how many sharks were killed by people that same year? Around 100 million.To say...
A North Atlantic Right Whale mother with her calf
In the race against extinction, there’s no greater nail-biter than the case of the North Atlantic right whale. In the race against extinction, there’s no greater nail-biter than the case...
Piping Plover | ShutterGlow Photo
It’s been a rough decade for the piping plover, an adorable little shorebird found only on North American beaches. Of the two distinct subspecies born and raised in Canada, one...
NOAA Fisheries Photo
Did you know the very first blue whale research organization in the world was founded in Atlantic Canada? They opened their doors in 1979 on the north shore of the...
Great Auks
I would like to introduce you to three species you will never meet, each of them living out their final days sometime in the last 150 years, run to extinction...
Shorebirds in southern Nova Scotia at Port Joli
Did you know there used to be giant sloths? I’m not kidding. We’re talking six metres long and occupying much of the globe, including North America. You might imagine something...