Working to protect the wildlife and wild spaces of Canada's Great Bear Rainforest and beyond.
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We have been a bit quiet on our social media channels lately... Behind the scenes, @PacificWild has been gearing up to release an exciting new campaign to bring awareness to the on-going grizzly bear hunt in British Columbia!
The more you learn about bear populations in B.C., the more appalling the idea of any form of grizzly hunting becomes - whether it is for their head, paws and hide, or for their meat. Tomorrow, on September 26th, we will be making this new campaign public and we are excited to call on YOU to help us #savebcbears.
Head to savebcbears.org (link in profile) to see how you can help in the meantime - in less than 24 hours the landing page will transform into the initiative we have been working hard on for months! To see what we have coming, stay tuned to this platform and subscribe to Pacific Wild. Please consider signing the petition and donating to our efforts.
All contributions will go towards our advocacy efforts, as we continue to fight until we can finally say that grizzly bears in B.C. will no longer be hunted.
Exciting new release!! "A Bear’s Life" is the second children's book in the My Great Bear Rainforest series, after "Wolf Island". Black bears, grizzly bears, and spirit bears all make their home in the #GreatBearRainforest. #ABearsLife uses stunning photographs by Pacific Wild's Executive Director, @iantmcallister, to follow these beautiful animals through a year in the British Columbia wilderness—catching fish, eating berries, climbing trees and taking long naps. We have just released an @orcabookpublishers Author Feature on the writer Nicholas Read to our blog at pacificwild.org. Featuring captivating and intimate looks at the lives of wild bears, this book has been called "an easy pick for nonfiction animal collections". Books bought through Pacific Wild goes to our bear conservation efforts - link in profile or @ pacificwild.org/support-us
Around this time last month in August, the NDP government announced its move towards permanently closing grizzly trophy hunting by the end of November, but left the fall 2017 bear hunting season unchanged. The province will also still allow grizzlies to be hunted for their meat, provoking further controversy around the hunt in B.C. “This bear hunting season, the Coastal Guardian Watchmen will continue to monitor and implement the Coastal First Nations (CFN) trophy hunting ban, which has been in place since 2012,” said Bear Working Group member Chief Douglas Neasloss @neasloss, of the #Kitasoo/Xai’Xais Nation in a recent media release. Trophy hunting is closed in the #GreatBearRainforest under Indigenous Law: Last week we saw a nod of respect to this as the CFN @cfngbi and the Central Coast Bear Working Group applauded one B.C. resident hunter who surrendered their hunting tag to the #Heiltsuk Nation. “Thanks to this hunter who complied with Indigenous law, a life of a grizzly was spared," said @jesshousty, Heiltsuk tribal councillor and CFN board member, who received the surrendered permit. While this provincial move could signal changes for future grizzly bear management across other jurisdictions, this long-awaited ban needs to be made into a complete and total ban across the rest of the province in order to help protect the longevity of grizzly bear populations. Head to pacificwild.org to see how you can help today.
The B.C. Government and the Kirby Corporation are moving forward with a memorandum in the wake of the October 13th diesel spill last fall in Heiltsuk territory. Swipe for photos of the sunken tug Nathan E. Stewart, that was loaded with nearly 250,000 litres of diesel fuel.
Over 100,000 litres of that fuel and other pollutants were released into the surrounding waters known as "Gale Passage." But to the Heiltsuk, this area is called "Q’vúqvai" and is of extreme cultural significance.
Now, the community is moving forward with an impact assessment of their own in order to address this exclusionary approach. According to @thetyee article written by Heiltsuk Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett and Council member Jaime Harris, the assessment will have three parts: a Western science component, a traditional knowledge component, and a health impact assessment. "For millennia, it has been the site of one our ancient tribal groups, the Q́vúqvaýáitx̌v; a home to ceremonial practices (past and present); and one of our richest harvest grounds". We support the Heiltsuk community as they work tirelessly to address this issue and restore the area back to its pristine state. The response to this spill and feigned "world class" response has far reaching implications and should serve as a warning to all B.C. residents with the proposed increase in tanker traffic on the coast of British Columbia.
Photos by @iantmcallister#bantankertraffic#lng#pnw#GreatBearSea#greatbearrainforest#nightmare#heiltsuk#heiltsukstrong#notankers#bcpoli#cndpoli
Pacific Wild is a conservation voice dedicated to ensuring that the Great Bear Rainforest remains one of the Earth’s greatest cradles of biodiversity. We will be sending out our fall newsletter this week!! Sign up in the link upstairs to receive our cinematic expedition stories, special events, project highlights, photographs and more, straight to your inbox.
