Learn how to draw black bears with scientific illustrator Dr. Julius Csotonyi! Come get creative with us in this interactive lesson, fun for all ages!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 15, 2017
Sierra Club BC released the following statement from campaigns director Caitlyn Vernon in response the government’s ban on the trophy hunting of grizzly bears:
“Sierra Club BC supports the provincial government’s ban on the trophy hunting of grizzly bears and all grizzly bear hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest, where this brings provincial policy in line with Indigenous law.
“Killing bears for sport is wasteful, opposed by an overwhelming large majority of British Columbians, and bad for our economy. These bears are worth more to our economy alive than dead.
“This announcement is also a welcome first step towards a more science-based approach to wildlife and conservation management. We welcome the consultations the government will undertake on a renewed wildlife management strategy.
“Our expectation is that the government will ensure, in implementing the ban, loopholes cannot be exploited by unscrupulous hunters. We expect to see rigorous compliance and enforcement measures put in place.
“Grizzly bear management, like that of many species and ecosystems, requires large landscape-scale conservation and the incorporation of Indigenous approaches.
“Whether in the Peace Valley, the Flathead or the Great Bear, hunting Grizzly bears has an adverse on ecosystems and wildlife dynamics in the landscape. Bears represent more than one animal, they support and are supported by entire ecological systems that need to be defended against human exploitation.”
Director of Campaigns
Sierra Club BC
C: (250) 896-3500
The relationship between bears, huckleberries and bees is both straightforward and simple. Bees pollinate flowers, flowers make berries, bears eat berries. Seems simple enough.
It’s not until we consider climate change that this relationship seems more a matter of good luck than a given. In ‘normal’ years, bees are around when the flowers are blooming, which means that berries will form and ripen, providing a summer-long snack for hungry bears looking to fatten up for the fall.
But what if things shift? What if a warm winter causes bees to emerge early in the spring? Will the huckleberries be flowering early too? Or do they rely on some cue other than temperature or precipitation—sunlight hours, for example—to spur their blossoms?
For thousands of years, people (and other animals) have been observing the world around them and making note of when the natural events important to them happen. People pay attention to timing of things like bird migrations, the arrival of salmon, and the ripening of preferred berries. In the scientific literature, this is called phenology. It’s the study or observation of nature through the seasons, making note when and in what conditions different changes happen.
Given current climate trends, researcher Tabitha Graves is concerned that the seemingly straightforward relationship between bees, huckleberries and grizzly bears in the Rocky Mountains could be in trouble. Given that huckleberries make up over 15 per cent of a bear’s diets, a year with low huckleberry production can put bears at risk of going hungry and/or ending up in more human-bear conflicts.
The article “Bears, Berries and Bees” gives readers an insiders’ look at Graves research. The article is accompanied by videos of Graves speaking about her project, as well as maps and photos.
Featured image by Harvey Barrison, via Flickr
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