Bears in Alaska and British Columbia

This 31 July 2020 video from North America says about itself:

Majestic Bears of Alaska & British Columbia | Free Documentary Nature

Our film journey begins in Alaska’s west. We are hoping to find glacier bears in the glacial regions of the Katmai National Park on the Douglas River. At the end of July, brown bears have now arrived to fish for salmon. In the surrounding forests, grizzlies look for berries and fresh, green twigs.

The Katmai is Alaska’s most volcanic area, and with 15 active volcanoes it is a veritable powder keg, surrounded by glaciers. In the Hook glacier region moose and lynx accompany us. Bald eagles have arrived at the glacial boundary and begin to tear apart their freshly caught prey. At last, we catch sight of a glacier bear. Hungry, he has left the ice region and has been forced down here in search of food, which he satisfies extensively with fresh shoots and berries.

Continuing our film trip, we head for Prince Royal Island in British Columbia. En route, we meet with black bears on their way with their young to fish for salmon. The mother bears have to remain alert to protect their young, as we have spotted some New World porcupines too.

Then, out of the blue, directly in front of us: the Kermode, or spirit bear. He shows no signs of timidity and is only interested in one thing: salmon. Then, a further Kermode appears, enjoying his cranberry dessert, allowing us to approach him, almost too close for comfort. But a black bear arrives on the scene and claims the cranberry bush for itself. After a brief confrontation, the Kermode opts to leave, preferring to focus on salmon fishing. Fascinating footage of this rare species of animal.

Sea otter recovery helps other wildlife, economy

This January 2020 video says about itself:

Sea Otters Hold Hands To Survive The Dangers Of The Open Ocean | BBC Earth

Sea otters face great danger in the open ocean; can this family brave the waves and stick together?

From the University of British Columbia in Canada:

Recovery of sea otter populations yields more benefits than costs

New model puts dollar value on ecological transformations driven by otters

June 11, 2020

Summary: Researchers have created a new model to evaluate the long-term economic benefits of top predator recovery, using sea otter recovery along the west coast of Canada as a case study.

Since their reintroduction to the Pacific coast in the 1970s, the sea otters’ rapid recovery and voracious appetite for tasty shellfish such as urchins, clams and crabs has brought them into conflict with coastal communities and fishers, who rely on the same valuable fisheries for food and income.

But the long-term benefits of sea otter recovery — such as healthier kelp forests, higher fish catches, carbon storage and tourism — could be worth as much as $53 million per year, according to new UBC research. If well-managed, these economic benefits could offset commercial losses to shellfish fisheries of $7 million per year.

The study, published today in Science, is the first regional economic analysis of the costs and benefits of sea otter recovery along the west coast of Vancouver Island. Critically, it offers a new modeling framework to evaluate the significant long-term ecological changes driven by a top predator like the sea otter.

“Our work offers a glimpse into a future where otter populations have recovered to an estimated 5000 animals, and have fully reoccupied their historic range,” said lead author Edward Gregr, an adjunct professor at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at UBC. “We found that coastal ecosystems with otters present are almost 40 per cent more productive. In the long run, that equates to higher fish catches worth $9 million, carbon storage worth $2 million and tourism opportunities worth $42 million per year.”

That’s because the hungry otters drive huge transformations to their local ecosystems: by keeping urchin populations in check, they allow kelp forests to recover. Healthy kelp forests, in turn, sequester carbon and support abundant marine life, from salmon and lingcod to seals and whales.

For the analysis, researchers integrated local ecological field studies with available economic data and a recent tourism study, and accounted for uncertainties in future values and potential interactions among the species in the coastal ecosystem.

“It’s clear that humanity must reverse the decline in biodiversity if we want to achieve a sustainable future,” said co-author Kai Chan, a professor at IRES and the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries at UBC. “This study demonstrates that restoring key species to ecosystems can also have great benefits for people, and could serve as a useful framework for evaluating top predator recovery elsewhere.”

But, the researchers warn, the costs and benefits of such large ecosystem reorganizations are often not equally distributed. In British Columbia, future management decisions must consider the implications for local Indigenous communities and fishers, who are experiencing the losses from shellfish fisheries more acutely.

