Education is the foundation for environmental conservation and is the theme of Earth Day 2017’s campaign. Why have we chosen to focus on the foundational species of the Great Bear Rainforest? It’s simple, there is perhaps no other species that play such a critical role in the health and survival of so many other species. Like the foundation of your house, herring is a foundation species on which the entire Great Bear Rainforest is built. Right now, the sounds of chatting, chirping, and low rattling and rasping fill the air of the #greatbearrainforest, as herring eggs are devoured by shorebirds such as black turnstones, spotted sandpipers, dowitchers, surfbirds. Then the next major event unfolds as surf scoters come inshore to dive for the eggs - a flash of black feathers, orange feet, and bills. A pack of wolves appear from the rainforest edge. They move to the shoreline and with heads down quickly begin to gorge on the herring eggs. Their intensity is born from a long winter in which food is harder to come by. Black bears emerge from their winter dens and migrate to the herring grounds to feast on eggs. The shoreline has completely transformed. Head to our website today (link in profile) to help protect what we know and love. Use today’s #EarthDay to learn about something new, to share a new world with others, and to donate to our efforts as we help protect this globally significant wildlife spectacle.
. #EarthDay2017#Herring#GreatBearSea#Pacific#PNW #wolves#seawolf#bears#whales#salmon#sealion#bird#life#globalwarming#climatechange
We are hiring!! Pacific Wild is looking for a Great Bear LIVE Technician! If you are a recent university or college grad under 30, savvy with wireless streaming, alternative energy systems, and server and network maintenance, AND willing to travel to remote sites, check out our latest job posting at pacificwild.org/about/employment
The shallow waters and coastal bays of the Pacific coast are being blanketed by masses of eggs this Easter weekend. Except it’s not the work of the Easter bunny and they are not chocolate eggs…A small fish with a major role in the lives of nearly every coastal species on land or underwater in B.C., huge schools of herring come flooding in to deposit golden eggs over many miles of shoreline. As the tide drops, black bears - having just woken from their winter sleep - are just one of a long list of mammals that feed on herring and their eggs. The herring are here and it is finally Spring! Thanks to your generosity, pacificwild.org/support-us/donate can continue to document the importance of herring as a foundation fish and an important staple to B.C.'s coast fishery.
Photos by @iantmcallister #oceanfeedstherainforest#ᴇᴀsᴛᴇʀᴇɢɢs#herring#blackbear#stopthetrophyhunt
After years of losing public trust and bears slaughtered for sport despite widespread opposition, the reaction across the province from various outlets is one of mistrust and skepticism to the election pledge by the Liberal government to ban trophy hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest. "From a B.C. grizzly bear’s perspective, the chance that this policy change will save you from a trophy hunter’s bullet is very small," said the Commercial Bear Viewing Association spokesman Julius Strauss in a news release.
Although an acknowledgment of thousands of claims is an amiable progression, only a total ban on trophy hunting province-wide will ensure the long-term survival of grizzly bears. How can the Liberals continue to justify allowing the trophy hunt in the rest of the province, accepting large donations from trophy hunters, and running a trophy hunting guide as a candidate? “I don’t feel comfortable until we have something in writing,” said Doug Neasloss, chief of the Kitasoo/Xaixais band council in Klemtu, to Postmedia News. “I’m always a bit skeptical. Election time is obviously when people make a lot of promises. Obviously, we’re not going anywhere. We’re committed to ending it".
