Category Archives: Environment

Greyhaven Bird Sanctuary struggling to care for over 500 relocated parrots

Greyhaven Bird Sanctuary is overwhelmed after bringing in more than 500 relocated exotic birds from the defunct World Parrot Refuge. Photo by Rafferty Baker/CBC.

Greyhaven Bird Sanctuary is overwhelmed after bringing in more than 500 relocated exotic birds from the defunct World Parrot Refuge. Photo by Rafferty Baker/CBC.

A mass parrot relocation has refuge workers in Metro Vancouver struggling to keep up with the new influx of birds.

Workers at the Greyhaven Bird Sanctuary say they are overwhelmed after taking on the “daunting task” of caring for more than 500 exotic birds, including parrots, cockatoos and amazons.

The birds were relocated from the now-defunct World Parrot Refuge after its owner passed away earlier this year.

Staff at Greyhaven are working around the clock to provide care for the birds. Among them is adoptions director Jenny Tamas, whose home is being used as a sanctuary, alongside two other houses in Metro Vancouver.

They also run a shelter inside an old SPCA building in Nanaimo.

“It’s a desperate situation for a lot of these birds,” Tamas said. “I just personally picked up four bags of feed which was $181 wholesale. And … those four bags of feed will not feed these birds for more than two days.”

Read the full article on CBC News

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Failed reforestation attempt near Creston raises red flag

A failed operations audit has left small logging company Arrow Glenn Ltd. in hot water. Photo by Getty Images.

A failed operations audit has left small logging company Arrow Glenn Ltd. in hot water. Photo by Getty Images.

A failed reforestation effort in the Kootenays has left B.C.’s logging watchdog concerned.

Arrow Glenn Ltd, a private logging company with access to over 600 hectares of forested land in B.C., failed to reforest several clear-cuts near Creston — a direct violation of the regulatory Forest and Range Practices Act.

According to a two-year random audit from the Forest Practices Board, Arrow Glenn had seven years to replant trees in numerous clear-cuts but failed to meet minimum standards. They also failed to submit mandatory annual progress reports to the government.

“In the case of a licensee not meeting reforestation obligations, that’s not good stewardship — or stewardship period,” said Timothy Ryan, chair of the FPB.

Read the full article on CBC News


It’s alive! ‘The blob’ lingers at new depth, scientists say

The blob's heat signature on the surface of the Northeast Pacific has diminished over the last six months, but new findings suggest it's sitting deeper below the surface. Photo by NOAA.

The blob’s heat signature on the surface of the Northeast Pacific has diminished over the last six months, but new findings suggest it’s sitting deeper below the surface. Photo by NOAA.

The giant ocean ‘blob’ isn’t dead — yet.

The warm patch of water that stretches along the Pacific Coast is currently resting several hundred metres below the surface of the ocean, despite earlier reports that it had dissipated, according to new data.

“What we’re finding is that the upper waters are being mixed by the wind again and coming back to normal temperatures, but the residual effect of the blob is still there at about 150 to 200 metres [below the surface],” said  Ian Perry, a senior research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The blob was widely pronounced dead earlier this year after satellite heat images no longer detected abnormally warm waters on the surface of the Pacific Coast. However, the imaging only read up to 40 metres below the surface, said Perry.

Vertical measurements conducted by the DFO’s Canadian Coast Guard vessels indicate the blob now lives deeper below the surface. According to Perry, at this depth the warm water continues to prevent the mixing of nutrients to the ocean’s upper-layer, which has harmed coastal ecosystems over the past two years.

Marine wildlife, including Pacific salmon, have suffered as a result of what’s been dubbed a ‘marine heatwave’.

Read the full article on CBC News


Canfor eyes Prince George for major biofuel facility

Prince George will be the home of a future commercial-scale biofuel plant, says Canfor. Photo by Welcomepg.ca.

Prince George will be the home of a future commercial-scale biofuel plant, says Canfor. Photo by Welcomepg.ca.

