Bear won’t be put down in Alberta grizzly attack

431125_10150547334526188_1114807436_n

The bear was acting in a natural, defensive manner, park officials say

By David Bell, CBC News
< http://www.cbc.ca/news/cbc-news-online-news-staff-list-1.1294364> Posted:
Jul 20, 2016 4:21 PM MT Last Updated: Jul 20, 2016 6:07 PM MT

The actions of a grizzly bear that attacked a couple in the Waiparous area
northwest of Calgary on Tuesday are being considered defensive and the bear
will not be euthanized, according to an investigation into the incident.
James Hayworth and his wife, Laura, were enjoying a beautiful day by the
Ghost River when a mother grizzly charged out of the woods and attacked
them.
“The cubs stumbled upon the man and the woman, and the sow then reacted to
protect her cubs,” said Brendan Cox with Alberta Justice, which oversees the
Fish and Wildlife department.
“So the bears will be left alone. They’re going to be given the space they
need to move on.”
“I thought for sure I’m going to die. I’m dead,” Hayworth told CBC News on
Tuesday.
James was left with scrapes, cuts and bruises while Laura suffered a broken
arm and multiple puncture wounds and was transported to a hospital in
Calgary. She was released on Wednesday.
The area of the attack – from Bar C Ranch west along the TransAlta road to
Banff National Park – will remain closed until further notice.
Cox said Fish and Wildlife officers will be monitoring the situation
closely.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/alberta-grizzly-attack-defensive-1.368
8023

British Columbia source of ‘vast majority’ of bear trophies


A grizzly bear is photographed in the Orford River, in British Columbia, in this 2011 file photo. (JOHN LEHMANN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)
A grizzly bear is photographed in the Orford River, in British Columbia, in this 2011 file photo. (JOHN LEHMANN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

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More than 300 shipments of grizzly bear products – including skins, skulls and rugs – have moved from Canada to the United States through U.S. ports over the past three years.

Those transactions are among nearly 17,000 imports of North American bear parts – mostly black and brown, but including grizzlies – from Canada to the United States over the same period, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Most common grizzly bear parts imported into the U.S. from Canada, 2013-2015

0102030405060708090100110120130BonesRugTrophySkullSkin2

THE GLOBE AND MAIL » SOURCE: U.S. Fish and wildlife service
data
share
×
Part Number
Skin 127
Skull 122
Trophy 78
Rug 13
Bones 2

Most common grizzly bear parts imported into the U.S. from Canada, 2013-2015

The United States has no restrictions on the legal import of grizzly bear parts and products. The European Union, however, suspended imports of grizzly hunting trophies from British Columbia in 2004 over conservation concerns.

The shipments reflect a key factor in British Columbia’s controversial grizzly hunt – American trophy hunters, who pay thousands of dollars to come to the province to hunt a species protected in parts of the United States.

Faisal Moola, director-general for Ontario and Northern Canada with the David Suzuki Foundation, estimates “the vast majority” of grizzly imports to the United States over the past three years came from B.C., based on previous research he conducted and export data he recently obtained from the provincial government.

“About 40 per cent of grizzly bears being killed in B.C. are being killed by foreign trophy hunters,” Dr. Moola said.

“The reason Americans are coming to Canada to shoot grizzly bears in B.C. is because there are no more grizzly bears in places like Washington State or California – or they are legally protected and you can’t shoot them, in places like Montana or Wyoming,” he added.

According to B.C. government figures, 29 per cent of bears were killed by “non-resident” hunters – those who don’t live in British Columbia and must enter a lottery to win the right to hunt a grizzly – in 2013. The rate was 38 per cent in 2014 and 29 per cent last year.

The average number of grizzly bears killed in each of the last three years, province-wide, was 242, with the majority of those killed by B.C. residents.

According to documents obtained through a freedom of information request from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, thousands of bear products – sorted into three-letter categories that include TRO, or trophy, which means “all the parts of one animal,” and SKU, for skull – have been shipped to the United States through dozens of ports since the beginning of 2013.