Photo by @iantmcallister#grizzlybear #grizzlybears#stopthetrophyhunt#bantrophyhunting#bcpoli#cdnpoli#bearcubs#bearsforever@hsiglobal@wildlifedefenceleague@bearsmatter@grizzlybearfdn
A noisy afternoon in the Great Bear Rainforest, serenaded by these large black sea ducks, called Surf Scoters. As herring season starts to kick off, the @pacificwild team is working in the field to document the important link herring provide between tiny plankton and larger fish, marine mammals and birds. Swipe to hear these birds + see more from the perspective of a filmmaker in the water. Surf Scoters are often found in abundance during this time, as their location is strongly influenced by presence of herring roe and seagrass beds. You may find these birds in the coves and channels of the traditional spawning areas, where branches and seaweed are suspended from the floating, rock-anchored logs. The herring lay their eggs on just about anything along shoreline - millions of eggs will float with the tide waiting to rest on seaweed, rock, or other substrate material. With luck, the logs begin to dip under the weight of multiple layers of tiny eggs building up on the hanging garden below…. #abundance#beauty#herring#greatbearrainforest#birds#surf#sea#marine
Nearly six months after the diesel spill in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, the coastal community's clam fishery remains closed, kelp canopies have been affected, and as herring season kicks off in the Pacific coast this month, it will also have a huge impact on this critical spawning and rearing area. This first photo is an example of how important herring eggs are as a traditional food while Heiltsuk fisher Jordan Wilson harvests herring spawn-on-hemlock in Heiltsuk territory. The second photo is of Keil, the seaweed and halibut camp of the Gitga’at people and is located in open sight of oil and LNG tankers that should never be allowed to transit the inside waters of the Great Bear Sea.
The #Heiltsuk Investigation Report that was released this morning, chronicles the first 48 hours of the Nathan E. Stewart sunken tug boat and diesel spill on the central coast of BC. The report exposes failures in Canada’s emergency response measures as well as repeated refusals by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and Kirby Corporation to disclose information to Heiltsuk about their own territory. But the full extent of the environmental impacts will not be known for a long time. We ask you to help keep up the pressure for a legislated ban on oil tanker traffic -- one that includes tanker barge traffic carrying large loads to Alaska like the #nathanestewart.
Read the report [www.nes-investigation.org]. Head to our website pacificwild.org for the full media release and how you can help.
Today, an expert panel recommended that Canada should aim for greater public participation and Indigenous involvement to regulate major industrial projects like pipelines and mines after years of losing public trust. The report released this morning, Building Common Ground, recommends taking a wrecking ball to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA), which currently determines how development impacts the environment.
With more and more evidence that entire ecosystems are suffering from the negative impacts of climate change, pollution, overfishing and habitat destruction, the importance of conducting effective environmental impact assessments and creating marine protected areas (MPAs) are more important than ever. Currently, global and regional bodies have no formal mechanism to work together to protect these ecosystems from the impacts of extractive activities. Head to pacificwild.org to donate to our conservation efforts and learn more about the immediate importance of protecting specific areas of high biodiversity like the offshore world in the #GreatBearRainforest, impacting tufted puffins and other seabirds.
Photos by @iantmcallister#MPAs#marineprotectedareas#climatechange#CEAA#cndpoli#bcpoli#global#puffin#biodiversity#globalwarming#ecosystem#marine#sealegacy#greatbearsea
Around this time every year, female herring deposit nearly 20,000 clear, sticky eggs just like the ones seen in this photo. Eventually, 6 million eggs per square meter (or half a million eggs per square foot) will float with the tide, waiting to rest on eelgrass, kelp or other marine plants. Herring spread this enormous amount of eggs throughout the coast in order to bank on sheer abundance winning out and for the life cycle to begin anew. Out of the 20,000 eggs deposited, a female herring may only have one off-spring survive due to intense predation by wolves, bears, sea lions, whales and salmon. This foundational species for coastal life is critically important for humans and animals alike. While it is still too early to gauge the strength of the herring spawn this year, we, like the herring themselves, are banking on that sheer abundance winning out... swipe for more #herring#greatbearrainforest#landtosea#seaweed#seawolves#kelp#salmon#lifecycle#oceanfeedstherainforest#coastal#pnw photo by @iantmcallister
Two years ago today, the Heiltsuk First Nation claimed a historic victory over a disputed industrial herring fishery. A confrontation of protests, nightly camps, negotiations and blockades that threatened to erupt into a “war on the water”, ended with the commercial fleet leaving the central coast For decades, the Heiltsuk and other coastal First Nations have expressed opposition to the unsustainable commercial herring fishery disputing DFO's flawed stock analysis. Because of these conservation efforts, the BC central coast is a step closer to witnessing a sustainable fishery that respects local knowledge.
