7 October 2019

Population growth is the top challenge for conserving habitat

This frank admission came from Jeff Davis, the Assistant Director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Habitat Program, at the June 2019 meeting of the Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force, which has been set up by Washington Governor Inslee to save the endangered orcas.

He was followed by Task Force Member G.I. James, who works with the Lummi Nation’s Natural Resources Division, who was prepared to tell a few home truths about the threat to the orcas –

“We’re worried about the population that’s going to be here in the next 25 years and we can’t even address the problems that are being created by the people who are here right now. We think we can have it all. We can have the roads, we can have our cars, we can have our businesses and we can still have those natural resources that depend on the very same things all that destroys”.

In Puget Sound orcas are being hit by ferries and water taxis, and losing the salmon they depend on for food. In Australia koalas in New South Wales and Queensland are being hit by cars, a problem caused by both more cars and fewer trees for them. As Rob Harding, the Sustainability Communications Manager for Numbers USA says about the orcas, “Smart growth or dumb growth, economic growth or uneconomic growth, we’re growing ourselves to death, (and driving the orcas) to extinction for no good reason”.

(From Kelvin Thomson,  VicTas Branch President).

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