One of the world’s largest logging companies is looking to get into the oil business.

Canfor is in the early phases of developing what would be the first ever commercial-scale biocrude oil plant. The logging company is looking to convert wood waste from its pulp mills into mass quantities of crude oil at a new facility in Prince George.

“In the next few years we’ll be announcing a project and building a real facility that will produce upwards of 400,000 barrels of oil a year,” said Bret Robinson, president of Canfor Pulp.

The impending project comes after Canfor formed a joint venturewith Australian biofuel production start-up Licella to explore the economic possibilities for large-scale biocrude production plants.

The partnership formed after Licella successfully converted wood waste from Canfor’s Prince George mill into a stable biocrude that’s nearly indistinguishable from traditional crude oil.

Canfor plans to invest funds to integrate Licella’s technology into their current pulp mills. The new project would streamline waste directly from their pulp mills, coupled with virgin fibre, into an attached crude oil processing facility that will cost upwards of $70 million.

Read the rest of the article on CBC News


Province-wide slash burning sparks controversy

Slash burn is a method of getting rid of debris from logging, where piles of branches and other tree debris are burned. Photo by Denver Post via Getty Images.

Slash burn is a method of getting rid of debris from logging, where piles of branches and other tree debris are burned. Photo by Denver Post via Getty Images.

When Greg Mancuso got tired of working his regular desk job at Folklore Reforestation, he pestered his boss for a change of scenery.

Shortly after, he got what he asked for: a 12-day gig setting large piles of branches, logs and tree tops ablaze.

The job gave him some nail-biting thrills.

“When you look at the size of some of the fires that you started, it kind of makes you a little nervously excited,” he said.

Mancuso, who usually works as a project coordinator for Folklore Reforestation, would traverse fresh clear-cuts across the Prince George region and burn down large piles of woody debris known as slash.

They’re the leftovers from logging and are systematically burned every fall and winter to limit the risks of wildfire.

It’s is a common forestry practice. Just last year, an estimated five million tons of it went up in flames across the province.

Read the rest of the article on CBC News


Record warm weather continues to threaten Pacific salmon, federal panel says

Pacific salmon numbers are expected to decline over the next three years due to unusual ocean temperatures. Photo by Johathan Hayward/Canadian Press

Pacific salmon numbers are expected to decline over the next three years due to unusual ocean temperatures. Photo by Johathan Hayward/Canadian Press

Record warm temperatures along the B.C. coast are continuing to threaten Pacific salmon populations, according to a federal government update.

Unusually warm ocean conditions in 2015, spurred by both the Bloband El Nino, are expected to have lasting effects on Pacific salmon returns over the next three years, including increased mortality rates, says a report from a Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) panel of scientists.

Panel members held a news conference in Vancouver Monday to release their findings.

“We’ve seen the warmest winter temperatures [and] water temperatures ever observed in the northeast Pacific in 2014 and 2015,” said Dr. Ian Perry, a research scientist with the DFO.

The panel found that the warm temperatures have disrupted the regular food supply that Pacific salmon rely on, leading to smaller and unhealthier fish.

Read the rest of the article on CBC News


Freshwater salmon have ‘exceptional’ rebound in B.C.’s Okanagan lakes

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Restored habitat, better watershed data and volunteer efforts have been given credit for allowing the first full recreational kokanee fishery this year in four years. Photo by Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

Freshwater salmon stocks have increased dramatically in Okanagan lakes this year, even though populations of Pacific salmon have plummeted in the nearby Columbia River system.

A recently released provincial government survey found kokanee spawners in Okanagan Lake, for example, reached a high of 336,500 – the largest quantity since the province started keeping track of the population in 1992.

Restored habitat, better watershed data and volunteer efforts have been given credit for allowing the first full recreational kokanee fishery this year in four years.

“The Okanagan showed exceptional numbers of spawning for adult kokanee this year – up to doubling, or even tripling of the average numbers,” said Kim Hyatt, a research scientist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Read the full article on The Globe and Mail