Today, our team is continuing to document the herring cycle and spectacular spawning event. This photo was taken this week in Kitasu Bay of the first central coast herring spawn. Herring are a true foundation species of the BC coast and remain critical to many - from humans to salmon to whales - but their status is still a fragment of their historical abundance. Will the recent decisions to reduce the kill fishery on the BC central coast give stocks enough time to rebuild? Stay tuned for our in-the-field updates over the coming weeks as Pacific Wild and coastal First Nations continue to tell the story of herring, the need for increased protection and the ecological importance of this fascinating foundation species.
Today marks the opening of the shameful grizzly bear trophy hunt in B.C. This year, the Spring hunt has even been extended.
To coincide with the opening, our colleagues @davidsuzukifdn released a report on the hunt that shows 14,000 grizzly bears have been killed in B.C. since 1975, or about 329 each year. Incredibly, the data acquired by Freedom of Information requests, also reveals that 34% of the bears killed are female. Female grizzly bears reproduce later in life and usually have a small number of cubs that survive, making the ability of a population to bounce back from a hunting season very vulnerable. “Despite being a large, dominant animal, grizzlies are among the most threatened large species on the continent,” Faisal Moola, director-general of the Suzuki foundation was quoted in @globeandmail today.
We need to see change and it needs to be immediate.
Photo by @iantmcallister#bearcubs#bearsforever#grizzlybears#greatbearrainforest#suzuki@hsiglobal@wildlifedefenceleague@bearsmatter
This week, @hsiglobal, @pacificwild and middle school students from Glenlyon Norfolk School in Victoria called on the B.C. government to implement a complete ban on the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in British Columbia, and to implement an immediate moratorium before the hunting season. Teacher Margaret McCullough said, “The students, like many other B.C. students, are afraid that they will grow up without wildlife as they see more and more species being pushed towards extinction. They understand that learning to co-exist with top carnivores will ensure that entire ecosystems are protected.”
Tomorrow, April 1st, is the start of the Spring hunt in British Columbia. We did our first "Instagram Live" during the press conference this week and we will be going live again tomorrow at 1PM PST, join us and stand in solidarity with BC bears.
Just after midnight on March 22, 2006, the Canadian ferry "Queen of the North" —carrying 101 passengers—struck an underwater ledge off Gil Island. The impact tore open the ship's bottom and ripped out the propellers. In less than an hour, it sank to the bottom of Wright Sound in the North coast of British Columbia. Despite evacuation, two passengers, Shirley Rosette and Gerald Foisy, went missing and have never been found. The death toll would most likely have been higher if it were not for the heroic efforts of the local Gitga’at people that were on site within minutes of the may-day call. To this day, residents of #HartleyBay are unable to harvest #clams, #seaweed, and other marine life. This tragedy is a stark reminder that even the best technology, shipping standards, and training cannot avert human-caused disasters. Oil and LNG tankers should never be allowed to transit the inside waters of the #greatbearrainforest
The Great Bear Rainforest is the fabled region of towering trees and rare mammals that stretches up the Pacific coast from the top of Vancouver Island to southern Alaska. Today on #IntlForestDay, we are celebrating this forest for its world-renowned biodiversity. Yet, a number of mega-energy projects now threaten this coast like no other time in history, endangering the Great Bear’s traditional ways of life for humans and non-humans alike; this short video is only a glimpse into what is at stake if these projects proceed. We hope that for International Forest Day, this video is part of a larger purpose to protect one of the most magnificent ecosystems on the planet - the increasingly threatened Great Bear Rainforest - and gives you hope to continue caring enough to make a difference. Head to pacificwild.org for further information, to donate, sign pledges, write letters, and more. #InternationalForestDay#GreatBearRainforest
Home to primordial forests and black bears that are white, the Great Bear Rainforest is the only place on Earth where these rare “umbrella species” live. That is, only if a large enough habitat can be protected for the spirit bear, then other species sharing the same ecosystem will also be protected under this “umbrella”, such as salmon, wolves, deer, birds, and more. Black bears are fascinating creatures, but because they are relatively common across North America, they tend to get overlooked in terms of their role within ecosystem function, their intelligence, their distinct behaviour from other bear species, and their uncanny ability to adapt. Join us in celebrating #InternationalForestDay today by learning more about these important creatures and appreciating just how rare these spirit bears are. These umbrella species and their historic lands are in critical need of protection as their home has already been drastically diminished by logging.