We have worked for over two decades to combat and bring attention to a number of threats to the region, including publicizing B.C.’s shameful grizzly bear trophy hunt, barbaric wolf management policies, forestry, fish farming and more, to show the global community what is at stake. In the upcoming newsletter, we reflect on some of the biggest changes in conservation over the last year in Canada's Great Bear Rainforest, and what more must be done. Don’t miss it - sign up now!
Decades of habitat destruction and human encroachment have left BC’s mountain caribou on the edge of survival. Earlier this year, a BC government document revealed plans for a 2017 wolf cull expansion in a misguided attempt to save these caribou. Now, new research published in an academic journal is advocating for one particular solution: increase the hunting of deer and moose that are spreading across B.C. Researcher Robert Serrouya says logging activities, climate change and forest fires over the last 150 years have removed trees in B.C., replacing them with lighter shrubbery. That shrubbery is eaten by moose and deer, reports @CBC. As the shrubbery has grown, so too have those animals' populations while also spreading into caribou territory.
While the need to find new conservation solutions before these caribou herds disappear forever is essential, BC cannot continue ignoring the main drivers of caribou decline. Governments must stop making wildlife scapegoats for industries environmental devastation. Head to pacificwild.org or the link in our profile to learn more about how the BC government placed the blame on wolves, instead of protecting critical food and habitat for caribou.
Trophy hunting is not the only thing grizzly bears are up against in B.C. One of the most powerful, intelligent, slowest-reproducing, and farthest ranging land mammals is already under threat from B.C.'s wildfires and the decline of wild salmon stocks. In addition, many grizzly bears are still vulnerable to mining, clearcutting, and large-scale road building.
According to a new report from the Forest Practices Board, the government has placed an already threatened grizzly population at risk by not properly handling the risks posed by logging roads. "Government chose to rely on forest professionals and forest licensees to voluntarily reduce the amount of forestry road in the Kettle-Granby area, rather than making it a legal requirement, but that did not happen," board chair of Friends and Residents of the North Fork, Tim Ryan, said in a news release. "Government does not have a recovery strategy for this grizzly bear population and never completed its promised recovery plan work." We must keep the new NDP government accountable to ensure the situation changes.
An unknown number of Atlantic salmon escaped this Saturday from the broken nets of Cooke Aquaculture fish farm's near Cypress Island in Washington State. The pen itself held 305,000 individual non-native fish, yet reports say only a few thousand are accounted for.
Kurt Beardslee, the director of the @wildfishconservancy, called the escape an "environmental nightmare."
Major concerns involve the Atlantic salmon breeding with and out-competing the already dwindling native Chinook salmon and steelhead for food and spawning grounds, predating on native juvenile fish, and transferring diseases.
Net-pen fish farms have been a controversial issue since the moratorium on their expansion in BC was lifted in 2002. Over and over again, the fears of many BC residents and Indigenous groups are becoming a reality. Even more alarming --- the same company, Cooke Aquaculture, is proposing a larger Atlantic salmon net pen in the Strait of San Juan de Fuca, reports @npr.
What can you do to help?
1. The public is urged “to catch as many of the fish as possible, with no limit on size or number” by the Washington department of Fish and Wildlife and to report any sightings in BC to the Atlantic Salmon Watch Program at 1-800-811-6010.
2. The deadline to have your say on net-pen Atlantic Fish Farms is August 28th, 2017 - head to the link in our profile for more info.
