Endangered Species

Low calving rates among blue whales cause for concern

Each blue whale has a unique pattern of spots of its back, like a fingerprint or a nametag. These spots allow researchers to identify each whale as either a newcomer, or an old friend.

The Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) is a non-profit research organization located on the Gulf of St Lawrence's northern shore and they were the first group to begin long term study of marine mammals in the Gulf. Since their founding in 1979, this group has followed blue whale populations in eastern Canada, the Sea of Cortez and in the waters of Iceland.

MICS has discovered something troubling in the northwest Atlantic blue whale population. Of the 475 individual whales they've identified since their genesis in 1979, only 22 have been calves. This suggests a frighteningly low calving rate for a population already swimming on the brink.... Read more »

Controversial changes to Fisheries Act guided by industry demands

 

Commercial fishing boats make their way back up the Fraser River to Steveston Harbour to offload sockeye salmon near the end of a 32-hour fishery window in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday August 26, 2010.

(DARRYL DYCK FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

The federal Conservative government consulted with both environmental organizations and industry associations before making controversial changes to the Fisheries Act last year, but listened primarily to industry.

When a section of one of the government’s massive 2012 omnibus budget bills limited the scope of the legislation governing the protection of fish and their habitats, some ecologists said it was the biggest setback to conservation law in more than 50 years.... Read more »

Shame on Ontario for undermining protection for species at risk: Editorial

A Blanding's turtle recovers at the Toronto Wildlife Centre following repairs to its damaged shell after it was hit by a car. (July 16, 2009)

Tony Bock / Toronto Star

A Blanding's turtle recovers at the Toronto Wildlife Centre following repairs to its damaged shell after it was hit by a car. (July 16, 2009)

 ... Read more »

Cabinet passes endangered species decision, eNGOs see red

Last week, the Star wrote a story about the fears of a conservation agency, Wildlands League, that there will be serious repercussions to the habitats of endangered species if Ontario bends over backwards to accommodate industries as it embarked  on “modernization of approvals” under the Endangered Species Act.

The story was in the paper on Wednesday. By Thursday, environmental groups emailed to say they believed a cabinet decision was imminent. ... Read more »

            

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