Contrary to the popular belief the snakes of Canada are shy and therefore do not pose any threat to the inhabitants. The Rattlesnake is the only species of snake in Canada that is considered to be dangerous and therefore pose threat. Out of the 25 species which are found in Canada none is considered to be fatal and therefore they are protected by law and the related organization. The Timber Rattlesnake is the only snake that has been annihilated and it is all because of the threat which it poses to humans. Most of the snakes in Canada are very shy and try to avoid human contact. Most of the snakes of Canada are non-venomous and therefore killing them is prohibited by law completely.
Important snake species
Coastal Rubber Boa
Most of the snakes of this class are very small in size and therefore they are not visible generally. The size is 38 – 84 cm which is small as compared to the other snake species in Canada. The overall look of the snake is rough and the skin consists of scales, the skin has wrinkles and the overall skin is smooth when it comes to this reptile. The rubber boas are identified with their short tail and the flat head which is just as the size of the body. There are other species of the snake which are not to be confused such as northern rubber boa which is same in appearance but the characteristics are completely different.
The ventral scales of the snake are the ones which identify them. The eyes are large and have black masks. These snakes are mostly found in Ontario and they are considered to be the largest ones in Canada. The largest snake of this species was captured on Pelee Island which was 138 cm in length.
Snake protection organizations
Canadian Herpetological Society
The society is of the view that the declines in the snakes and the related species is all because of the snake diseases and other habitats attack. The ecological system of the country is changing dramatically and it is affecting the world over. The society takes all the necessary measures to make sure that the snakes are preserved as much as possible. The workshops, seminars and the walks are conducted to create awareness among the general public. The society is a strong supporter of SARA which stands for Species at Risk Act. This act protects the snakes of Canada legally.
It is regarded as one of the largest organizations in Canada which protect the snakes and the related system in which they live in. The organization is of the view that the ecological system of Canada is being affected by the decline in snake number and necessary measures should be taken to prevent this from happening. The pollution, invasive species, urban development, and disease are cited as the main sources by the organization responsible for the snake annihilation. Apart from snakes the organization also looks after other reptiles which are in danger.
Hunters will be able to hunt down grizzlies in British Columbia for the last time this season as a ban has been proposed by the NDP. B.C. will move towards a complete ban on the killing of grizzly bears for trophies in the Great Bear Rainforest starting from November 30 this year.
Doug Donaldson, the Natural Resource Operations Minister said that the move was based more on public opinion than the consideration of grizzlies being wiped out. According to the government, around 15,000 grizzlies live in the B.C area out of which 250 are killed by hunters each year. Out of them, 170 are shot down by local hunters while 80 are killed by outside hunters.
According to Donaldson, the people of B.C. have come to the conclusion that killing of grizzly bears not socially acceptable in the province in this age. The placeholder government that was in place for 4 months delayed the decision on the ban which led to the issuance of hunting permits in June. Some guide outfitters were also given their permits as early as December last year for which the hunting will be on this season. Speaking about entertainments it is not really necessary to cause damage to nature and kill animals. You can have some fun and “get a dose of adrenaline using credible Canadian gambling sources like Valley Games web guide and find there online casino suitable to your liking thanks to its reviews and guides.
According to the ban, hunters will not be allowed to possess the heads, hide or paws of the grizzly as trophies. The ways of implementing the regulations are still in development and discussions will be held with groups and First Nations on the subject.
Many animal rights and wildlife advocates voiced their support for the decision. According to them habitat loss and hunting are the leading causes of endangerment of species and the ban will work to stop it. Joe Foy from the Wilderness Committee applauded John Horgan for bringing an end to the cruel sports. He said that around 4,000 grizzlies had been killed since the sport was brought back 16 years ago by the former Liberal government.
But not everyone is convinced by the move. Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green party finds the ban encouraging but doesn’t think that it will solve the real problem. Hunters will still be allowed to take the usable meat home and may find it wasteful to leave behind trophies like the head or paws. Weaver thinks that it is more of a political spin and there are several loopholes that need to be taken care of.