Photo by @thomaspeschak#wildsalmon#farmedsalmon#environmentaldisaster#liketodislike#pnw#pacificnorthwest#publicinputmatters
Disturbing new footage has been released today of diseased and disfigured salmon in B.C. fish farms. “These fish are really sick,” Ernest Alfred, member of the Namgis and Lawit'sis from Alert Bay, says in the footage. “These fish are polluting the environment that we call home.” Posted to our Facebook page @ Pacific Wild, Ernest Alfred and Awahawoo Hereditary Chief George Quocksister Jr. shot the footage at two salmon farms owned by #GriegSeafood and located near Broughton Island, B.C., in the traditional territory of the Musgmagw Dzawada’enuwx Nation. Filmed aboard @seashepherd Conservation Society’s research vessel the @rvmartinsheen, they are working with biologist @alexandramorton.wildsalmon. Morton says the footage gives an indication of what is now travelling through Pacific waters after the escape of potentially hundreds of thousands of farmed Atlantic salmon this week near Cypress Island, Wash., located about 50 kilometres east of Victoria in the San Juan Islands, reports @Desmogcanada. “Now you have potentially 300,000 farmed salmon traveling with wild salmon. We know that is what they do.” While the Great Bear Rainforest has thankfully not been transformed into the farmed salmon nightmare that plagues the south coast of B.C., these open net-cage feedlots are a highly concentrated source of waste and disease that threaten other species, placing untold risk to the future of the wild of this coast. Atlantic salmon are considered invasive in Pacific waters. “From a biological point of view this footage gives you an idea of the scale of the pathogens coming out of these farms and we know that a single particle in this ocean can travel 10 kilometres in a short amount of time,” says Morton.
Today, a historical total solar eclipse is crossing the continent from coast to coast. But according to biologists and long-time eclipse chasers, humans won’t be the only ones reacting to the dramatic changes in the sky, states a recent @natgeo article that we have posted to our Facebook page. Swipe these photos to see wolves (reminding us to not look at the eclipse without special eyeglasses), an elephant seal (who doesn’t have the special eyeglasses either), and an oystercatcher (birds have been known to either go to roost or become more active).
Eclipse-chaser and author Dave Balch was in Hawaii for the 1991 total eclipse and noticed that the birds along the pier changed their behaviour when the sky went dark during totality. “We could hardly hear each other talk! Then came totality – not a sound. It was deathly quiet. The difference between the noise levels before and during totality was stunning.” The @natgeo article also touches on a new smartphone app called iNaturalist. A team of biologists and astronomers for the "Life Responds" project will use the app to collect data from the millions of people who will witness today’s eclipse. “We created this project that very simply asks people wherever they are—whether they are under totality or partial eclipse—to spend some time outside looking at animals and observing their behavior before, during, and after the eclipse,” says ecologist Rebecca Johnson @calacademy. Download the Life Responds app @inaturalistorg to be a part of recording animal behaviour during this eclipse which scientists can use to advance their research.
A spirit bear, or kermode, chows down on a pink salmon in the Great Bear Rainforest. Salmon is a keystone species on the Pacific coast, contributing to the uniqueness of the ecosystem, mammals and coastal communities in more ways than we can comprehend. It is imperative that their habitat is protected.
Until August 28th, the Government of Canada is seeking advice from the public - YOU - on potential modern safeguards to better protect fish and fish habitat. In 2012 the Conservative government signed an Omnibus Budget Bill that significantly reduced fish habitat protection and environmental law assessments in order to advance their pipeline dreams. Now, Finn Donnelly, a NDP DFO critic, is calling out the Liberal government for their failure to “review these changes, restore lost protections and incorporate more modern safeguards” as is their mandate. In a @cbcnews article Donnelly stated that: "All processes need time but certainly when there's a promise made by a party that knew full well what changes needed to be made … it should not take you two years.” Click on the link in our profile to share your views and let the government know why Fish Habitat and Ocean Protection is important to you.
Photo by @iantmcallister#salmon#greatbearrainforest#pinksalmon#fish#fishhabitat#publicinputmatters#letstalkfishhabitat
The headless carcass of a poached black bear was discovered this week at the high tide line on Haida Gwaii, off British Columbia's west coast. Conservation officers are searching for the people responsible for killing and decapitating the bear, then dumping it on a beach, reports @cbcnews.
As if we needed yet another reason to put a stop to trophy hunting in the province of B.C., this poached bear is an example of the utmost importance of a full and complete ban.
There are few experiences more awe-inspiring than the sight of a bear in its natural environment.
This picture by @iantmcallister should be the only imagery seen of a "headless" bear. It's been clearly demonstrated that a live bear is worth more to the economy, in terms of tourism generation, than one killed for sport.
Head to the link in our profile to see why the recent NDP announcement needs to be made into a full ban, no longer allowing for loopholes and abuses. #trophyfreeBC#blackbear#bear#haidagwaii#poaching
If these Steller sea lions in the Great Bear Sea could know about the important milestone just announced, they would seek for similar protection in their waters.
