"Stretching along the BC coast from Vancouver Island’s northern tip to the Alaska panhandle, the Great Bear Rainforest represents 25 percent of the world’s remaining ancient coastal temperate rainforests. Home to more than 230 species of birds and 68 species of mammals, it’s the largest intact temperate rainforest left anywhere on Earth. Thousand-year-old giant red cedars tower 30 stories over a tangle of vibrant forest life below.Click here to learn more about Orca's ERAC approved Great Bear Books series, including The Salmon Bears, The Sea Wolves, and The Great Bear Sea.
Biodiversity refers to the variation in organisms in a given area. It’s often used by scientists as a measure of the health of a given ecosystem. Often compared to the Amazon, the Great Bear Rainforest is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. This intricate coastline is home to thousands of species. If you stretched it out, it would cover more than twenty-five thousand kilometers!
But even though the Great Bear Rainforest is healthy now, that doesn’t mean it’s not at risk. Scientists have discovered dangerous toxins in the bodies of animals from the Great Bear Rainforest. These chemicals drift on air and ocean currents from other countries, eventually establishing permanence within the food chain of this threatened landscape. And if the buildup of toxic chemicals wasn’t enough to worry about, there’s also the systemic threat of the annual grizzly bear trophy hunt. When hunters kill the largest, most beautiful bears in the rainforest, they’re removing what are often the fittest individuals from the population. Over time, this selective pressure on the grizzly population can have devastating effects."