GWAII HAANAS, B.C. - Parks Canada has completed a second air drop of rat poison on two islands in Gwaii Haanas national park, in an effort to restore seabird colonies destroyed by an invasion of thousands upon thousands of rats.
The air applications of poison were the second phase of Project Night Birds Returning, a five-year, $2.5-million plan to eradicate the rodents introduced to the Haida Gwaii archipelago by visiting ships more than a century ago.
The rats eat seabird eggs, chicks and even adult birds, and important colonies of some endangered species such as ancient murrelet and Cassin's auklet have been decimated.
The air drops carried out last month took place on Murchison and Faraday islands in the park, a UNESCO world heritage site.
The eradication program began in 2009, with the aim of restoring the natural habitat on islands in the park where the rat population was out of control.
Two years ago, Parks Canada staff distributed poison pellets on two smaller islands by foot, but this time the terrain and large area required the aerial distribution, a technique being used for the first time in Canada after its success in New Zealand, the United States and Mexico.
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The poles of Haida Gwaii symbolize the connection that the Haida people have with nature
Haida society continues to be very engaged in the production of a robust and highly stylized art form
Fish such as the The "Dogfish" or "Shark" are depicted with two prominent nostrils, and gill slits in the cheeks.
Eyes toward the sea
Watchmen faced the ocean to search for incoming canoes from other villages.
Great cedar carving
Carvers were in great demand to create these rich works of Art. There are different types of totem poles, each with a different function:
Giant carved pole
Totem poles represent family lineages and privileges.
The physical and spiritual relationship with the forest and the oceans are entrenched within the Haida culture.
A view from the past
At the village of SGang Gwaay the remains of large cedar long houses, together with a number of carved mortuary and memorial poles, illustrate the art and way of life of the Haida.
Time for reflection.
The weathered remains of a 19th century Haida village where the ruins of houses and memorial or mortuary poles illustrate the power and artistry of Haida society.
Carrying on a tradition
Author with Haida watchman Jordan Yeltatzie.
Moving heaven and earth
Born to Explore cinematographer John Barnhardt making things happen
Between a rock and a hard place
Andy Ames feels the weight of "Balanced Rock" on the shores of Haida Gwaii. Balanced Rock is an usual remnant of the last glacier that swept over North America.
Following a rainbow
Author heading to Gwaii Haanas a remote location, accessible by sea kayak, boat or chartered floatplane only.
Heading to Gwaii Haanas
Extreme exposure to wind and rain makes Gwaii Haanas a remote location, accessible by sea kayak, boat or chartered floatplane only.
Sunny days few and far between
Gwaii Haanas can receive over 157 inches of rain annually. Forests of the leeward, or eastern side of Gwaii Haanas, are classic coastal temperate rain-forests
Willie Nelson of the north
Tassilo Goetz Hanisch moved from his homeland of Germany to the wilderness about 20 years ago with not much more for a start than a tent, a packsack, an ax and a guitar. Being alone in nature for long periods of time I had to be self reliant in every aspect of life.
Inspired by nature
Tassilo Goetz Hanisch feels the process of composing is like bathing in sound, showering himself in nature.
A visitor from Japan
On March 11, 2011, a devastating 9.0 earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. As a result of the disaster, debris such as bottles can and even a volleyball have reached the shores of Canada.
A bottle from another world
The Tsunami disaster claimed nearly 16,000 lives, injured 6,000, and destroyed or damaged countless buildings.
A message from a disaster
Haida Gwaii is the gathering point for many cultures.