The U.S. import data obtained by The Globe and Mail do not distinguish between bears killed in recent hunting seasons and trophies that may be years or even decades old. The data also do not say whether the imports came from British Columbia or elsewhere in Canada, including Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, which also have legal grizzly hunts. (Alberta suspended its hunt in 2006.)

British Columbia’s grizzly hunt draws impassioned debate. Opponents decry the killing of animals for sport. Supporters maintain that a regulated grizzly hunt can help protect stocks of other animals, such as moose and caribou, while generating significant economic benefits.

There is also debate over whether British Columbia’s hunting regulations, which keep about 35 per cent of the province off-limits to grizzly hunting, do enough to protect grizzly bears.

Both the provincial government, which oversees the grizzly hunt, and an industry group that represents guide outfitters who depend on the hunt for part of their livelihoods say the number of bears “harvested” do not pose a conservation concern.

“Research completed by highly qualified experts over the past 20 years has consistently indicated that there are between 14,000 and 16,000 grizzly bears in B.C.,” the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia said in an April statement about the hunt. “Hunters only take 250 to 350 bears per year – a sustainable level that poses no conservation threat, especially considering that harvest is heavily biased towards mature males.”

Regulations prohibit hunters from killing bears that are less than two years old.

Conservation groups, including the Suzuki Foundation, challenge those claims, maintaining that the hunt is unsustainable and aggravates threats to grizzlies from other factors, including habitat loss.

Hunt opponents also worry that bears killed in British Columbia could be from threatened grizzly populations – either from parts of the province where hunting is restricted because of conservation concerns, or from Alaska or other states where some grizzly populations have been deemed at risk.

Grizzlies are not officially “endangered.” The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, or COSEWIC, lists grizzly bears as a species of “special concern” – one that may become threatened or endangered. Grizzly bears are also listed in Appendix II of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and Flora, as a species that is “not necessarily now threatened with extinction but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in March proposed “delisting” grizzly bears from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem – which would open the door to a grizzly hunt in the area, although not in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks – after conservation measures resulted in bear numbers rebounding from as few as 136 in 1975 to about 700.

A comment period that closed in May resulted in more than 100,000 submissions, both for and against the proposal.

Pipeline leak fouls creek near grizzly management area in northwestern Alberta

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http://www.metronews.ca/news/canada/2016/06/14/pipeline-leak-fouls-creek-near-grizzly-protection-area-in-northwestern-alberta.html

 

Reddit this!

CALGARY — A pipeline leak has spilled an estimated 380,000 litres of light petroleum within five kilometres of a provincially designated grizzly bear management zone in northwestern Alberta, and an undetermined amount of it has reached a nearby creek.

Producer ConocoPhillips Canada said in a statement posted on its website Tuesday that the leak of condensate, a liquid produced with natural gas, was seen at a pipeline right-of-way near its Resthaven gas plant about 65 kilometres northeast of Grande Cache last Thursday afternoon.

It said its staff also observed condensate in nearby Webb Creek.

The Alberta Energy Regulator said condensate was visible as a sheen on the surface of the creek for about 4.5 kilometres below the pipeline leak.

The creek flows to a beaver dam and then into the Simonette River. While no sheen was visible on the river, an analysis indicated hydrocarbons present at slightly above minimum detection limits, the provincial agency said.

The AER said it was the largest hydrocarbon leak from a pipeline since Nexen, a subsidiary of China’s CNOOC Ltd., spilled five million litres of bitumen emulsion in July 2015.

Meanwhile, the company said the pipeline, which along with the gas plant is jointly owned  by ConocoPhillips and Calgary producer Paramount Resources (TSX:POU), has been shut down and isolated and the company has activated its emergency response plan.

“We have deployed over 150 responders to the site with equipment to contain the release and mitigate any environmental impact,” the company said, adding that it had reported the leak to the regulator after discovering it last Thursday.

Fencing and amphibian barriers have been erected to keep wildlife away and a wildlife biologist is on site, it said.

Spokeswoman Michelle McCullagh defended the five-day lag between discovering the leak and beginning what it promises will be daily updates on its website.