For example, while commercial fishers are likely to adapt to fewer crabs in shallow waters by fishing in deeper waters, Indigenous or recreational harvesters with more restricted access may not be able to.

“Other costs and benefits — like food security, culture and tradition — are also considerable, but they are more difficult to value in dollars,” said Gregr. “Going forward, we want to scale the model down and incorporate such impacts at the local level.”

The researchers hope that quantifying the impacts of ecological transformations more broadly will help mitigate conflicts, promote public acceptance of ecosystem change and help identify opportunities for local communities.

“Sea otters co-existed with and were managed by the Indigenous Peoples of this region for millennia before they were hunted to near extinction by the maritime fur trade,” said Gregr. “Their recovery is a golden opportunity for the Government of Canada to reconcile coastal fisheries management with local communities and regional stakeholders to ensure strong, healthy coastal communities and thriving otter populations.”

Lethal military plane crash in Canada

This 18 May 2020 video from Canada says about itself:

A Canadian Forces Snowbirds plane crashed in a residential area of Kamloops, B.C., on Sunday, the second crash involving the military’s famed aerobatic team in less than a year.

This video is also about that crash.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

A plane crashed at a military air show in the Canadian province of British Columbia. An occupant was killed in the process. Another one was taken to a hospital, seriously injured.

The plane’s debris ended up on a home that caught fire.

First of all, I wish consolation and strength to all relatives and friends of the person who was killed. And recovery to the injured person. And to the people whose home burned. As the military plane crashed in a residential area, the crash might have killed and injured still more people and burned more homes.

The show was meant to cheer people up in the coronavirus crisis.

Canadian people might have more reason for cheering up if successive governments would have spent more money on pandemic prevention and other healthcare, instead of expensive wars in Afghanistan, elsewhere and other militarism. And if Canadian war profiteering corporations would have produced enough life-saving PPE instead of weapons for the Saudi regime for butchering Yemeni civilians.

This reminds me of Donald Trump, who ordered an expensive stunt of expensive military planes above New York City ‘to salute healthcare workers’; while that money might have been spent on PPE to save these healthcare workers’, their patients’ and their relatives’ lives.

Doctor slams President Trump for ‘wasting’ at least $5MILLION on Blue Angels and Thunderbird flyovers as a salute to medics, saying ‘you want to help healthcare workers, get us PPE‘: here.

This video says about itself:

Doctor Explains the Cost of Blue Angel Flyovers || ViralHog

Occurred on May 12, 2020 / USA

“I heard that the Blue Angels and the Air Force Firebirds were going to fly over Chicago as appreciation for the health workers on the front line of this pandemic and I got angry. I had one of my partners video me in the hospital.”

Wildlife in British Columbia, video

This 2020 video from Canada says about itself:

Stretching over 1000 kilometres along the west coast of Canada, the Province of British Columbia is one of the most stunning agglomerations of nature and wildlife the country has to offer.

Eagles nest throughout the large BC territory with higher concentrations in the Squamish Valley located a few hours north of Vancouver, the third metropolis of Canada.

British Columbia is host to the biggest mountain ranges of the country among them the famous Rocky Mountains and the Coast Mountains. This particularly high elevated terrain create a particular climate in the entire province and especially in the city of Vancouver where temperatures rarely drop below zero.

This phenomenon allows spectacular humid forests to grow vegetation like moss and other vegetation not found anywhere else in Canada. These lush coastal cool rain forests are home to numerous species of birds such as the Bald Eagle, the Golden Eagle, the Varied Thrush and the Steller’s Jay as seen in the compilation. Footage in this compilation of nature footage was exclusively filmed in the wild during the month of February in 4K Ultra High Definition.

Greta Thunberg refuses 50,000 euro prize

This 25 October 2019 Canadian TV video says about itself:

Greta Thunberg delivers speech at Vancouver climate strike rally

The 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist joined the climate march in Vancouver.

Read more here.

Now, Ms Thunberg has refused a 50,000 euro prize. This Instagram post explains why.

