Defenders Magazine

Winter 2013

Volume 88, Issue 1

Feature

Remi Foubert-Allen wanted to see killer whales for as long as he could remember. But he was completely unprepared when they swam past his boat in Hudson Bay near his hometown of Churchill, Manitoba. “I can’t believe I’m looking at orcas!” he shouted over the noise of his outboard motor. “Oh man, my dad is going to be so jealous.” Foubert-Allen—a zodiac driver with Sea North Tours—is understandably astonished. Killer whales in Hudson Bay were unheard of until recently. European explorers who wrote of their adventures in the area beginning in the early 1600s made no mention of the whales before 1900. But between the turn of the last century and 1960, explorers and Inuit hunters living along the bay began reporting the odd sighting—just a handful really. Since then, there has been a small but steady increase, leading to a peak of 40 sightings in the last five years. Steve Ferguson, a biologist with Fisheries and Ocean Canada, is among those trying to figure out what it all means. His research shows climate change—in the form of declining summer sea ice in the Hudson Strait—is likely responsible for killer whales from the Northwest Atlantic finding their way into the bay. That’s because the whales generally avoid ice. Their tall dorsal fins can get stuck as they swim underneath.

Articles

These synthetic chemicals are found in all kinds of everyday items. But in the long run, they are toxic to us and to wildlife.
Most funding for wildlife comes from the Farm Bill, which funds project like those that create habitat for ocelots.
On the heels of one of the worst droughts in U.S. history, scientists are questioning the future of a critter that crawls—and swims—under the radar in the streams of the Southeast.
The War on Wolves Continues; New Rules Rule; A Future with Bison
Named for their white whiskers—which actually look more like mustaches than beards—these seals appear almost dashing. Unfortunately, looking dapper isn’t keeping them out of danger.
The conservation outlook in the Senate has improved, but we still have a House leadership that is quite hostile to environmental programs.
Approaching solar energy “Smart from the Start” means we can fight climate change with fewer risks to wildlife.
Keeping grizzlies alive and people safe in the Rockies