Haida Gwaii: Conservation and Culture

A lofty restoration project in Haida Gwaii is allowing for the return of lush medicinal plants, fungi, birds, and more.

Off the coast of British Columbia, the Haida Gwaii archipelago is known for its native biodiversity and rich cultural history. Haida Gwaii is so diverse it has been coined the “Galapagos of the north,” due to its many genetically distinct forms of common species, not found anywhere else. 

In recounting his visit to Lost Island, a portion of the Haida Gwaii archipelago, Leslie Anthony, a journalist traveling to the islands, depicts the rich biodiversity in detail:

Nesting oystercatchers stare us down with orange eyes, and as we move off the beach a peregrine falcon diving from a cliff sets off a cacophony of glaucous-winged gulls. I wade through a picket of grass, nodding wildflowers… into a forest whose lower reaches are dense with false azalea, yew shrubs, and shockingly old alder trees.” 

A misty morning on Haida Gwaii. Credit: Drew Brayshaw

Sadly, despite the pristine state of Lost Island, many of the other islands in Haida Gwaii have been slowly suffering at the hands of invasive species. Today, the Haida Nation and conservationists from Parks Canada are undertaking a demanding ecological restoration project aptly named “Llgaay gwii sdiihlda”—Restoring Balance.  

Restoring Balance first began with an ambitious project to remove invasive rats from six islands which spanned over several years. The project was a success and inspired them to carry on their restoration work. Next, they decided to remove invasive sitka deer. This endeavor would create an invasive-mammal-free zone and protect a vital portion of the reserve. Since the project began in 2017, Parks Canada has removed over 600 deer.  

The lofty restoration project was carried out over the course of 6 months and its success brings with it the resurgence of native species. A forgotten lush understory, many species of fungi, invertebrates, birds and native mammals that had all but disappeared due to the overgrazing of invasive deer could now return. The native peoples of Haida Gwaii will once again  relish in the tremendous benefits that the 150 native plant species provide including medicinal and as a food source.  

Many invasive species have been introduced to the islands, but the invasive sitka deer has had the most rampant impact. The ts’uu or Western Red Cedar is a native species often revered by northwest coastal peoples as the tree of life. It plays a fundamental role in Haida culture as it is used to create hats, baskets, clothing, canoes, and even housing and ceremonial poles. Tragically, the over-grazing of the invasive sitka deer has caused this essential piece of the Haida’s culture and livelihood to be at risk.

A Western Red Cedar Tree. Credit: Rosewoman

As with our language, stories, songs, names, and lifestyle, the plants and their uses are very much a part of what makes us who we are,” writes Haida cultural plant expert Barb Wilson in the epilogue of Nancy Turner’s 2004 ethnocultural treatise Plants of Haida Gwaii. 

Ramsay Island has been the most recent restoration project and will hopefully be declared completely deer free in coming years. The crucial component, however, will be preventing repopulation in the future. The project manager of Restoring Balance, Robyn Irvine, has crafted a plan to help fast-track attempts to thwart invasive sitka deer from repopulating.  DNA analysis will help track the rate at which deer  move  between islands and inform them on the best approaches to prevent repopulations.

Leslie Anthony, in recounting his experience in the Lost Island portion of Haida Gwaii, an area untouched by invasives demonstrated the beauty of this biodiverse archipelago. It is a reminder that restoration projects are successful, this beauty could be the reality for other islands in Haida Gwaii once again, too.

Source: Hakai Magazine
Featured photo: Rainbow over Haida Gwaii. Credit: Island Conservation

About Stephanie Dittrich

Stephanie Dittrich is a current senior in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz and a transfer student from De Anza College. She is also currently pursuing a Certificate of Achievement in Geospatial Technologies and a second Associates Degree in Graphic Design from Foothill College. She has worked in multiple marketing and design focused roles at environmental nonprofits as well as the Genomics Institute at UC Santa Cruz. She just finished spending 3 months in Costa Rica conducting field work where she did an independent research project and wrote a scientific paper about flight response time in the Morpho peleides butterfly. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys working on creative photography and design projects, often centered around wildlife photography, as well as more experimental and contemporary subject matter.