As ecologist Mary Theberge says in this video, “We’ve evolved from places like this. If we eventually destroy them, we will be destroying the humanness of ourselves.” Please consider furthering our conservational efforts and donating @ pacificwild.org today, link upstairs #IntlForestDay#spiritbear#salmon#bears#greatbearrainforest#nature#bearcubs#bearsforever#stopthetrophyhunt@wildlifedefenceleague@hsiglobal
The spirit bear can only be found on the Pacific Coast and one in every 10 bears is white or cream-coloured. When these two cubs grow up, the white one will be protected and cannot be legally shot. But the black one may be shot and killed. In a few weeks time, B.C.'s spring bear hunt will be under way, putting both of these tiny cub’s future at risk. Why both? Despite one of them being “protected,” it is impossible for hunters to know if a black-coloured black bear has the recessive gene that could produce white offspring. Please head to pacificwild.org and help put a stop to the impending spring hunt which may permanently harm this iconic bear of Canada.
Photo by @iantmcallister#spiritbear#salmon#greatbearrainforest#bears#nature#bearcubs#bearsforever#stopthetrophyhunt
With respect to the Gitga'at Nation and their colleagues and partners who for many years have worked with dedication to better understand the world of whales in the Great Bear Sea, this latest study shines a bright light on one of Canada's greatest whale sanctuaries. A decade of visual surveys in the Kitimat fjord system has revealed humpback whales moving in a “wave” pattern. The return of these majestic whales to B.C.'s North Coast has allowed this never-before-seen pattern to be observed by the Gitga'at First Nation and North Coast Cetacean Society. They are also finding that some humpbacks are not leaving to warmer waters in the winter, making the importance twofold to keep these coastal waters a safe haven for these marine mammals and their calves. However, the proposed LNG Canada plant in Kitimat is still possible in the area, bringing with it increased tanker traffic and a threat to these whales and research.
Read more about the conducted study via pacificwild.org, link in header.
Many people are drawn to wolves because they are iconic emblems of wild nature. In this human-dominated world, people are rightly worried that wolves everywhere are vulnerable to disturbance. As wolves disappear, so does much of the wild nature that wolves signify and that people depend on for spiritual nourishment and physical sustenance. Wolves and people are both understood to be victims of unrestrained industrial progress. From this perspective, wild wolves living in wild areas of the Great Bear Rainforest provide hope for many that not all has been lost. Ironically, the species once regarded as a threat to our survival is turning out to be a test of how likely we are to live sustainably in the natural world.
Link in header for WOLF ISLAND, a children's book on #seawolves, all proceeds bought through emailing "email@example.com" will help support #conservation efforts. #photography by @iantmcallister#greatbearrainforest#family#wolfpack#wild#natural#savebcwolves#nicholasread@orcabookpublishers
As the longer days of spring loosen into winter’s grip, the people of Bella Bella, Klemtu, Kitkalta, and other traditional herring-spawning territories on the north coast get focused on what locals call “herring weather.” The tides, bird and mammal life, and air and water temperature indicate much about when the herring spawn will begin. The month of March brings with it the miracle of the spawning season.
