Hancock Wildlife Foundation is growing and changing

ArchiveWhen we first hooked Doug Carrick's Hornby Island eagle nest camera up to the Internet late in 2005, we had no idea of the impact it would have on the world. Suddenly people could relate to a wild creature in some of the most intimate moments of life - creation and nurturing of a new generation.

This experience has changed thousands of people's perception of life in the wild, and is just part of a growing movement to connect with and preserve our planet and its natural environment. We don't presume to be able to deal with every aspect of global warming, over fishing, polution, or other man-caused problem in our world, however we have an insight into some major indicators of how well or poorly we are doing in our race to prevent global ecological disaster. The major predators that live in and around our rivers are the "canaries in the mine" so to speak when talking about the effects of all manner of change in their environments.

The predators are at the top of the food chain. In them is concentrated the polutions. In them we see the effects of food supplies down the chain to the plankton and single-celled animals.

The eagle eats fish and smaller animals, as does the bear and the orca; the three predators you see in our logo. As the salmon travel the oceans, they in turn prey upon smaller fish, and return to the rivers bringing whatever polutions those smaller fish have encountered. Along the way they are eaten by seals and other sea-born predators which in turn may be eaten by the orca. The survivors finally find their way back to the rivers where the eagle and bear feast on them and their carcasses after spawning. The rotting carcasses bring nutrients to the forests, and along with the nutrients they bring the polutants. As the bears and eagles carry their carcasses farther into the woods, the polution too follows ever farther from the river.

The lessons to be learned from studying these animals and birds are huge. We here at HWF are dedicated to bringing these lessons from the wild to our classrooms and your living room, but we can only do it with your help. Please keep in touch with us, volunteer if you can for some on the many projects we now have ongoing and will have in the future, and if you can, please help us gain sponsorships and help with your personal donations.

We're about to change some of the look of our web site so that you can better see the diversity we have already. This site, the HWF main web site, is where you will learn of the ongoing business of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation, and where you will find our growing library of reference materials for teachers and parents and children.

On our "Channel" site you will find our live streaming camera feeds as well as information on what we're showing from each site; how the sites were put together, what their season is, links to discussions of the daily viewing, and links to archives of pictures and video from the cameras for your ongoing enjoyment.

Part of the Channel site is our Media Gallery where our members post screen captures and pictures from our cameras as well as their own pictures of birds and animals from their area.

Our Discussion Forum is where you and others like you discuss what you see on our cameras and on others' cameras, as well as your own experiences with the wilds. Your community is growing, and in the words of many of our members is "one of the best managed discussion forums on the web" as our moderators, scientists and teachers answer your questions and help you gain an understanding of the things you're seeing and what we're all doing to help.

We're getting ready for our 2008 camera season. As our various nest cameras are taken out of service for maintenance, please join us in watching some of our archives from past years, browse the Media Gallery, look over the discussions and think about how you can help. Shortly we'll all be watching Goldstream Park's Estuary and Underwater cameras as the salmon start to spawn and the eagles come to the river to feed. We have lots of other exciting locations about to come on stream too, so please check back with us often.

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