Global News : Sunday, April 01, 2012
The Grizzly Bear Hunt started April 1st, and groups such as the David Suzuki Foundation want the annual legal trophy hunt to be stopped.
In a report posted on their website, the Suzuki Foundation said “381 grizzly bears were killed in B.C. last year, the majority of which were shot by hunters in the annual legal trophy hunt across the province.”
They are concerned that the hunt, coupled with ongoing industrial development in the area, means more and more bears will be killed each year.
“The continued legal killing of grizzlies for sport here in B.C. is happening at a time when the ‘great bear’ has perhaps never been more at risk from mega-projects that threaten to degrade and destroy its sensitive habitat,” said Dr. Faisal Moola, director of terrestrial conservation at the Foundation.
“Projects such as the proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline that will penetrate into the Great Bear Rainforest, and the recently approved Jumbo Glacier Resort in southeastern B.C. will further threaten the survival of grizzlies,” Moola added. “These populations are already under enormous pressure from trophy hunting, increasing conflicts with humans as towns, resorts, and other recreation areas expand into bear habitat, and climate change.”
The Raincoast Conservation Foundation said they would like to see large areas of the bears’ habitat off-limits to trophy hunting, and to see the area protected to ensure the bears have a future.
The David Suzuki Foundation said there was a 20 per cent increase in grizzly bear deaths from 2010 to 2011, and 87 per cent of these deaths are attributable to the legal trophy hunt.
The David Suzuki Foundation is calling on the provincial government to work with First Nations and others to implement a network of Grizzly Bear Management Areas (GBMAs), bear parks, where the species can roam, feed and breed without the threat of trophy hunting and further degradation of their sensitive habitat from development activities, such as mining, oil and gas production and transport and new resorts.
A petition has been started to ask the government to stop the trophy hunt every year.
So far it has more than 16,000 signatures.