- Alberta Grizzly Bear Documentary
- Wolf Pup Survival Research
- Groups Call for an End to BC Wolf Cull
- Insider Lee Horbachewski’s Auction
The EXPOSED Wildlife Conservancy spent the first days of December filming interviews and searching for bears for our first documentary of 2021, which will take an in-depth look at the current status of the grizzly bear in Alberta. The video will examine the potential return of the grizzly trophy hunt in the province with several grizzly bear experts based in Alberta, including grizzly bear biologist, Sarah Elmeligi, the author of What Bears Teach Us, and ecologist Kevin van Tighem, the author of Bears Without Fear. This is a very timely and important topic, as the Alberta government is currently reviewing its position on grizzly bear hunting and management.
Co-Founder John E. Marriott spent dozens of hours in the Bow Valley this November tracking cats, wolves and bears for various episodes and campaigns the conservancy is working on, including the afore-mentioned grizzly bear documentary. He shared, “On one particularly frustrating day, I saw the Boss (Canada’s most famous grizzly bear) a whopping five times, but didn’t capture a single image for all my efforts. The Boss was either too far away each time, facing the wrong direction (i.e. I would see his ample buttocks disappearing into the woods), or in the middle of town surrounded by park wardens (that actually happened!).”
The following day John had tracked the Banff Town wolf pack for an hour through fresh snow, but abruptly changed course when he came across more recent cougar tracks on top of the wolf tracks. Check out the picture above of a cougar bed he discovered on the edge of a clearing -- cougars will use these day beds as potential ambush locations for prey walking by unsuspectingly. Please visit our website to learn more about our Big Cat Project.
EXPOSED is proud to be a signatory on a collective Call to Action letter and press release that went to the British Columbia government on December 1st calling for them to immediately stop the killing of wolves and shift to the protection of caribou habitat. If you are a resident of British Columbia, please consider contacting your local MLA and ask for action on this file. Even if you don’t, you can still sign the online petition started by the conservation organization Wolf Matters.
A valuable research project out of Minnesota called the Voyageurs Wolf Project, whose focus is understanding the summer ecology of wolves recently published information on wolf pup survival and summer hunting habits which are fascinating. One of their findings was that wolf pups in the area (and in most areas where wolves are found) are most likely to starve to death at the end of summer. It’s the time of year when prey is the least vulnerable -- fawns and calves are now old enough and big enough to avoid predation and healthy deer are almost impossible for wolves to get, regardless of the pack size.
From their Facebook page: “The distinction between prey abundance (i.e. number of prey around) and prey vulnerability is an important one! While there are sufficient numbers of prey to sustain wolf packs in every part of the Greater Voyageurs Ecosystem (and there have been for decades), wolves cannot simply go out and kill prey whenever they desire at any time of year. Rather, prey must be vulnerable to predation for wolves to kill them. For example, in summer there could be 1,000 deer in a wolf's territory but if all the deer are in superb physical condition, then there would be very few deer that would be vulnerable or “available” to wolves. Yet, in winter, when these 1,000 deer are in poor physical condition, there could be a large number of vulnerable deer available to wolves. In this hypothetical example, wolf predation patterns would be drastically different in summer vs. winter even though the total number of prey remained the same. Obviously, ecosystems are not this simple but the general premise remains true: prey vulnerability is an important aspect of wolf predation behavior.”
As a special thank you to those of you that have become EXPOSED Insiders, watch your Inbox in the coming week for the next Insider Update, which will include the first in a series of free wallpapers for your computer and phone.
Our first EXPOSED Insider Zoom presentation on November 25th was a great success. John E. Marriott hosted the event, showcasing dozens of new images and captivated everyone with some riveting tales of tracking cougars and Banff’s famous grizzly, The Boss. These exclusive Insider presentations will continue into 2021, so visit our website to learn how to join the program!
As we grow, so does our generous group of supporters. We’d like to extend a special thanks to EXPOSED Insider Lee Horbachewski, who ran an amazing online print auction featuring her wonderful wildlife and landscape photography as a fundraiser for EXPOSED during the final week of November. Her auction raised $2050 for EXPOSED! View Lee’s images Here.
Meanwhile Professional Photographer and Nikon Ambassador Viktoria Haack has teamed up with In Focus Canada to help support EWC. Infocus teams up with some of the world’s best photographers to showcase their work on magnificent silk scarves. We are very happy that Viktoria chose to support the EWC with sales of her stunning ”bubbles” scarf. Buy one here.
Positive change for our wildlife can’t happen without you! Consider donating to Exposed to help fund upcoming documentaries and programming. Our monthly donors, the EXPOSED Insiders, also enjoy a wide range of benefits including exclusive invites to online presentations, exclusive digital downloads, and 10% off in the EXPOSED store!
If you’ve already picked up bear biologist Sarah Elmeligi’s new book featuring hundreds of photos from John E. Marriott, What Bears Teach Us, we highly recommend looking at another one of Rocky Mountain Books’ bestsellers this fall, Takaya: Lone Wolf by Cheryl Alexander. We mentioned this book a few newsletters ago, but it’s so good that we’re bringing it up again in time for Christmas.
Get into your own EXPOSED apparel like a hoodie or a t-shirt, and wear your support of the conservancy! We’ve added EXPOSED hats and toques to the shop for those colder days out exploring our wild places, so visit the shop now and get fantastic, comfy clothing AND support the Conservancy with much-needed funding for upcoming conservation projects.
P.S. Remember that our EXPOSED Insiders get a 10% discount on all store purchases!
All of us at the Exposed Wildlife Conservancy would like to thank you for the generous support we have received throughout 2020. It’s been unlike any year in our lifetimes, so as we all look forward to better things in 2021, we want to wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday season.
John, Kim, Lance and Sarah