View All Posts

Follow Island Conservation on Social Media

[ism-social-followers list='fb,tw,li,youtube,instagram' template='ism_template_sf_1' list_align='horizontal' display_counts='false' display_full_name='true' box_align='center' ]

[ism-social-followers list='fb,tw,li,youtube,instagram' template='ism_template_sf_1' list_align='horizontal' display_counts='false' display_full_name='true' box_align='center' ]

Midway Atoll conservation

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this:

surgical penis enhancement small circle blue pill epic male enhancement reviews can you have sex on the green pills epic male enhancement dr oz on male enhancement pills penis enlargement does it work ginseng and penis enlargement mammoth male enhancement male enhancement dallas tx best male enhancement pills gnc sex pills make eye red best in store male enhancement ultimate forza male supplement michael stefano male enhancement what kind of male enhancement works cianix male enhancement pills zyrexin male enhancement la thuoc gi penis traction enlargement study male enhancement stud bull stamina pills at walmart male enhancement plastic surgery canada penile enlargement implants male enhancement ruby 12 pills how to track vxl male enhancement penis enlarger products best gas station pills food penis enlargement pills do penis pills add length pills to maintain erection thc supository for sex enhancement blue and orange pill sex enhancement drugs for males gnc weight loss pills mens chinese sex pills suppliers from china opal male enhancement right fda recall male sex pills list pills that a man penis get hard pills to boost sex drive male rocknhardxl male enhancement blue caps gas station sex pills cause headaches mens enhancement supplements mancore supplements strong supplement shop coupon prosolution plus pills cheap v shot male enhancement side effects cyanide penis enlargement gif king scorpion male enhancement pill reddit v20max male mens sexual libido enhancer pills low t supplement reviews penis enlargement pill before and after photo diy male enhancement

weight loss supplements at walmart will weight loss pills break your fac top selling weight loss pills vegetarian weight loss diet low carbpdf diet chart for weight loss pdf sustainable weight loss on low carb diet weight loss pills burn fat diet for womens weight loss green tea weight loss pills dr oz best keto fat burning pills teenage weight loss diet plan best weight loss pills that suppress appetite safe diet pills for weight loss lose weight gain muscle pills keto diet pills for diets for quick weight loss for women recipes keto genic diet diet keto recipes supplements to help lose weight while working out unintentional weight loss after stopping diet is a vegetarian diet good for weight loss keto diet dessert recipes free acai fresh weight loss supplement weight loss and mediterranean diet chicken noodle soup diet weight loss bpi keto weight loss pills review impact diet whey weight loss results dr oz keto diet recipes what weight loss supplements can i buy at walmart raisin bran diet for weight loss why do weight loss diets have low carb oranges diet weight loss keto weight loss pills dr berg low carb diet weight loss how many carbs thrive pills for weight loss diet for 50 year old woman to lose weight recalled weight loss pills banned weight loss tablets tanzanite weight loss pills janet jackson weight loss diet ml general weight loss pills keto burn diet pills contact number chinese fruit weight loss pills urdu diet plan for weight loss best weight loss pills quora what diet plan should i follow to lose weight canine diet for weight loss quick start weight loss diet egg and grapefruit diet weight loss keto diet recipes on pinterest i need a vegetarian weight loss diet weight loss diet nbme 18

cbd edibles near me rimadyl and cbd oil cbd oil dosage for anxiety is cbd oil legal in nj herbstrong cbd does cbd oil have any thc in it cbd parkinsons do haysville doctor cbd oil cbd delivery low cost cbd cbd for schizophrenia cbd oil users group procana cbd reviews juicy cbd oil rig diamond cbd stock cbd fountain cbd for rls cbd oil for sore throat cbd oil for hormone imbalance i love cbd cbd under the tongue cbd oil legalized cbd oil warnings vegetable glycerin cbd cbd spray for anxiety cbd for foot pain lazarus naturals cbd capsules cbd oil 550 mg cbd veterans benefits of cbd pills horse cbd trulieve cbd how to vaporize cbd oil cbd walgreens crps and cbd oil floyds cbd doctors that prescribe cbd oil sagely naturals cbd pcos and cbd oil natural cbd oil where to buy cbd oil raleigh nc vital leaf cbd best certified cbd oil hempmeds cbd oil review cbd oil hemp vs weed wholesale cbd oil suppliers nutiva organic hemp oil cbd content cbd and heart medication cbd oil side effect aggression how does cbd oil affect kidney function webmd cbd oil dosage cbd oil for scalp