Canada's largest marine protected area was announced today by the federal government along with the government of Nunavut, and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, for Lancaster Sound/Tallaruptiup Imanga on the eastern gate of the Northwest Passage. Congratulations to Inuit groups, communities, organizations and more who have been working tirelessly to make this a reality and fought to preserve it for decades, pushing hard for expanded boundaries. Nearly 75% of the world's narwhals spend their summer in the sound and 20% of the world's belugas migrate through this area rich in biodiversity. The area is also home to polar bears, seals and walruses.
The Lancaster Sound expansion brings the portion of Canada’s marine waters under some form of protection to 3.5 per cent from 1.5 per cent, but Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has acknowledged that’s still below the government’s promised 10 per cent by 2020. It also still falls short of the Liberals' campaign promise to protect five per cent of Canada's oceans by 2017.
British Columbia is one of the last refuges of the grizzly bear, which once roamed widely across North America. Since 1975, nearly 14,000 grizzly bears have been killed by trophy hunters. This video is about British Columbia's next chapter. It's about the leaders, First Nations, and the communities who are imagining large-scale and sustained opportunities for the conservation of these iconic animals and their habitat — and then building solutions. It's about replacing extraction with protection. Today, we are celebrating a tide change in government wildlife policy.
With less than 24 hours before the fall bear hunt opens in parts of British Columbia, the NDP government has announced an end to province-wide grizzly hunting --- but it starts on Nov. 30th, after the fall hunt commences and ends.
We thank the widespread support, including Coastal First Nations, and celebrate the recognition of an alternative, non-extractive, sustainable economy in remote communities, no longer at odds with the trophy hunt. Today, we are seeing a long-awaited acknowledgement of the wishes of 90% of British Columbians who oppose the killing of grizzly bears. Since the BC Liberal Party overturned a moratorium on the trophy hunt, thousands of grizzly bears have died unnecessarily. Today’s decision brings our societal values, one that supports the protection of our natural heritage and places conservation first. 2017 is the final year of the slaughter of B.C.’s great bears.
With less than 24 hours before the fall bear hunt opens in parts of British Columbia, the NDP government has announced a ban on the grizzly bear trophy hunt province-wide and to stop all hunting of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest, effective Nov. 30, 2017. “Todays announcement by the NDP with the support of the BC Green Party is long overdue and Pacific Wild congratulates Premier Horgan for taking this interim step towards the protection of one of our most iconic and magnificent land mammals”, said Pacific Wild’s Executive Director Ian McAllister. “However, the fact that this seasons fall trophy hunt will still go forward allowing hundreds of grizzly bears to die an unnecessary death makes this announcement hard to celebrate.” The other contention is that the government is allowing for grizzly bears to be killed for trophy as long as meat is taken from the carcass. “Clearly the government choked and once again capitulated to the trophy hunters by ensuring that grizzly bears can still be killed, only now they take some of the meat with them in addition to the trophy hide.” Head to the link in our profile to read our full press release on this long-awaited news.
Good news to wrap up the weekend! The NDP government has ordered a review of B.C.’s “professional reliance” system, which uses experts hired by industry to assess the environmental risks associated with logging, mining and other projects. Green MLA Sonia Furstenau said the review is urgently needed to restore trust in the government’s ability to regulate industry and protect the environment - head to our Twitter @ Pacific Wild for the full article by @thevancouversun. Premier John Horgan, in his mandate letters to ministers, directed Environment Minister George Heyman to undertake the review “to ensure the legal rights of First Nations are respected, and the public’s expectation of a strong, transparent process is met."
In an area in which reform is urgently needed, we could see promising growth for B.C. to become a true leader in sustainable environmental management and protection. We hope one of the steps forward in ethical and transparent management addresses the societal, ecological and economic roles that healthy populations of wild wolves can fulfill. Wolves are still legally persecuted throughout B.C. The "Wolf Management Plan" needs an overhaul, starting with the unscientific, costly, and inhumane wolf cull program.
Photo by @iantmcallister#savebcwolves#pnw#britishcolumbia#wolf#greatbearrainforest#cdnpoli#bcpoli@bcndp
A northern elephant seal pup balances its body on a log, located on Triangle Island of the Scott Islands - just off the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. Today on #WorldElephantDay, we are recognizing the conservation success story of northern elephant seals found in the North Pacific, which were once hunted to the brink of extinction. Today, elephant seals like these (swipe for more!) are being born on important rookery beaches - like those of the Scott Islands - and their population is likely close to the size it was before they were over-hunted. Born at about four feet (1.25 m) in length and weighing 75 pounds (35 kg) or more, it is easy to see why elephant seals derive their name from their great size and from the male’s large noses that resemble an elephant's trunk.