Photos by @iantmcallister#herring#greatbearsea#spawn
Today for International Women’s Day, @pacificwild is celebrating the women who make this organization’s work possible. Three quarters of our team at Pacific Wild are women and remain a clear reason we are helping make changes in our relationship with the natural world. From raising awareness to concrete action, the women of our world are at the forefront of bold pragmatic action and we encourage collaboration, public awareness and hope for a future of equality.
This is an excerpt from a CBC podcast today with Suzanne Veit of the Grizzly Bear Foundation on a report stating that the long term survival of grizzly bears in British Columbia is extremely threatened and in need of immediate change. Affected by the loss of habitat and food sources, as well as the government-sanctioned trophy hunt, the survival of B.C. grizzly bears has been at the fore-front of @pacificwild's campaigns for years. Even with widespread support, we have seen little change. We hope this report from their Board of Inquiry will bring light to the immediate necessity for change that is within our control, despite the constant battle with hunters and politicians in support of trophy hunting. “There is nothing wrong with hunting wildlife for food on a sustainable basis and, indeed, hunters have played an important role in conservation activities to maintain this opportunity, but it seems that the great majority of British Columbians will no longer countenance hunters shooting grizzly bears just to mount their heads or pelts on a trophy wall. As a society, I believe that we have grown beyond that”, commented Inquiry member Stuart McLaughlin. Full media release in the link upstairs ^^ full podcast on our Facebook page >> #bantrophyhunting#stopthetrophyhunt#bcpoli#cdnpoli#grizzlybears@cbcvancouver@grizzlybearfdn
To add salt to the wound in regards to our previous post about the recent fuel spill at a fish farm off the coast of Vancouver Island, new research has found bacterial and viral disease outbreaks in B.C. waters in the Discovery Islands, attracting massive sea lice infestations. This photo shows a wild Sockeye salmon in the #greatbearrainforest. Under Canadian law, it is illegal to transfer diseases or infected fish from holding pens or hatcheries into ocean waters - yet that's now a daily reality in B.C.'s farmed fish industry. As salmon farms invaded waters formerly occupied by their wild cousins, the “systems” invited bacterial and viral disease outbreaks and attracted massive sea lice infestations, while escaped fish introduced bred with wild salmon. First identified in Norway, HSMI - heart and skeletal muscle inflammation - is ranked as the number three killer of their farmed salmon, even described as “one of the most common infectious disease of farmed salmon in Norway.” As volume of farmed fish expanded, thanks to larger and deeper ocean cages, so did the biological impacts of overcrowding in Norway’s coastal waters. Now HSMI is here in British Columbia and the virus mostly likely associated with the disease is the subject of major lawsuit against the federal government.
More @ https://thetyee.ca/News/2017/03/04/Norwegian-Disease-BC-Fish-Farm/
Photo by @iantmcallister #bcpoli#fishfarm#salmon#hsmi
Emergency crews responded to a diesel spill near northern Vancouver Island early yesterday morning. A spill from a fuel tank at an Atlantic salmon farm has left a growing oil sheen on the coastal waters in Echo Bay, just east of Port Hardy. The company that owns the site, Cermaq Canada, issued a statement that said its records show that up to 1,500 litres was spilled. The effects of this will be seen on local communities, clam beds, and endangers wild salmon and sea mammals. Bob Chamberlin, elected chief councillor of Kwikwasat’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation, said video footage taken from a helicopter above the spill Sunday shows fuel has leaked well beyond the confines of the farm and that there will be a need for the First Nation and other groups to monitor how far the spill reached and evaluate how it affects the area.
