The answers to these questions are hard to grasp, but the implementation of B.C.’s ban on grizzly bear hunting makes the answers – for now at least, and only in regard to grizzlies – academic. Fewer grizzlies being killed is, without a doubt, a good thing for grizzlies. If personal beliefs and individuals’ conceptions of their connection to the animals that we share our planet with are to change, perhaps a new law – even one that pleases part of the population and disenfranchises others – is the first step towards this.
This ban may be seen by some as heavy-handed, and its status as headline news may detract from the bigger picture, i.e. the threat of habitat loss and human encroachment to B.C.’s grizzly bears. But what the ban will undoubtedly bring is more bears to British Columbia, and more bears means a healthier ecosystem. Chris Servheen, Adjunct Research Associate Professor of Wildlife Conservation at the University of Montana, believes that – at least in a conservation context – grizzly bears are a keystone species: “If you manage for this species, it carries others with it. If you protect grizzlies, you protect other animals.” This is the biggest success of the B.C. ban. It benefits not only grizzly bears, but British Columbia’s flora and fauna as a whole, and shows that people truly care about the natural world that they are themselves a part of.
The images in this article were taken as stated at British Columbia’s T’a Ish Adventures Lodge and Bear Cave Mountain Camp in the Yukon. Wildlife photographer and expert guide Phil Timpany leads our Ice Grizzlies safari. Click below to talk to one of our Destination Specialists and start planning your own grizzly bear safari.