Like human babies, these pups make noises to let their mothers know they are hungry and to call to one another over the sound of rough surf and wind. Each pup has their own special call with high frequency notes that are produced in bursts - a sound so unique that sound effects designer David Farmer used it for scenes in the film, "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.” “It was the time of year they had lots of baby elephant seals there,” Farmer stated after visiting Marin County’s Marine Mammal Centre, “and a few of them were very vocal. I’d never heard that sound before and knew that would be perfect for the Moria Orcs....The major signature sound for them was the elephant seal pups.” The peak loudness of elephant seals has been recorded at 126 dB, which is among the loudest of mammal sounds on land.
Head to the link in our profile to watch our short video of the Scott Islands, teeming with life! vimeo.com/pacificwild
B.C. is looking to join the legal fight against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion: a project which would triple the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline that runs 1,150 kilometres from Edmonton to a marine terminal in Burnaby, near Vancouver. In an announcement on Thursday at a press conference, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman outlined the measures that the B.C. government will take to stop the expansion. “Our government made it clear that a seven-fold increase in heavy oil tankers in the Vancouver harbour is not in B.C.’s best interests. Not for our economy, our environment, or thousands of existing jobs,” said Heyman.
The controversial Kinder Morgan expansion project has already been met with fierce opposition by various First Nations and dozens of conservationist groups since the proposal was first put forward in 2013. Yet the project has been approved by Ottawa, the former B.C. government, and the National Energy Board. Premier John Horgan has suggested there are ways to halt the pipeline, including First Nations lawsuits, which he said has ignored the rights of B.C. First Nations. While this is a promising step forward in keeping campaign promises, Attorney General David Eby said the government would not deliberately stall permits for the project, over concerns it could land them in court, reports @globalnews. Instead the government could ensure permits require that construction be done in a manner that cuts the risk of spills, protects the environment, and ensures effective cleanup, Eby said.
We ask you to help keep up the pressure as the expanded pipeline and tanker traffic brings increased risk of an oil spill that could hurt the region's economy, carbon emissions, and impact marine life, including orcas and wild salmon.
Touted as “The Blob that cooked the Pacific”, The Blob is the name given to a warm water mass that was first detected in West Coast ocean waters in 2013. Lasting for three years, sea temperatures in some places rose seven degrees Fahrenheit higher than average: it was the first time the North Pacific Ocean had experienced such warm temperatures and the results were - and still are - catastrophic. Thousands of mysterious casualties - such as the dead bodies of sea otters, whales, sea lions and more - appeared on the coast. "Animals showed up in places they’d never been. Key portions of the food web crashed,” reported @natgeo. This week, Hakai Magazine touched on how sea lions specifically have been affected, as many starved as they struggled to find food in the unusually warm waters.
"The Blob hit the sea lions when reduced primary production sent forage fish elsewhere,” said the study coauthor Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse, a disease ecologist at the Autonomous University of Queretaro in Mexico. Published in the piece titled, "Hypothesis Confirmed: Sea Lion Mass Deaths Caused by Malnutrition,” Acevedo-Whitehouse says without the nutritional and oily forage fish as their usual food source, the sea lions turned to rockfish - “which is like junk food for sea lions.” Consequently, without the critical food source, mothers were unable to provide adequate nutrition for their pups. Generations of sea lions have now been affected by these modern temperature records. The wildlife and their Pacific coastal habitat have been reshaped by temperate seas, but this is only one of many stressors they are up against.
Photo by @iantmcallister#sealion#theblob@hakaiinstitute
Dark grey shadows breach the surface of the Great Bear Sea, seemingly uniting with shimmering rays of sunlight. Humpback whales are well known for breaching and their hauntingly complex songs. Researchers from the Aarhus University in Denmark have recently discovered that newborn humpback whales 'whisper' to their mothers to avoid being overheard and hunted by killer whales. The recordings are the first ever made with devices attached directly to the calves, revealing that newborn humpbacks often communicate with their mothers using grunts and squeaks. This also highlights the importance of conserving humpback habitat to ensure these waters are kept as quiet as possible. At present, the Great Bear Sea suffers from relatively little acoustic or industrial pollution. Still, there are considerable knowledge gaps about these populations and other cetacean species. In partnership with the Heiltsuk First Nation, @PacificWild has established six remote hydrophone stations to study marine acoustics on the central coast. Somewhere down there in the depths of the Great Bear Sea, a mother whale forages with her calf. We ask you to generously offer your support for critical new reporting on these beautiful creatures and their impressive behaviours. Click the link in our profile to join us in studying and tracking whales: if each Instagram follower donates $1 to the #GreatBearSea Hydrophone Network, we would hit nearly $100k. Data collected from year-round live acoustic monitoring creates long-term analysis capacity, tracking how a variety of marine mammal species utilize the waters in the Pacific ocean. Your support is what makes our work possible.
