Worry over fish and wildlife decline in B.C.

The B.C. Wildlife Federation is concerned about declining fish and wildlife populations – and is calling on the province to do something about it. The BCWF is kicking off a series of town halls across the province to discuss the matter. It's also urging people to sign a petition calling on government to dedicate all hunting licence and fee revenues directly to wildlife management. "B.C. is one of the most biodiverse jurisdictions in the world, yet one of the most under-funded fish and wildlife management jurisdictions," the group says. According to the federation, B.C. is home to more than half of all fish and wildlife species in Canada. Mountain caribou are in decline, and more than 85 per cent of wetlands in the Lower Mainland and the South Okanagan have been lost, removing habitat for amphibians, reptiles, fish, and birds. Kootenay and Arrow Lake kokanee (Oncorhynchus nerka) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are at record lows, and Thompson and Chilko River steelhead have declined from more than 6,000 fish in 1985 to just 600 today. Currently, only 18 per cent of hunting licence revenue is dedicated to fish and wildlife conservation.

Source: Castanet, April 1, 2017