Did you know that the Great Bear Sea will still be at risk from major spills under the proposed tanker ban legislation? The ban only covers traffic that stops at B.C. ports and carries over 12,500 tonnes of heavy oils. Tanker barge vessels transiting to Alaska, like the one that went aground near Bella Bella last October, carry four times the volume of the biggest shipments to northern B.C. communities and will still be permitted. Head to http://pacificwild.org/take-action/campaigns/stop-tankers-in-the-great-bear-sea for more information and to send a letter to elected representatives asking for a solution. (Link in header)
The theme for World Wildlife Day this year is “Listen to the Young Voices.” The young generation is only a portion of today’s population, but 100% of tomorrow's. Every single one of us has an impact on this world and we can choose to make a difference. Youth around the world understand this and have helped to shape campaigns, send letters, and educate those around them. Younger generations are also more likely to support policies which they have helped formulate and implement. Their voices are powerful and necessary to motivate others to reconsider the premise upon which our wildlife management is based and practiced. From bears to humpback whales, sea wolves to herring, squid, and nudibranchs; our environment is under siege and we are destroying this richness at an unprecedented rate.
For #WWD2017, we are sharing a written piece by Dr. Gosia Bryja, "The Fate of Animals Deserves Truthful Words” and this accompanying video of young animals in the #GreatBearSea and #GreatBearRainforest. Head to the link in bio or our website pacificwild.org to read the full piece.
The spectral, silver-hued herring season occupies a stanza of its own, caught in breathtaking azure-blue herring spawn filled waters. Herring are the “foundational” species for the B.C. coastal ecology. Nearly everything that breathes and lives in this wild Great Bear Sea and the surrounding rainforest, is charged by these oily fish. A post-winter food source for both marine and land animals, many depend on the fish and its eggs, including local people. But the Great Bear Sea is at risk from large shipments of petroleum products - 10,000 tonne tankers transiting the coast to Alaska, like the one that ran aground last October, spilling over 100,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils into the most productive herring spawning grounds of the BC north coast. The proposed tanker ban legislation only covers traffic that stops at B.C. ports and carries over 12,500 tonnes of heavy oils. Head to the link in our website to see whether marine plans and the soon to be legislated Pacific north coast oil #tankerban, will be enough to prevent #oilspills in the #GreatBearSea -- and what you can do to help.
Photo by @iantmcallister #stoptankers#NathanEStewart#heiltsukherring
All the stars are fish,
All the light that once seduced your eyes
sits in the bellies of these fish.
From your bed you watch them float
high above where the ceiling should be.
They glide below where your feet
every morning touch the floor.
The door to your room is a blur of fish.
If you could reach it, you’d leave it closed
for fear of what might enter. Orcas, wolf
eels, sharks, the net of a drifter dropped
into a dream. The herring all around you.
never touch, bump or falter;
one mind, merciless and lean,
pulls them forward, to the left, the right;
you, too, caught before you waken
in its slippery grip.
Early March builds anticipation for herring season - the annual spawning event is only a few weeks away. Head to pacificwild.org for more mesmerizing imagery and detail. (Poem from Voices From The Forest & The Sea: THE WILD IN YOU, by Lorna Crozier) #heiltsukherring#greatbearsea#oceanfeedstherainforest
Usually we post beautiful photos of grizzly bears to raise awareness and ask for help to #stopthetrophyhunt in BC. This is not one of them. We keep asking: Do our politicians hear us? Are they learning? No, they are not. This photo is the grisly truth.
Photo and caption by @iantmcallister, "While hiking near Nunavarchak in western Alaska a few years ago I came across the remains of this grizzly bear. It had been shot by a trophy hunter only 10 feet from the entrance to its winter den. A few weeks from now, throughout BC and Alaska, trophy hunters will take to the air to begin searching for active den sites. These dens are easily found from airplanes because bears wake up slowly, often coming and going from their den and unfortunately they leave tracks that are easily followed in the snow. Once located the pathetic hunters only have to wait for the sleepy bear to emerge before they kill it. The spring bear hunt is especially insidious because females are often killed with their cubs still inside the natal den. It is hard to find someone that actually supports killing animals for sport or trophy yet it is still legal and defended by state and provincial governments in Alaska and British Columbia." #timeforchange@bcliberals#stopthetrophyhunt#bantrophyhunting#bearsmatter#bearsforeverbc#cdnpoli#bcpoli#BC#explorebc
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