View this post on Instagram

I have received the Nordic Council’s environmental award 2019. I have decided to decline this prize. Here’s why: “I am currently traveling through California and therefore not able to be present with you today. I want to thank the Nordic Council for this award. It is a huge honour. But the climate movement does not need any more awards. What we need is for our politicians and the people in power start to listen to the current, best available science. The Nordic countries have a great reputation around the world when it comes to climate and environmental issues. There is no lack of bragging about this. There is no lack of beautiful words. But when it comes to our actual emissions and our ecological footprints per capita – if we include our consumption, our imports as well as aviation and shipping – then it’s a whole other story. In Sweden we live as if we had about 4 planets according to WWF and Global Footprint Network. And roughly the same goes for the entire Nordic region. In Norway for instance, the government recently gave a record number of permits to look for new oil and gas. The newly opened oil and natural gas-field, ”Johan Sverdrup” is expected to produce oil and natural gas for 50 years; oil and gas that would generate global CO2 emissions of 1,3 billion tonnes. The gap between what the science says is needed to limit the increase of global temperature rise to below 1,5 or even 2 degrees – and politics that run the Nordic countries is gigantic. And there are still no signs whatsoever of the changes required. The Paris Agreement, which all of the Nordic countries have signed, is based on the aspect of equity, which means that richer countries must lead the way. We belong to the countries that have the possibility to do the most. And yet our countries still basically do nothing. So until you start to act in accordance with what the science says is needed to limit the global temperature rise below 1,5 degrees or even 2 degrees celsius, I – and Fridays For Future in Sweden – choose not to accept the Nordic Councils environmental award nor the prize money of 500 000 Swedish kronor. Best wishes Greta Thunberg”

A post shared by Greta Thunberg (@gretathunberg) on

Haida Gwaii’s northern goshawks in danger

This video from Canada is called Rare goshawk chick in the old growth forests of Haida Gwaii – August 2009

From the University of British Columbia in Canada:

Genomic study finds Haida Gwaii’s northern goshawks are highly distinct and at-risk

January 15, 2019

Haida Gwaii’s small population of northern goshawks — already of great concern to conservationists — are the last remnant of a highly distinct genetic cluster of the birds, according to a new genomic analysis by University of British Columbia researchers.

Goshawks across the British Columbia Coast appear to be declining, however, the distinct Haida Gwaii population is at a particularly high risk of extinction with such a small population size,” says Kenneth Askelson, a researcher with the UBC Department of Zoology and Biodiversity Research Centre, who co-led the study.

Latest counts puts the population on the archipelago at roughly 50. The genomic findings add new context and impetus to efforts to save this vulnerable pocket of goshawks, which are one of BC’s most iconic birds of prey.

“Accurate knowledge of geographic ranges and genetic relationships among populations is important when managing a species or population of conservation concern,” said Darren Irwin, senior author on the paper. “This is a major step in drawing those boundaries for one iconic species.”

The diminishing population of northern goshawks across British Columbia’s Coast (estimated at roughly 1,200 within B.C.), and continued habitat loss, have led to the laingi subspecies being listed as threatened under the Canadian Species at Risk Act.

But debate over which individual northern goshawks should be considered part of the threatened laingi subspecies — and the crucial question of what geographic areas should be considered within their range — has complicated conservation efforts.

The paper, published today in Evolutionary Applications, is one of the first to use genomics to inspect biodiversity on Haida Gwaii.

“This underscores the importance of conservation-related studies of genetic variation — too often, biodiversity vanishes invisibly,” says Armando Geraldes, who co-led the study with Askelson.

The researchers estimate the distinct population of birds may have been evolving separately on Haida Gwaii for 20,000 years. Percy Algernon Taverner (a prominent Canadian ornithologist) was the first to describe the laingi goshawk on Haida Gwaii in 1940 — identifying them as darker than other examples of the bird.

“There may be many unique subspecies that occur only on Haida Gwaii — an indication that the area is a very unique biogeographic region with many distinct lineages of species that have been poorly studied,” says Askelson.