“Our first priority was making sure there were no residents in the area, notifying the trappers, the First Nations and all the authorities and then, of course, our continued safety for all of our responders on site and then protecting the environment,” she said.

No residents were found in the isolated area and the company has seen no evidence of animals or fish hurt by the spill as yet, McCullagh said, adding that the company doesn’t know how long it will take to clean up the spill.

The gas plant is still operating, she said.

Mike Hudema of Greenpeace Canada described the number of pipeline spills in Alberta as “alarming.”

“While we learn the details of this latest incident we need to ask ourselves how many more spills will it take before we begin to move away from pipelines and make the renewable energy transition other countries are already implementing,” he said in a email.

The regulator said in a statement Tuesday that staff members were at the site, which is in the Little Smoky caribou range and near a core grizzly bear management zone.

It said it has issued an environmental protection order to ConocoPhillips directing the company to contain the release and prevent it from spreading, while controlling access, collecting water and soil samples and submitting a final report to the AER.

The regulator said no cause has been established and an investigation is underway.

One of the key uses of condensate is to dilute raw Alberta oilsands crude to allow it to flow in a pipeline to market.

 

Trophy hunting of grizzly bears to continue in British Columbia

A grizzly bear is photographed in the Orford River, in British Columbia, in this 2011 file photo. (JOHN LEHMANN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)A grizzly bear is photographed in the Orford River, in British Columbia, in this 2011 file photo. (JOHN LEHMANN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

British Columbia is cracking down on the use of sheep and goats as pack animals for big game hunters in its latest set of hunting and trapping regulations. But the contentious trophy hunting of grizzly bears will continue unchanged.

The provincial ministry responsible for hunting produced updated regulations on Monday, and although it has rejected a proposal to increase the number of grizzly hunting permits for resident hunters in the Peace River region, environmentalists are disappointed that the status quo remains in place.

The major changes include additional record-keeping requirements for butchers, and a new ban on bringing domesticated sheep or goats along on big game hunts to act as beasts of burden because of fears that the animals may pass on disease to wildlife. The report did not say whether this was a common practice. Steve Thomson, the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, says in the report released Monday his major concern in wildlife management right now is around the declining moose population, and he promised a new BC Moose Tracker app that will allow people to record moose sightings.

Mr. Thomson could not be reached for comment, but in a statement, ministry officials maintained that the current grizzly bear hunt is sustainable.

Auditor-General Carol Bellringer has announced she will conduct a performance audit to determine whether the province is effectively managing the grizzly bear population . The province says there are 15,000 grizzlies in B.C. and that hunting is allowed only after conservation targets and aboriginal harvests for food, social and ceremonial uses are met.

Ms. Bellringer’s report is not expected until next spring, and Ian McAllister, executive director of Pacific Wild, an environmental organization, said that means the B.C. Liberal government’s current approach won’t be effectively challenged until the May, 2017, provincial election.

“This institutionalizes the trophy hunt in wildlife practices,” Mr. McAllister said. “It’s an indication of what Premier Christy Clark is thinking about this file and that is almost inconceivable given the unprecedented input over the past year.”

Pacific Wild has led opposition to the grizzly bear hunt, particularly in the newly proclaimed Great Bear Rainforest. Mr. McAllister says the Coastal First Nations, along with a large majority of British Columbians, are opposed to trophy hunting of grizzlies. (Polls suggest anywhere between 88 and 95 per cent of British Columbians are against trophy hunting.)

The provincial government has been reluctant to curtail the hunt, however, saying it is confident in the science behind its quotas. As well, the province maintains that hunting in general is good for the economy: The province is home to 100,000 resident hunters who, along with guide outfitters, put $350-million into the economy each year by the province’s reckoning.

Mr. McAllister said he is hopeful the Auditor-General will agree that the province is not adequately managing the population of grizzly bears. He said the timing of her report at least will help raise the profile of the issue in next year’s provincial election.

“It will be a high-profile issue in the run-up to the next election.”

However, it is not clear the New Democratic Party will offer an alternative position. The party has said it is still consulting before deciding whether it would promise to restore the moratorium on trophy hunting that it put in place in 2001, when it last help power.

