Keeping BC the "best place on earth"
We all have different visions for the future of our province, but one thing we all share in common is the belief that our province’s future should include endangered species.
BC is an “ark” for thousands of animals, and its global significance will only increase in the years ahead, especially in the face of global warming. Our vision should be simple and revolutionary: protect the species that make our province what it is – the best place on earth.
The good news is that with an endangered species law, we will have the chance to successfully reverse this tragic trend.
Over 3600 species call B.C. Home, and many of these, such as the mountain goat and mountain caribou live mostly - or only - in the province.
For others, such as the migratory Trumpeter Swan and Sandhill Crane, B.C. is a critical wintering ground or stopover. Unlike most Canadian and U.S. jurisdictions, B.C. still has all the large species that were present at the time of European settlement, including grizzly bears, wolves, and cougars.
However, the experts tell us that more than 1, 900 species are currently threatened or endangered in B.C. and levels of endangerment are especially high within specific wildlife groups. Among the major wildlife groups in the province, reptiles and turtles (67 per cent), amphibians (47 per cent) and freshwater fish (47 per cent) are the most at risk of local extinction in B.C.
Many of the other wildlife groups in B.C. similarly contain high numbers of at risk species, including: Vascular Plants, Butterflies, Freshwater and Terrestrial Molluscs, Dragonflies and Damselflies, Terrestrial Mammals and Birds. Most of these species at risk are located in four "hotspots" in the province- the south island region of Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland of southwestern B.C., the southern Rocky Mountain Trench and the Okanagan Valley.
The good news is that with an endangered species law, we will have the chance to successfully reverse this tragic trend. In fact, the province can bolster the conservation gains achieved thus far, together with the Great Bear Rainforest agreement, by introducing a strong endangered species law. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we must reduce non-climate stressors in order to help our wildlife adapt to global warming. For this reason, a law is critical to maintaining, for present and future generations, the biological richness we are blessed with and the associated essential ecosystem services we all benefit from.