British Columbia Grizzly Bears Starve as Salmon Populations Dwindle
Unfortunately, a combination of changing climate and the impact of salmon farming is understood to be the primary reason for the bears going hungry as — while they will also eat insects, berries, and sometimes other mammals — salmon is their main food source.
More than half of Canada’s grizzly bear population lives in British Columbia. Lately, they’ve been recorded travelling much greater distances than normal to find food — a task increasingly urgent as hibernation season approaches.
Provisions to help the bears through the winter have been attempted by the areas First Nation communities, who introduced 500 salmon to the areas where the grizzlies are known to hunt for food. That said, the state of the bears makes clear that a longer term solution must be reached in order to protect the population.
Climate Change and Salmon Farming Beyond The Grizzly Bears
According to Canada’s Changing Climate Report, the climate in the country is “warming twice as fast as the global average.” This alarming fact is in part to blame for the disruption to the salmon’s ecosystems, alongside floods, droughts, and marine heatwaves.
A steady decline has been seen in the salmon population in British Columbia over the past few years, with the commercial fishing industry also struggling to obtain ample amounts of this fish. However, this is not a local problem, and experts have suggested that, in addition to the significant impact of climate change, wherever there is salmon farming, that wild salmon populations will be negatively affected.
In British Columbia the plan now is to try to move away from open-net salmon farming over the next four years, so that the amount of salmon living in the wild can begin to recover.
Do you think that more should be done to protect the bears? Let us know in the comments below!
Tags: BC, British Columbia, climate change, Grizzly Bears, Salmon, Salmon Farming