The Great Bear Rainforest

Pacific Wild’s current focus area is on the northern portion of the Pacific coast of Canada, an area known as the Great Bear Rainforest. Located between Bute Inlet to the south and the Alaskan panhandle to the north, this region contains a significant portion of the world’s remaining intact temperate rainforest. Historically, this forest type occupied less than 0.2% of the earth’s land mass and remains one of the rarest forest types on the planet.

The rainforest on Canada's Pacific coast supports many threatened and globally unique marine and terrestrial species. Over two thousand separate runs of Pacific salmon intertwine through an ecosystem rich with wildlife, including genetically distinct wolves, the all-white Spirit bear, Canada's largest grizzly bears in addition to many species of marine mammals.

Today, seventy percent of this rainforest ecosystem is unprotected and threatened with industrial logging, mining and other resource extraction proposals. Many of the planet's large carnivores are threatened and declining in numbers and range due to habitat destruction, trophy hunting and poaching. Trophy hunting of large carnivores, such as grizzly bears and wolves, is sanctioned by the British Columbia government, and currently no marine protected areas have been established. Open net-cage salmon farms, seismic testing for oil and gas reserves and unsustainable fishing practices remain some of the immediate threats to the marine environment.

Internationally, scientists and conservationists continue to promote the protection of the last wild intact functioning ecosystems in an effort to safeguard biological diversity, ancient forest protection is increasingly supported in efforts to offset the impacts of global warming.

These last remnants of wilderness remain the planet’s best opportunity to safeguard species diversity over time. Large-scale and sustained opportunities for conservation of large carnivore species, such as grizzly bears and wolves, still exist on the north coast of British Columbia.






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© 2008 PACIFIC WILD
All Photography © Ian McAllister unless otherwise noted.
Pacific Wild
PO Box 26, Denny Island, BC Canada, V0T 1B0
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