Brant are fine; it’s time for Orca Festival

My understanding is that the Brant Wildlife Festival was originally set up to protect the goose population, but checking online I find their numbers have greatly increased. The status of the brant goose in 2013 was at about 150,000, as per Migratory Game Birds in Canada.

It did have a large decline in the early 1960s, and in 1990 Neil Dawe and Bashir El-Khalafawl came up with the idea to start a festival to aid in knowledge of the species and that it needed help. I understand that there are a lot of birders who watch the birds this time of year and I commend them in their effort, but do feel that it is time to change the festival to support the killer whales. We, as local residents, need to push the plight of endangered animals in this area to the government, local residents, tourists and all who come to this area.

Entering 2018, the orca, according to CBC News, is in a critical situation with only 76 southern residents left and an annual birthrate in substantial decline. Time has arrived to inform all local tourists of the impending doom to the local whale population as its numbers are the lowest in 30 years, as David Suzuki told the National Observer.

It’s time for the Parksville area to aid in the plight of species that are listed at risk of disappearing completely from the area. We need the annual festival to now celebrate the orca, with the involvement of local indigenous people and all who care for the safety of this important mammal. It would be a tragic loss if the orca was indeed listed as extinct in 50 to 100 years because we did nothing to help it.

Larry Stuart

Parksville

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