The lone Green Party MLA in B.C., Andrew Weaver, last year introduced a bill to ban the trophy killing of grizzly bears. That bill would treat grizzlies the same as black bears, so hunters would be required to harvest edible portions of a bear.

The Beast that Burns; the Saviors We Kill

Canadian Blog

by Barry Kent MacKay,
Senior Program Associate

Born Free USA’s Canadian Representative

http://www.bornfreeusa.org/weblog_canada.php?p=5547&more=1

Barry is an artist, both with words and with paint. He has been associated with our organization for nearly three decades and is our go-to guy for any wildlife question. He knows his animals — especially birds — and the issues that affect them. His blogs will give you just the tip of his wildlife-knowledge iceberg, so be sure to stay and delve deeper into his Canadian Project articles. If you like wildlife and reading, Barry’s your man. (And we’re happy to have him as part of our team, too!)

The Beast that Burns; the Saviors We Kill

Published 05/19/16

Beaver© U.S. Department of Agriculture

May 19, 2016. Last night, The Beast was headed toward the border, with about three miles to go.

“The Beast” is the name of the giant wildfire that erupted in northern Alberta and, growing as I type, has now consumed some 423,000 hectares (1,633 square miles) of boreal forest. It has forced the evacuation of nearly 90,000 people. We’re seeing massive destruction of infrastructure and the deaths of uncounted thousands of wild animals, toxifying the air and defying Herculean efforts to bring it under control.

And it is, tragically, only one of hundreds of fires raging in forests throughout so much of the continent, their numbers increasing as global climate change results in an ever warmer climate—drier in some places and wetter in others, but heating up the planet more rapidly than even the most pessimistic research indicated.

What is of great value, what is needed in our woods and forests, is water: reservoirs of water, high water tables, ponds, and impoundments.

But, we are not a rational species. If we were, we’d listen to scientists like Glynnis Hood and Suzanne Bayley, whose published research* (and that of other scientists and studies) shows us that there is a hedge against the drying effects of global climate change and its ability to trigger massive, deadly fires…

And, that is the beaver!

When beaver fur was widely used by the fur industry, populations of the species were supressed by trapping. With decline in fur values, beavers are repopulating. This can cause problems, as when, building dams, beavers block culverts, cause flooding, or even chew down valuable trees. Most such conflicts can be easily resolved without harming the beavers: valuable allies in protecting the environment.

So, what did the province of Saskatchewan do? It allowed a “beaver derby”: a 40-day contest in which 601 beavers were killed (out of an annual, province-wide kill of about 38,000). It is Saskatchewan’s border that The Beast was approaching last night.

The argument was made that these were beavers who would have otherwise been killed and wasted, and that many carcasses are left to rot. I don’t doubt that, but this is the 21st Century and it’s past time for us to stop demonizing wildlife and start learning to co-exist.

The work by Hood and Bayley, in 2008, showed that the beaver was the single most important factor in the amount of open water in the very place where it is most needed—the place where the hot Beast prowls, burning its way through our staggering wall of willful ignorance, illuminating our base, self-destructive ways.

There have always been beavers, fires, and forests. What’s new is our levels of technology, connected to unbearable hubris, as we impose our collective madness onto a world increasingly under siege (ironically, a world that is also increasingly losing its ability to support us and our demands upon it).

As we look into the glowing eye of The Beast, it is our reflection that stares back.

Keep wildlife in the wild,
Barry

Wildlife officer who spared bear cubs denied return to job

Featured Image -- 11003

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/wildlife-officer-who-spared-bear-cub
Jeff Bell <http://www.timescolonist.com/authors?author=Jeff%20Bell> / Times
Colonist
April 20, 2016 06:00 AM

< http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/wildlife-officer-who-spared-bear-cu
bs-denied-return-to-job-1.2235136#story-carousel> Next
< http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/wildlife-officer-who-spared-bear-cu
bs-denied-return-to-job-1.2235136#story-carousel>