Photo by @iantmcallister.
Christy Clark is resigning as B.C.’s 35th premiere after serving for six and a half years. She will leave politics and step down as the leader of the Liberal Party on August 4th. This is good news for bears as the fall grizzly bear trophy hunt is fast approaching --- B.C. will have one less MLA to vote for the killing of these majestic animals. "We certainly don't want to see another hunt go forward this fall and so I think we'll do as much as we can,” Kitasoo Band Chief Councillor Doug Neasloss, a representative for the Coastal First Nations, said to the @globeandmail. But with the hunt opening this September, the deadline to pass a ban is imminent.
BREAKING NEWS: The Pacific Northwest LNG project at the mouth of the Skeena River, the second longest river in B.C. with a strong cultural and historical importance, will NOT go ahead. The decision to completely pull out of the $11-billion project in Port Edward, where the plant would have shipped 19 million tonnes of liquefied gas a year to markets in Asia, and pumped more than five million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually into the atmosphere, is a positive decision for salmon populations and the global climate at large. As the river supports an abundant estuary, this project would have had huge negative effects on juvenile salmon habitat. “We’re absolutely thrilled that the Malaysian backers of this liquefied natural gas terminal have backed down from their reckless plan to jeopardize B.C.’s second largest salmon run and blow our provincial climate targets,” said Peter McCartney to media, a climate campaigner for the @wildernews. This is a massive win for Skeena communities, First Nations, environmental groups and the global climate!
In the unveiling of Premier John Horgan’s new #NDP cabinet last week, B.C. saw some progressive change as Melanie Mark became the
first First Nations’ woman to serve in the Cabinet of British Columbia, named Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. We also saw George Heyman, a strong advocate on environmental issues, appointed as the new Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
This may finally make for some good news for #grizzly bears and their future in B.C. “One of our early platform commitments was to end the trophy hunt of grizzly bears,” Heyman said in an interview to the Vancouver Sun. “It is still fully our intention to end the trophy hunt.” A newly elected Green party MLA and member of the #Tsartlip First Nation, Adam Olsen, stepped into his role with an immediate focus to #stopthetrophyhunt. “It’s important we deal with grizzly trophy hunting. We know that the vast majority of British Columbians are very uncomfortable with the trophy hunt. Whether you live in the cities or rural B.C., it’s been a concern,” Olsen said to local media. It "speaks to our relationship with the environment around us."
While we are seeing promises to the first change in government wildlife policy in close to two decades, B.C. grizzlies have endured trophy hunting for the same lengthy time. Unless we see immediate policy change, the Fall hunt will move forward and more animals will be slaughtered for sport. The Fall hunt begins September 10th - many grizzlies will likely be killed within B.C.'s renowned provincial parks and protected areas, where trophy hunting is legal. #trophyfreeBC
Photo by @iantmcallister
A rescued sea otter pup will receive a name in an announcement by the @vanaqua later today, based on a public poll. The pup, a two-month-old male, was taken to the rescue centre late last month after he was found swimming alone in open water off northern Vancouver Island. Head to our Twitter page @ Pacific Wild for the link and to follow the journey of this young patient. These adorable marine mammals were once locally extinct in B.C. waters as a direct result of the sea otter pelt trade in the 1700s and 1800s. "In 1968 the US Atomic Energy Commission made a cold call to DFO asking if we wanted some sea otters because they were about to detonate the largest nuclear test ever on US soil up in Amchitka," Lance Barrett-Lennard, a researcher with @vanaqua, told @iantmcallister of @pacificwild. About 6,000 sea otters lived on the island target and they were not expected to survive. Fortunately, a colleague of Lance's said yes and so began the reintroduction of a critical species that had been absent from northwest coastal waters for over a hundred years. Though the marine mammal has since re-established itself in parts of B.C.'s Central Coast like this one pictured above, cruising the waters of the #GreatBearSea, as well as from Alaska to the West Coast of Vancouver Island; sea otters have not yet come back to the #SalishSea in any established groups. Luckily, the baby sea otter being named today is in good hands. “With help from the team at the Rescue Centre, the pup is grooming himself, is exploring underwater and learning to dive,” said the staff in a statement.