International congress on birds

This 24 August 2018 video from British Columbia in Canada says about itself:

Killer Cats and Giant Eagles – Curious facts from the Bird Conference in Vancouver

I spent the last days interviewing some amazing experts at the IOC – 27th International Ornithological Congress in Vancouver, August 19-26, 2018 – and have summarized it for you. Come and join me!

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA, September 2018:

From Fairywrens to Hummingbird Poop—All the News from IOC

We attended the 27th International Ornithological Congress, and here’s our roundup of the cool, intriguing, and hopeful stuff we learned. From guarded optimism for the world’s seabirds, to why it’s not just male birds that sport showy colors, to the world’s longest migration by a land bird, to the secrets hidden in, yes, hummingbird poop. Here are the highlights.

Why young salmon leap

This 11 October 2012 video from North America says about itself:

Pacific Sockeye Salmon – Oncorhynchus nerka

Fall is the time of the Sockeye Salmon as they return to the same river beds they originated from to spawn and die, finishing their life cycle.

The sockeye eggs hatch in winter and the young salmon make their way down to the sea, sometimes hundreds of kilometers away. In the ocean they grow, if they can evade their predators which include everything from birds when they are smaller to whales, seals and fishermen as they grow into a prized commercial and sport game fish.

Then 4 years into their short life they return to the rivers, retracing their journey just 4 years earlier back to the same riverbed where they started life, spawning and dying afterwards, the cycle of the Pacific Sockeye Salmon continues.

From Simon Fraser University in Canada:

Young salmon may leap to ‘oust the louse’

August 13, 2018

A study by Simon Fraser University aquatic ecologists Emma Atkinson and John Reynolds reveals that young salmon may jump out of water to remove sea lice.

“Ideas about why fish leap include getting over obstacles during their upstream migration as adults, catching food and avoiding predators”, says Atkinson.

“However, these reasons may not apply to young salmon since their diet is composed almost exclusively of underwater zooplankton and their tendency is to scatter rather than leap when escaping from predators.”

Atkinson hypothesized that the leaping behaviour could be the fish’s way of removing parasitic sea lice, which is a common condition for wild and penned salmon off the B.C. [British Columbia] coast. Heavy sea-louse infestation is correlated with reduced growth, impaired swimming and competitive foraging ability for young salmon.

To test her hypothesis, Atkinson and her team caught wild juvenile sockeye salmon during their coastal migration away from the Fraser River. They held the fish in flow-through net-pen enclosures, half of which were covered with netting to prevent leaping and the other half were left uncovered to allow leaping. After three days, the team counted the lice on each fish.

The researchers found that, on average, the salmon that were allowed to leap in the uncovered pen had 22 per cent fewer sea lice compared to those that weren’t allowed to leap in the covered pen.

The researchers also found that it may take more than 50 leaps for a young salmon to dislodge a sea louse, which Atkinson acknowledges is a substantial amount of energy to expend. She says these costs may be offset by the benefits of successfully removing sea lice, but will have to be investigated in another study.

In a 20-year study, researchers have found that nearly 600,000 pounds of sockeye salmon carcasses tossed to the left side of a small, remote stream in southwest Alaska, helped trees on that side of the stream grow faster than their counterparts on the other side: here.

Young hawk raised by eagles, people celebrate in Canada

This video from Canada today, about the young red-tailed hawk, raised by a bald eagle couple, says about itself:

Major breaking news on the hawk in eagles‘ nest, Sidney, British Columbia

The major of Sidney has published a proclamation for the hawk-eagle day on August 6th! Join the party on August 6th afternoon. I will be live from the nest.

Young hawk, raised by eagles, eats fish

This video from Canada says about itself:

10 July 2017

This is part of a continuing story of two [bald] eagles who raised a baby red-tailed hawk in their nest in Sidney, B.C. along with their own three eaglets.

The hawk and eaglet sit together, GO TO END and see the hawk and the eaglet hug for a while.

This video from Canada says about itself:

Incredible – this hawk now thinks he is an eagle – take a look (Sidney nest B.C.)

Saw the eagle with my long lens – oops hawk (13 July 2017) – in one of the gardens feeding on fish, and loving it! Is fish as food now imprinted on him? Will his diet change?