Bryce Casavant’s actions last July came after the cubs’ mother was judged to
be too habituated to humans and was killed for twice raiding a freezer at a
Port Hardy-area home.
The decision not to kill the cubs led to Casavant’s suspension.
That sparked an online petition for his reinstatement that reached close to
310,000 supporters. The case attracted international attention, which
included comedian Ricky Gervais sticking up for Casavant via Twitter.
Casavant, 33, returned to work in late August in a different job at an equal
pay grade.
He said he and the government have reached an agreement that sees him become
a natural-resource officer with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural
Resource Operations, while at the same time pursuing a PhD at Royal Roads
University.
“The province of B.C. is fully supporting me in my educational endeavours,”
he said.
The general duties of a natural-resource officer include enforcement and
patrol relating to resource-management laws, which can cover such areas as
the Wildfire Act, the Forest Act and the Water Act.
Casavant described the combination of work and school as “a different
direction.”
He said he accepted the consequences after the action he took with the cubs.
“Generally speaking, people are faced with difficult decisions every day in
their lives and I made one, and I was willing to be held accountable
professionally and legally for that decision,” he said. “This is now the
outcome of that.”
Casavant said his PhD research will focus on “the social aspects of conflict
wildlife.”
“I think there’s different social perceptions within society of predators,
and how that relates to the urban interface, how that shapes our prevention
and response measures,” he said.
“It’s not just conservation officers – you have a lot of police responding
to conflict wildlife throughout the province.”
The cubs, who have been named Jordan and Athena, were taken to the North
Island Wildlife Recovery Centre where they are doing well in the company of
other bears.
“It looks very positive,” said centre founder Robin Campbell.
Campbell said the pair will be released this year, likely in the summer or
fall.
“They’ll have transmitters on them so we’ll be able to follow them.”
jwbell@timescolonist.com

– See more at:
http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/wildlife-officer-who-spared-bear-cub
s-denied-return-to-job-1.2235136#sthash.t36jlVb8.dpuf

Lone wolf in northern B.C. destroyed after stalking walkers, killing dog

copyrighted wolf in water

The wolf on the header of this site:https://www.facebook.com/groups/251083981900420/                  looks like part of a pack we saw in that area in 2005 or so….

 

Locals tracked wolf and warned neighbours on Facebook

By Betsy Trumpener, CBC News
< http://www.cbc.ca/news/cbc-news-online-news-staff-list-1.1294364> Posted:
Apr 12, 2016 9:10 PM PT Last Updated: Apr 12, 2016 9:10 PM PT

Prince Rupert resident Mariana Hülsen spotted this wolf, which approached
and growled at her.
< http://i.cbc.ca/1.3533187.1460520177%21/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/d
erivatives/16x9_620/lone-wolf.jpg>

Prince Rupert resident Mariana Hülsen spotted this wolf, which approached
and growled at her. ( Mariana Hülsen/Facebook)

Conservation officials have killed a lone wolf that was prowling city
streets in Prince Rupert, B.C.

Conservation officer Ryan Gordon says the wolf had been approaching people
and recently killed a dog in a backyard. He says the wolf was severely
underweight and coming too close for comfort.

“It was showing elevated levels of interest in people and increased
habituation levels towards people, especially people out walking their
pets,” said Gordon, who fielded numerous complaints over several months.

In March, a woman walking her dog in daylight was stalked by the wolf.
< http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/a-lone-wolf-stalks-a-waterfr
ont-dog-walker-in-prine-rupert-1.3514900>

Neighbours share wolf warnings

Prince Rupert residents tracked the wolf’s movements and posted sightings on
a special Facebook page
< https://www.facebook.com/groups/251083981900420/?ref=br_rs> to warn
neighbours when the wolf was nearby.

Recently, the wolf was spotted pacing near a red van, playing near a
Petro-Canada station, and prowling a hotel parking lot.

One resident posted that the wolf approached from the local fish plant and
< https://www.facebook.com/20531316728/posts/10154009990506729/> “growled at
us.”

A mother asked, “Any more wolf sightings? I would like to go running with my
child today.”

Conservation officials had advised people to keep small children close by,
leash their dogs, carry bear spray, and avoid wooded areas at dawn and dusk.

