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Nature Conservancy of Canada
As a northern nation that was mostly covered by glaciers only 10,000 years ago, Canada has fewer species than tropical countries where the evolution and emergence of new species has been operating in stable environments for hundreds of thousands of years. Tiny Panama has 10 times more tree species than Canada. Brazil has hundreds of more species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species compared to Canada.
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One of the most powerful tools of nature conservation in the 21st century is our ability to put the protection of Canadian species into a global context. By documenting Canadian species that are not just rare in Canada, but rare everywhere, we can better understand the role of Canadian conservation efforts in preventing global species extinctions.
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The week of July 14 is designated National Shark Awareness Week. For over 400 million years, preceding dinosaurs by some 200 million years, sharks have ruled the oceans. Despite its enduring evolutionary run however, sharks are facing an immense threat from humans.
While B.C. salmon runs are greatly diminished from historic levels, what is left is world-class and definitely worth fighting for. Wild salmon face a multitude of challenges, but aquaculture is one which is entirely within our ability to regulate.
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The Franciscana is one of the world’s smallest dolphins.
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The Great Bear Rainforest Agreement was negotiated by such a diverse group of interests that at times consensus seemed all but impossible. Independent conservation science played a key role in bringing these seemingly incompatible interests to the same table. The science helped them find common ground when discussing how to manage and relate to this very special place.
"We’re talking umbilical-chord-still-attached, whoa-is-that-yep-that’s-the-placenta new-born otter pup."
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Proposing a year-round open season on wolves primarily based upon anecdotal evidence from special interests who possess a self-serving intolerance of large carnivores, such as trophy hunters, is the antithesis of science-based wildlife management.
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Killing more bears will do little to reduce nuisance bears while municipalities continue to allow plastic bags of garbage at curbside. Reducing attractants and learning to live with black bears is the solution -- not the expansion of a poorly monitored, scientifically unsupported and inhumane spring bear hunt.
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In 1989, I flew to see the gorillas in Zaire. I was a determined 25-year-old; I had never flown solo across the world. It was always intended as a three-week window into adventure and nothing more. I needed to fully experience what lay one-dimensional in my university books.
There is an overwhelming urgency to save elephants, the world's largest land mammal, from extinction. Quite simply, there are less of them around than when the world community agreed to create Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
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Earlier this week, one of the world's last rhinoceroses was killed in the name of saving the species -- at least that's what the hunter who took the shot wants you to think. Eighteen months ago, Corey Knowlton made international headlines when he purchased the "right" to hunt an endangered black rhino in Namibia. The Dallas Safari Club announced that it would be auctioning off the right to hunt the rhino and Mr. Knowlton sprang at the opportunity, spending $350,000 to win the auction. With less than five thousand black rhinos left in the wild, we should be valuing each one and doing our best to keep them alive.
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As spring finally heats up in the east, I'm reminded of all the reasons why I get outside and like to go wild and immerse myself in nature. Of course, exercise is important (for me and my dog Jimmy) and it's nice to clear my mind, but as I do it, it reminds me why protecting nature is an important daily responsibility.
The situation is dire for Asian elephants as there are approximately 30,000 left on the planet with around 23,000 of them in India, and therefore protecting every single Asian elephant is necessary for the long term survival of this endangered species.
The protection of at-risk species, once maintained so well by our government, has taken a backseat to business development. Now when habitat needs to be protected to ensure the survival of a species, government and industry often balk and backpedal. This signals a failure to understand that we depend on nature for our well-being and survival.