Posts Tagged Coast B.C. Wolves
Spring in the Rainforest – By April Bencze
It is difficult to understand a place you have never been before. Pacific Wild introduced me to the ecosystems thriving in the Great Bear Rainforest on British Columbia’s wild coast long before I came here. They have unveiled the behaviours and interactions of wildlife using non-invasive, high-quality camera systems streaming live from remote locations, bringing you a piece of the Rainforest, wherever you may be in the world. Before I ever set foot here, Pacific Wild brought me face to face with wolves, bears and marine life with still images that captivated, inspired and introduced me to the many faces of this place.
I first met the wolves of this coast through Ian McAllister’s photography and conservation efforts. Then I met the bears, followed by the inhabitants of the underwater world. Ian’s images and those from the remote cameras brought me into the heart of a place I had never been, uncovering the lives of creatures I would not have known existed, like the spirit bear. I felt connected and driven to protect the Great Bear Rainforest, and all those who call it home. As a diver and wildlife photographer, I knew my future would be tied to British Columbia’s central coast, due to the strength with which it affected me. So here I am, at Pacific Wild headquarters operating the remote cameras from the Float Lab.
I was born and raised in Campbell River, on the east coast of Vancouver Island in Southern British Columbia. I spent a year scuba diving in Australia and Indonesia, before returning to my home waters to dive my days away. Photography slipped itself into my life through an urge to share the underwater world with the people around me. It quickly became much more and I find myself in the pursuit of a life dedicated to conservation of the natural world through photography. There is a responsibility to the subject after the shutter is pressed and an image is created. It is an obligation to share their story, and unfortunately many of the lives I am photographing are threatened.
This is what brings me to the Great Bear Rainforest, to do what I can to help protect the wildlife from the many threats they are facing. Pacific Wild has been an inspiration and I am thrilled to be volunteering my time to aid in their conservation efforts. Three weeks ago, I loaded up my touring bicycle with my camping equipment, camera gear and a cooler of food. Six days of riding from Campbell River brought me to Port Hardy, where I jumped on a short flight to Bella Bella.
I am blown away by the diverse habitats and life seen in my short time exploring this coast. I have traveled to many corners of the world, yet nothing can compare to the natural beauty I have witnessed in my time here. After the past few weeks of listening to whale song on the hydrophones and observing the wildlife in the Great Bear Rainforest, I am beginning to understand just how devastating supertankers in these waters would be. It would be destructive for the people, the land, the wild and marine life of the most untouched place I have ever seen. I’m incredibly thankful to the First Nations people and conservation groups who are working, and will continue to work, tirelessly to stand up for our coast.
Yesterday, Ian and I left Pacific Wild headquarters to do some camera maintenance. We headed out by boat during calm seas. As we passed numerous small, rocky islands, it was apparent that it was June in the Great Bear Rainforest. Harbour seals with newborn pups dotted the shorelines, sea otters bobbed in the kelp, and Oystercatchers trilled from their nests. New life was buzzing all around us as we cleaned the camera housings and completed some electrical maintenance.
The remote camera systems are proving to be a powerful tool in telling the story of this coast. Right now, one of the cameras is trained on a Steller sea lion rookery on the outer coast. It is capturing the birthing and nursing of this year’s pups on the live feed and distributing it to the world. I am in awe recording the intimate daily behaviors of the sea lions, in a way I have never been able to when out photographing them in the field. Please watch a compilation of sea lion and bird footage I pieced together in the weeks I have been here. The stories of the numerous species of wildlife continue to unfold before my eyes with these cameras. I hope you are watching the live cameras and meeting the local wildlife who call this coast home as well!
Help support our Digital Technitian Geoff Campbell and his friend Mikhayla’s “Ride for the Wild” Indiegogo campaign. Geoff and Mikhayla are undertaking a A2,500km bike expedition down the Pacific Coast to raise money to fight pipeline development & increased tanker traffic in British Columbia.
by Loren Clark-Moe
Hi everyone! October in the Great Bear Rainforest continues to be amazing!
One of the first things I heard about Pacific Wild was their Great Bear LIVE program, and in particular, their camera along a riverbed where we can watch live footage of wolves and their pups feeding on salmon. It’s amazing footage, but this camera has a unique challenge: just like their domesticated distant cousins, wolf pups love finding things to chew on, and they keep finding the cable that runs from the Great Bear LIVE camera to the power supply. The cable can’t hurt the wolf pups, but the wolf pups can definitely cut out the camera feed!
We awoke on Wednesday to find that the pups had once again found the cable, so Rob and I took the boat out to the riverbed to make some repairs. Rob knows everything about cables and wiring, but it’s slightly different when the cable you want to work on has been knawed through in the middle of a river. So, while standing in knee-deep water, I held all the wires out of the water while Rob meticulously wound and sealed them all back together. We checked the systems and the camera was back up, so all we needed now was for the wolves to come visit again!
On Thursday morning, I heard a happy yell from Diana, announcing that the wolves were back on camera! We spent the morning watching 5 wolves lounging, eating and playing together; I hope you got to see it too! If you haven’t yet, be sure to sign up for Pacific Wild’s Great Bear LIVE Alerts so you’ll know when we’ve caught something on camera. We were all really happy to be able to watch these beautiful animals for such a long time; even Diana’s puppy Clay was excited!
December 17, 2012
A few people have contacted me today asking what the difference is between a fishing derby and a wolf-kill contest. Why is it ok to offer prize money to kill the biggest fish but not a wolf? Personally, I am not a fan of killing any animal for prize money but I do hunt and fish for subsistence. Here follows some more food for thought.
First off, the vast majority of people that fish do it for food or practice catch and release. If someone happens to get a big salmon and win the derby, that person is most likely going to bring it home and enjoy it with friends and family. The days of mounting a big fish on the wall are pretty much over. Fishing is also highly regulated with clear limits of possession for each species. There are also seasonal limits, size limits and gear requirements, in addition to special license tags being required for species of conservation concern. There are also mandatory reporting requirements, conservation areas closed to fishing and a host of other legally enforced regulations.
Now, make no mistake you’re not catching me stating that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is some kind of model agency when it comes to fish management in B.C., but compare a few of these regulations to how our provincial government manages wolves.
Wolf hunting in this province is right out of the stone age. Few, if any, of the management policies and laws that I have briefly described with the recreational fishery are enjoyed by wolves. For starters, no one eats wolf meat so hunting them is considered a “non-consumptive recreational sport.” Killing a wolf is done purely for an individual’s personal pleasure or for a trophy – or in the case of this wolf-kill contest – for prize money.
B.C. residents do not need a special license to kill a wolf. In fact, for many large regions of the province killing an entire pack of wolves, including pups, is legal and does not require mandatory reporting or inspection. However, if I want to hunt a deer, a moose or a duck I have to apply and pay for a special license or tag. In large parts of B.C. there is also no limit to the amount of wolves that an individual can kill. Baiting wolves in deep snow and then running them down to exhaustion with high powered snow mobiles just before they are shot is also legal here in B.C.. In fact, some guide-outfitters in the north advertise this sport.
Clearly this is a slaughter of intelligent and highly social animals with
no ethical, scientific or conservation justification.
There is still time to make your voice heard. If you live in B.C., request a meeting with your elected representative. Contact your local media and express your views about wolves. Get in touch with Pacific Wild.
PACIFIC WILD – Wolf Action page: http://www.pacificwild.org/site/take_action/wolf-action.html