The desert grasslands of the South Okanagan are home to over one-third of British Columbia’s endangered species and other species at risk, including the bighorn sheep. As the human population in the South Okanagan rapidly increases, the bighorn sheep’s home is under growing threat by suburban sprawl and agricultural expansion. The time to act is now. Help Us Establish a South Okanagan-Similkameen National Park Reserve! Fact: There are more species at risk in the South Okanagan-Similkameen Valley than in any other part of BC, including white-headed woodpeckers, burrowing owls, badgers, tiger salamanders, spadefoot toads, pallid bats, spotted bats, flammulated owls, scorpions, and great basin spadefoot toads. Fact: The South Okanagan-Similkameen Valley contains part of the Interior Dry Plateau Natural Region,… read more →
Leading up to the recent G20 summit in Toronto Prime Minister Harper called climate change talks a “sideshow” and cancelled the gathering of environment ministers that normally precedes the meeting. Back in January, Americans ranked global warming dead last among public priorities (just as they did in 2009). Now, that public opinion cooling trend has spread elsewhere. Just 42 percent of Germans are concerned about climate change, down from 62 percent in 2006. In Australia, only 53 percent still consider it an urgent issue, down from 75 percent in 2007. Newsweek Magazine has relegated climate change to being “just one policy priority among many” and “just another flavor of grubby interest politics”. For climate scientists, and the NGOs who advocate… read more →
Every day, remarkable people and organizations inspire us through their accomplishments — whether big or small they are always doing their very best to protect nature and wildlife. They do what they can to ensure that nature as we know it today will be there for our children to experience. Every year, Nature Canada takes the time to recognize our Nature Guardians through our Award and Scholarship Program. This year we had the pleasure to introduce two new awards, the Charles Labatiuk Volunteer Award and the Charles Labatiuk Scholarship Award. Our other awards include the Douglas H. Pimlott Award, the Volunteer Award and the Affiliate Award. This year’s recipient of the Douglas H. Pimlott Award is Jackie Waddell. Jackie is… read more →
Does the BP Gulf spill have you wondering who would pay for the economic and environmental damages in case of an off-shore spill in Canada? Will Amos from Ecojustice has figured it out: Canadian taxpayers. Learn why and what could be done to change this.
Do you remember your first experience of true wilderness? The first time you really grasped the panoplies of form, function and wonder that embody E.O. Wilson’s now ubiquitous term “biodiversity”? The first time you felt a connection to nature?The first time you heard nothing but nature’s chorus all around you? There’s something very special in each of these experiences. Something sublime. Maybe a sense that you were in just the right place at just the right time, and that you experienced something truly unique. But how do you get to that place at just that time? I was lucky during my youth and grew up with an expansive wilderness literally in my backyard. I recall experiencing new aspects of nature… read more →
Although rumours of sightings have abounded for years, they had never been confirmed. Until now. The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) recently completed a four year study that has led it to conclude that eastern cougars do exist in Ontario. The findings were based on evidence ranging from DNA, to track photos and samples of scat. Motion sensor cameras were set up in 30 different locations throughout the province, with six cameras in Peterborough as a result of frequent sightings. The latest sightings, between March and September 2009, were near Kenora, Sault Ste. Marie and Lindsay. Despite the many efforts to capture photos of cougars, so far none have been successful. This may be due to the large distances that… read more →
I published a post a couple of days ago suggesting that the formal designation of the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA) Reserve in Haida Gwaii was a fait accompli. Well, that’s not exactly how these sorts of things work. My earlier Gwaii Haanas post mentioned that in order to make the NMCA Reserve designation official, Environment Minister Jim Prentice had to table an amendment to Schedule 2 of the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act in both Houses of Parliament – to be reviewed by their respective committees responsible for protected areas designations. According to the Act, the committees have 31 sitting days to review and collect evidence on the amendment (called an Order in Council) and decide… read more →
A recent public opinion study carried out by McAllister Opinion Research (based in Vancouver) regarding the proposed South Okanagan-Similkameen National Park Reserve (SOS) has voiced the region’s desire for its establishment. The telephone survey between May 26 and May 31, 2010 interviewed 405 randomly selected adults aged 18+. Here are the major findings of the survey: – 95% said it was important to protect the natural ecosystem, plant and wildlife species in the South Okanagan in order to maintain their quality of life – 63% were in favour of protecting a portion of South Okanagan-Similkameen in a National Park – 17% were concerned about the environment and conservation issues There have been, however, some concerns over the establishment… read more →
With an announcement on the eve of World Oceans Day, federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice officially protected 5000 km2 of Haida Gwaii’s stunning marine and terrestrial wilderness areas. The newly designated Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA) Reserve and Haida Heritage Site complements its terrestrial counterpart, Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, in protecting the “Galapagos of the North” from the depths of the sea – off of the continental shelf – to the rugged mountaintops that accentuate this other-worldly landscape. Haida Gwaii was formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, located off the British Columbia coast. Perhaps even more exciting, this designation marks the very first time that an NMCA has been designated under the Canada National Marine Conservation… read more →
What makes Important Bird Areas (IBAs) so important? Birds can tell us about the state of biodiversity that underpins our lives. IBAs are defined by birds, but they are vital for all life on Earth. Watch this video to learn more: (If you can’t see the full width, view the original here.) This video was produced by BirdLife International for the launch of Important Bird Areas Americas: Priority Sites for Biodiversity Conservation, a directory of key conservation sites across the Western hemisphere.