EWC June 23' Update

The Exposed Wildlife Conservancy
June 28, 2023

Valley of the bears, otherwise known as the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, is home to one of the  planet’s last remaining intact coastal temperate rainforests. To the Coast Tsimshian First Nations, it’s known as K’tzim-a-deen, the “Valley at the Head of the Inlet.” The K'tzim-a-deen protected areas play an important role in British Columbia’s protected areas system and is home to one of the highest concentrations of grizzly bears in Canada. 

Insider's Event

During our next Insider's Event, Co-Founder Kim will be sharing with you his photos, adventures, and stories from his recent trip to the Khutzeymateen estuary in British Columbia. What bears did he see? How about sea wolves? Be sure to tune in to get all of the details! 

We will also be sharing with you never before seen interview clips from our Trapped In the Past documentary as well as an update on this campaign to end killing neck snares in support of wolves and other fur-bearing animals.

You will also receive a detailed update from our Cougar Coexistence Project, including what we are up to behind the scenes, the progress we have made so far, and what we have on the go for the summer and fall. 

If you are a monthly donor with us, you are invited to join us on Wednesday, July 5th from 7 to 8pm MST,  for an exclusive Insider’s event.  If not, become a monthly donor with us today to make a long-lasting and positive impact on apex predators and receive an invite to this event and more!

Become A Monthly Donor Today

New Board Member

Colleen Gara

As you may have seen in the news, our very own board member and resident bear expert Dr. Sarah Elmeligi has been elected the MLA for the Banff-Kananaski riding. Although this is phenomenal news and a win for wildlife, this means that Sarah is moving on from our board.

We are very excited to officially announce our Ambassador, Insider, and volunteer Colleen Gara as our newest board member!

Colleen is a lawyer, wildlife advocate, and very talented conservation photographer based in Calgary, Alberta. Focusing on Canadian wildlife, she is passionate about photographing animals in their natural surroundings, from the Rocky Mountains to the prairies. Her hope is to foster a connection between the viewer and subject and raise awareness to protect both the animals and their natural habitats.

Colleen is an instructor for Canon Canada and a leader and contributor for OFFBEAT Photography. Her images have been featured in publications worldwide, including Audubon, BBC Wildlife, Canadian Geographic, Wild Planet Photo and Nature’s Best. Colleen strongly believes in ethical photography practices and all of her images are of wild animals only - nothing captive, called-in, or baited.

Colleen has been a part of our organization for years and we are very excited to have her take her place as our newest board member!

Read Colleen’s Bio

Cougars in Crisis

A family of cougars has been destroyed on Vancouver Island due to their predation on livestock. Cougar attacks are rare. However, as we continue to expand our communities into cougar habitats and territories, the chances of them occurring will increase. Outcomes such as this are why proactive and community-centred wildlife coexistence programs are essential.

Our Cougar Coexistence Project is working with communities to educate and develop timely and relevant strategies to coexist with cougars. This includes coexisting with cougars and livestock. Although our project is currently focused on Southern Alberta, we do plan to expand to British Columbia, including Vancouver Island, in the future.

Full CTV Article


Our Cougar Coexistence Project

Our Cougar Coexistence Project is making strides in Southern Alberta! Recently, our Operations Manager, Jessica, joined CTV News to discuss how we are supporting cougars and those coexisting with them every day in detail. Watch the interview here!

You can learn more and get involved with this project by volunteering, raising awareness, or making a one-time donation in support of cougars. 

Support Cougars

Tawyny’s Story

Stay Vigilant When Travelling

It is critical to stay vigilant when travelling through parks and other wild places to avoid tragedies as told by our Ambassador and Co-Founder John E. Marriott. 

“The stunning grizzly bear Tawyny, daughter of #9301,  was a resident fixture at Bow Summit in Banff National Park for a decade before she got hit by a vehicle last spring. This area now has no permanent resident bears and 9301's amazing lineage that dated back to her grandmother Blondie in the early 1990s is now gone forever. It's a rarity now to even be able to get a picture like this with no vehicles on this road and to me, that's a real travesty. When do we say enough is enough and stop loving our parks to death? And when will we take the time and effort to set aside protected areas that don't allow human access or limit it in some form?"

The Case for Buffer Zones

Tawyny’s story is, unfortunately, one drop in a larger pool of apex predator tragedies in and around Canada’s national parks. However, despite large carnivores in decline across the globe, Canada provides one of the greatest opportunities and responsibilities worldwide to ensure that large carnivores continue to thrive as part of a functioning predator-prey ecosystem. This can be accomplished through the creation of buffer zones around our national parks where large carnivores are fully protected from hunting and trapping, enabling a fully functioning predator-prey ecosystem. 

We envision Canada becoming a country that celebrates its apex predators—a nation that honours and appreciates bears, wolves, and cougars for their natural beauty and intrinsic value to our ecosystems. We envision a future where visitors travel from around the world to Canada for the unique opportunity to see these impressive predators in the wild and to learn how Canadians successfully coexist with them. Buffer zones would make this possible and ensure that Canada’s wildlife is preserved for generations to come.

Grande Cache Mine Quietly Resurrected

The Grande Mountain near Grande Cache will soon be mined for coal by Australian mining company Valory Resources. The company aims to produce 3,562 tonnes of coal per day for nine years. The coal will then be transported to Asia to be used in steelmaking. This mine is expected to create a footprint of 53.5 hectares on the mountain and would puncture the surface with 91 drill holes, ultimately creating an underground footprint of 512 hectares

The Grande Cache area is home to many species, including the Upper Smoky and Berland caribou herds which are a threatened species in Alberta and protected under the federal Species At Risk Act. This mine would effectively diminish the caribou habitat and taint their water sources. 

With limited stakeholder consultation, this mine quietly slipped through coal mining restrictions implemented by the Government of Alberta. This includes eco-tourism operators, Indigenous groups, and Grande Cache residents.

Read the Narwhal Article

Wildlife Encounter Feature

Would you like a buffaloberry?

Would you like a buffaloberry? 

"These berries are an important food source for grizzlies in the summer and early fall months. As berry season ends, grizzlies will move from the valleys up into the alpine where they will then feed on hibernating ground squirrels and marmots, roots (hedysarum) and remaining grasses. Grizzlies will also feed on ungulates if the opportunity presents itself." 

This photo and recounter of a grizzly bear sow and her cubs feed on buffalo berries in the Canadian Rockies is brought to you by Exposed Ambassador Colleen Gara.

Photography Spotlight

Exposed Ambassador Tim Osborne

Exposed Ambassador Tim Osborne recounts his wildlife photography journey and favourite photography tips on the podcast A Little More Conversation with Ben O’Hara-Byrne. The interview with Tim starts at the 55:00 minute mark and features Exposed at the 59:45 and 1:08:00 mark.

Listen Now
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