The ban also doesn’t stop the foreign hunters from venturing to B.C and killing a grizzly if they do not take back a trophy. Weaver wants stricter moves like new legislations following the approach of the party’s 2017 Bill. It will prevent the differential treatment of the foreign hunters and make sure all meat is taken away in a hunt. He also called for a review of the wildlife management system of the province so that most effective solutions can be framed.
Animal protection in Canada might be going for a toss due to a form of behavior by the Animal Cruelty Appeal Board which is getting common as time passes. The SPCA working in states of Canada has been plagued by the attitude of the board which does not seem to care for the genuine welfare of the animals. Many times the decisions of the board have favored the pet owners who were held responsible for cruelty by returning them the animals rescued by SPCA.
A recent development has brought the subject into the limelight once again in Nova Scotia where the SPCA was forced by the board to return 2 dogs to their owner. Duncan Sinclair of Falmouth had 19 dogs in residence out of which 6 were found in poor condition. SPCA acted on the basis of a public complaint and inspected his property while he was not there. They rescued the 6 dogs who were suffering from various conditions like severe matting while some were not even able to walk properly. Pus like fluid was also found to be coming out of the face of few dogs.
SPCA also alleged that Sinclair did not even provide basic care like deworming or vaccinations to any of the 19 dogs because of financial difficulties. He is known to breed the dogs for his financial income though that is not a crime if all animals are properly taken care of. Sinclair was charged for being responsible for the distress of animals and not providing them required healthcare when they were under his ownership. The charges are scheduled to be settled in October later this year in the courts.
Sinclair filed an appeal with the Animal Cruelty Appeal Board which saw 2 dogs returned to him in a matter of few days. Jo-Anne Landsburg, chief inspector of SPCA in Nova Scotia is alarmed by the pattern of behavior set up by the board. According to her, there had been other cases in the past where the board put the interest of the owners over the welfare of the animals by ordering their return. There were around 6 cases where the board ruled in favor of the owners till now. She is also concerned that the decision of the board can have some impact on the court ruling due for October.
SPCA has to prove that the dogs were indeed in such distressed conditions at that time. Out of the 4 dogs, three are planned to be put up for adoption while the fourth one has to be euthanized because of his dire conditions. Other 3 dogs need to undergo comprehensive surgeries which will also include the treatment of cleft palates. Animal activists are hoping that Sinclair gets charged for his treatment of the dogs in court.
The federal government in Canada has released a plan for the protection of the caribou population of the country which was released last week. The development comes following the legal action initiated by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society against the environment minister Catherine McKenna. In the lawsuit, they charged the government for not being transparent and holding information about the status of caribou protection. The minister should have submitted reports on the particular caribou herds which are unprotected to create transparency in the system.
But what comes from the government lacks credibility and does not answer the concerns raised by the environment group. The plan still does not leave any room for disclosing if the caribou herds are protected and the steps taken for their protection.
Instead, it lays down the objectives and timeline for caribou recovery for the provincial and federal governments. It is noted in the plan that the provincial and territorial governments are primarily responsible for the regions where caribou populations can be traced.
The provincial governments would be in control to develop suitable protection plans for each particular range under them and carry them out. It also provides room for extensive research and the ways of implementation of plans are a priority for further studies.
According to the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, the plan released by the government will not tell the citizens about the steps taken to conserve the herds that are not already covered by any kind of protection. The first step for an effective conservation program is identifying whether protection is required and then reporting the progress of the process to determine the results. But the plan lacks this aspect and seems to come in a hurry from the government.
The Canada’s 51 woodland caribou population has been declining by over 80% according to a 2015 federal assessment. It is predicted that the population will face the further decline of 30% in the coming years. There are various reasons for the situation including loss of habitat, wildfires, forestry and energy projects. The extent of each of the threats needs to be determined before protection plans could be worked out for them.
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society is determined to continue their legal proceeding against the federal government until they are fully satisfied by the efforts. According to a spokesperson of the organization, there are several gaps still existing in the plan and it does not really seem to be a genuine effort by the government.
Also, not all states are able to comply with the plan. Alberta Environment and Parks in Ottawa have their own local range plans for the communities which have been found to produce better results. It also has to be noted that each local range in different and a single solution for conservation is not possible.