Stop the Trophy Hunt
British Columbia is one of the last refuges of the grizzly bear, which once roamed widely across North America. Despite widespread opposition, our government and Canadian businesses are treating this vulnerable and iconic species as an expendable resource. Along with First Nations and conservation partners, we are working to end the trophy hunting of bears, wolves and other large carnivores on the B.C. coast - here's how you can help today:
Grizzlies are listed as a species of special concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, yet the province allows a Limited Entry Hunt for trophy hunters twice a year. B.C.'s grizzly population has fallen from an estimated 35,000 bears in 1915 to possibly as low as six thousand today.
The province has made scant progress toward its promise of establishing no-hunt grizzly bear management areas;
The population estimates on which annual harvest rates are based are largely derived from speculation and opinion, and are widely contested by independent biologists;
Coastal First Nations has banned trophy hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest;
The EU has even banned imports of grizzly bear parts over concerns about the sustainability of the hunt;
Two polls of B.C. residents revealed that 80-90% of citizens oppose the hunt (many trophy hunters are tourists in Canada, and foreigners and corporations can now own guide-outfitting territories);
Bear viewing generates far more revenue and employment than does guided bear hunting in B.C.
Clearly, it is time to lay down the weapons and start taking the issue of grizzly bear management seriously before these animals are pushed to the brink of extinction or extirpated as they have been elsewhere on the continent.
In January 2014, the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) in collaboration with Stanford University highlighted the eco-tourism dollars to be gained in British Columbia from the thousands of tourists who come to view rather than kill wildlife, taking home photographs rather than dead animal parts for display. CREST’s report, "Economic Impact of Bear Viewing and Bear Hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia," stated that bear viewing generates 12 times more in visitor spending than bear hunting and over 11 times in direct revenue for B.C.’s provincial government. Furthermore, bear viewing companies directly employed an estimated 510 people, compared with 11 hunting guide/outfitter employees in 2012.
Our opposition to trophy hunting is based on ethics, population biology, economics and ecology. The B.C. government bases its allocation of licences for trophy hunting of grizzly bears on highly uncertain modelling of population numbers. Many bear scientists contend that actual population numbers cannot sustain current levels of hunting, with the result being that grizzlies could be decimated beyond recovery in up to 50% of the province within 40 years. We continue to work towards policy changes and to raise public awareness around trophy hunting in order to protect these iconic animals from human behaviour.
Every year we watch with horror as the trophy hunt in the Great Bear Rainforest starts anew. However, there is still hope. Pacific Wild is working tirelessly with First Nations communities and the eco-tourism industry to highlight this issue and the fact that wildlife viewing activities are viable and sustainable alternatives to trophy hunting. Please continue to voice your opposition! As each trophy hunting season begins, we renew our campaign to bring this needless slaughter to an end.
September 1, 2016: Remains of Cheeky the grizzly bear, shot by trophy hunters, were rematriated to the Kwatna River by Bears Forever members. Read about it here.
June 13, 2015: Message from Pacific Wild
Read about team member Krista's encounter with trophy hunters in the Great Bear.
June 26, 2015: News Alert!
In 2005, Raincoast Conservation and Coastal First Nations bought out the central coast guide outfitter hunting territory. Now north and south coast territories are up for sale: Coastal grizzly hunt territories eyed for purchase by First Nations, enviros
January 7, 2014: Reports and Research
A new study released today finds that bear viewing ecotourism in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest “generates far more value to the economy”...
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