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Canadian Projects

Canadian Blog

by Barry Kent MacKay,
Senior Program Associate

Born Free USA's Canadian Representative

Barry is an artist, both with words and with paint. He has been associated with our organization for nearly three decades and is our go-to guy for any wildlife question. He knows his animals — especially birds — and the issues that affect them. His blogs will give you just the tip of his wildlife-knowledge iceberg, so be sure to stay and delve deeper into his Canadian Project articles. If you like wildlife and reading, Barry's your man. (And we're happy to have him as part of our team, too!)


Another Kinder Response to a Bear in Canada

Published 11/04/10

In a recent blog (“Soft Landing Bears Witness to Improved Neighborhood Relations”) I reported about the black bear who, hungry as winter was starting to close in, wandered into the mountain town of Whistler, British Columbia, climbed a tree, and was subsequently tranquilized and removed. The cops had tried to just do what would have been better, and let the bear wander off on his own, but curious citizens interfered and finally a conservation officer had to tranquilize the bear. In the old days the poor thing would have been shot dead.

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Fines Raised for Livestock Transport Violations

Canada Takes Step in Right Direction

Published 11/01/10

A few years ago a colleague in Toronto asked me if I could help her process a batch of reports. “Sure,” I said, not realizing the angst they’d cause me as I helped decipher handwritten scrawls.

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Soft Landing Bears Witness to Improved Neighborhood Relations

British Columbia’s Whistler Does (Almost) the Right Thing

Published 10/25/10

Mid-October is betwixt and between weather for the mountain town of Whistler, British Columbia, best known for its ski runs and charming chalets. But it is usually too soon for skiing, with the snow yet to come. For some members of the surrounding countryside, the snow has another role to play. It goads you into committing to a long, deep winter’s sleep — if, that is, you are a bear.

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I Would Rather She Was a Witch Than That Which She Is

Why I Don’t Believe in Politicians Who Don’t ‘Believe in’ Evolution

Published 10/22/10

Look, I’m a Canadian, and we have our own numbskulls in public office, but if I don’t speak out against something that worries and even frightens me, I deserve the consequences, and they are profound.

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Canada Has Done Something Environmentally Right!

Yukon-Alaska Border Blitz Nabs Wildlife Smugglers

Published 10/14/10

Here are two news items from the same day — Tuesday, Oct. 12. The big one (in Canada, I mean) was that for the first time ever Canada failed to win a seat at the Security Council of the United Nations. The small one was that after a two-week blitz of the border between the Yukon and Alaska, wildlife officers uncovered more than 50 violations of both federal and territorial wildlife protection laws, and made 23 seizures of parts, or entire carcasses, of protected wildlife species, including walrus, black and grizzly bears, sea otter, caribou, moose, Dall sheep, eagle and bowhead whale.

Oddly, perhaps, both items cheered me.

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The Absurd Elk Hunt Proposal in Ontario

Illustrating the Hypocrisy of Wildlife Management

Published 10/04/10

We had elk. They were once found throughout much of eastern North America. Scientists at the time considered the eastern elk to be a form distinct from other elk in other parts of the continent. But, as is true of so many eastern species that bore the brunt of European settlement that moved from east to west across the continent, they were wiped out. The eastern elk is extinct, not seen in Ontario since the last one was recorded in 1893.

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Why Do Hunters Feel Like Criminals?

A Weird, All-Canadian Outcome of Parliamentary Vote on Long-Gun Registry

Published 09/28/10

Most Canadians will know that last week a Conservative Party private member’s bill to scrap the long-gun registry in Canada was narrowly defeated by a vote of 153 to 151.

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Lions, Leopards and How Not To Save Them

Don’t Count on Hunters or Zoos To Save Endangered Wild Cat Species

Published 09/16/10

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the fact that 80 percent of the world’s wild cat species are at some level of risk of endangerment, including many species unknown to most people. But two species that are very well known, the African lion and the spotted leopard, are the subjects of a scientific paper just published in the journal Conservation Biology. The title of the paper is “Effects of Trophy Hunting on Lion and Leopard Populations in Tanzania.”

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