An article released today, "Leaving space for the grizzly” by Eric Plummer highlights some key issues surrounding the long-term survival of grizzly bears in British Columbia. "What do we want this place to look like 50 years from now? Because if we have another 50 years like the last 50 years, none of us are going to like what it looks like. In the absence of objectives, we're failing fish and wildlife,” says the resident priority program manager with the B.C. Wildlife Federation, Jesse Zeman. Zeman believes that the bear's future will rely on a focused combination of wildlife funding, accurate science and public support for conservation initiatives.
Head to our Facebook or Twitter page for the full article @ PacificWild.
The article tackles the need for space and careful land management in order for bears, especially females with cubs, to thrive. Historically having people reside near grizzly habitat has not gone well for the bears. "Biologist Valerius Geist has found grizzlies to be more wary of people than other large wildlife, as shown by the distance they keep from roads. "Deer or elk are found within a quarter of a mile; grizzly bears, two kilometres. They are that afraid of us," notes Geist, citing one particular study that illustrates this fear of traffic. "A female with cubs, she spent two weeks patrolling a highway before she crossed it. For grizzly bears or any other large predator, a species cannot be sustained unless people stay far away, stresses Geist.” Head to the link in our profile to sign our petition for a #trophyfreeBC.
She was such a gentle, elegant and stunning spirit bear. Spending quality time with her has been a true highlight as a naturalist and photographer. Just when I thought she could not get anymore beautiful, I studied her closer and noticed her long eyelashes. Over 5 years ago, she was on the cover of National Geographic magazine for a story we did on keeping oil tankers off the BC coast. Thanks to the efforts of so many including the #Gitgaat First Nation and non-profits like @sea_legacy and @pacificwild, these bears will continue to roam this coast. #bear#bc#instagood#love#naturalbeauty#adventure@natgeo
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A pod of killer whales pass through the remote waters of the Great Bear Sea. The northern resident whale populations that remain year-round in the coastal waters of central and northern B.C. are listed as Threatened under the Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA). Alarmingly, these bodies of water are not currently designated as critical habitat under SARA for these whales. On top of this, current recovery strategies and action plans (if they exist) note that there is currently insufficient information to fully map out these at-risk species’ critical habitat, plus protection measures under SARA are not always properly enforced. These gaps in protection pose a real threat to cetacean species inhabiting the waters of the Great Bear Rainforest. .
But this week, organizations and individuals up and down the west coast are sharing some good news from these remote waters - a story we hope will inspire people to care about the welfare of killer whales in our waters. Many years ago in 2002, an orphaned northern resident killer whale named Springer was found and rescued in Puget Sound. Today, 15 years later, Springer has given birth to a second calf. Her story is incredibly rare: Springer is the first known case of a whale being captured and successfully reintegrated with her pod in the wild. “Her rescue, relocation, reunification with relatives and transition to motherhood is an incredible story. I see it as testimony to both the resiliency of killer whales as a species and to the wonderful things we humans can do when we work together on behalf of — rather than against — nature,” said Lance Barrett-Lennard, director of the Cetacean Research Program at @OceanWise via @timescolonist. Head to pacificwild.org to donate and listen to our hydrophone network or learn more about how you can help protect these graceful and powerful cetaceans.
Photo by @iantmcallister#orca#killerwhale#springer#hellobc#explorebc#pnw#pugetsound#johnstonestrait#cetacealab
All that remains of one of the most ambitious projects in the history of navigation on the BC coast is the weathered foundation of the Triangle lighthouse. Construction began in 1909 on the nearly 700 foot summit - apparently at odds with the primary rule of lighthouse design- never build higher than 150 feet above sea level in order to stay below fog and cloud. A few short years later the station was abandoned having killed more people attempting to maintain the light than it saved. Today, it remains an ecological powerhouse for countless bird and marine mammal species but they remain threatened by oil spills, unsustainable fisheries and a warming ocean. Visit: @pacificwild to learn how to support protection of this globally important marine sanctuary. #greatbearsea#greatbearrainforest#marineconservation#hellobc@sea_legacy@cpawsbc