The wolf was destroyed April 7, and Gordon says wolf complaints have stopped
since then.

Gordon says wolves are common on the fringes of Prince Rupert and are often
drawn in to the city while chasing deer. He says the city’s wolves tend to
be more habituated to humans than in other parts of the northwest.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/lone-wolf-destroyed-after-pro
wling-city-streets-1.3532927

https://www.facebook.com/groups/251083981900420/

 

Petition on BC Wolves

http://action.sumofus.org/a/stop-wolf-cull/?sub=fb

Nearly 200 wolves are going to be shot from helicopters over the next few weeks — a bloody attempt to save an endangered caribou herd in western Canada. And these killings are likely to go on for five years.

Oil, gas, mining, and logging companies have been trashing the mountain caribou’s habitat for decades — but instead of curtailing this industrial habitat destruction, the British Columbia (BC) provincial government is scapegoating wolves, condemning them to a gruesome death.

This cull is just a stopgap measure and not a viable long-term solution to the caribou’s problems. It will, however, cause immense suffering to the wolves, who are highly social and intelligent creatures.

Tell the BC government to stop the industrial encroachment of the caribou’s and wolves’ territory!

Decades of habitat destruction and human encroachment have led to this tragic situation. The BC government needs to be protecting the caribou’s critical food and natural habitat, such as lichen-rich interior forests.

Part of the problem is the caribou’s natural protection from wolves has been undermined by commercial activity. Normally, thick winter snow is enough to keep them safe from most predators, but the wolves have been using the industrial infrastructure of pipeline corridors, roads, railways and snowmobile trails to move through the landscape and hunt. Some feel the cull is awful but necessary to save the caribous, and others feel the cull should be canceled outright — but fundamentally, the BC government should never have let the problem get to this point.

We need to stand up for nature against profit-making companies who are destroying our wildernesses all over the world. These innocent wolves, who are right now being hunted from the skies, are a powerful symbol of how the long-term future of the natural world is being sacrificed for short-term profit.

Please add your voice to ask BC to place responsibility at the feet of the oil, gas, mining and logging companies who are causing the real damage to caribou and wolves.

Sign the petition asking the BC government to protect caribous and wolves from industrial encroachment.

********** More information:

B.C. wolf cull will likely last 5 years, assistant deputy minister says, CBC News,

Alberta coyote kill should be banned, says animal-rights group

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-coyote-kill-should-be-banned-says-animal-rights-group-1.3390001

An animal protection group has renewed calls to end killing contests in Alberta, like the one scheduled to take place this weekend.

“These inhumane contests glorify killing a species that is essential to ecosystems, and can actually create new, more significant conflicts between wildlife and people,” said Michael Howie of the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals.

Described as “reckless” and “inhumane” by critics, the 2015 contest prompted calls for the province to outlaw bounty hunts.

The organizer of this weekend’s coyote hunting contest said even death threats won’t stop him from hosting the tournament again this year.

The contest on Saturday offers a cash prize to the team of hunters that can kill the most coyotes in a single day.

“The science is clear,” Howie said in a statement issued Tuesday. “When coyotes are persecuted, their populations increase; when their social units or families are disrupted, conflict and depredation on livestock increases; and there is no argument — even if there is a healthy population size — to glorify the mass killing of sentient, ecologically significant animals.”

The organizer of the contest is a man named Paul, who asked that his last name not be used to protect his family from harassment. He said he has heard the critics and doesn’t agree with them.

“Coyotes are pests,” he said. “They’re legal to hunt any time of the year, with permission on farmers’ land.”

Howie said it is the Alberta government’s duty to manage land and wildlife habitat and regulate hunting and trapping.

“By allowing killing contests, Alberta’s leadership is showing a severe lack of stewardship,” Howie said, calling on Environment Minister Shannon Phillips and  Premier Rachel Notley to demand an end to such “inhumane” contests immediately.

A spokesperson for the environment minister’s office said the government is not planning to change the rules around hunting, noting when coyote populations are high they can threaten livestock and move into urban areas.

But the province does have the authority to restrict animal harvests if it is deemed necessary, the spokesperson said.