PODCAST: Helen Davis – Biologist and Bear Den Advocate

Jul 28, 2019 | Audio, Blog, Governance, Podcast: Season 1 | 1 comment

In the 19th episode of The Public Circle Podcast, I chat with Helen Davis.

Helen is a Registered Professional Biologist and owns Artemis Wildlife Consultants. She has been a consultant for the past 27 years. We met at a conference for biologists earlier this year. I was a speaker on a panel about defining the public interest. She had heard of the work that I and my BC Green Caucus colleagues are doing for grizzly bears and old-growth forests. She wanted to expand our perspective.

So we set up a meeting and she introduced me to the much bigger world of bears. There is no question that the grizzly captures a lot of the attention when it comes to bears and, as a result, we miss important aspects of the whole bear story. This podcast is only an introduction. We have a ranging discussion about bears, her work in nature, what she has witnessed over the years and the growing problem with bear dens.

Taking a closer look

This is a fascinating episode where I learn a lot about bears and I hope you will gain a whole new respect for our bear friends. We’ll talk about everything from the very basics of the different types of bears, to a high level look at a year in the life of a bear, to life in a bear den.

Which brings me to the point of my initial meeting with Helen. Old-growth logging is having a huge impact on black bears on Vancouver Island. Black bears need big old rotting trees to den in. If they cannot find those trees they don’t reproduce and if they don’t reproduce well then we have a much bigger issue. Unfortunately, there is currently no protection for bear dens and Helen is trying to get them on the list as wildlife habitat features.

She is trying to get the attention of the Ministry of Forests and has even filed a complaint with the Forest Practices Board. If you are interested in learning more you can connect with Helen’s campaign on social media.

On Twitter search #SaveBCBearDens, or visit Helen’s petition on Change.Org at https://www.change.org/p/bc-ministry-of-environment-and-climate-change-save-bc-bear-dens

Check out Helen’s website at http://www.artemiswildlife.com.

Read The Narwhal article Helen referenced here – https://thenarwhal.ca/old-growth-logging-leaves-black-bears-without-dens-biologist/

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1 Comment

  1. Bob Van der Vliet

    I moved to Abbotsford from the Netherlands in 2015. I always loved wildlife and especially bears. I just donated money for this cause! Listened to the podcast and it struck me that bear dens are not protected. If we don’t do this, the black bear might be endangered in certain areas.

    Kind regards,
    Bob van der Vliet


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