August 2014

August 2014

Stop The Hunt

The ongoing fight to stop the trophy hunting of grizzly bears is something Knight Inlet Lodge is sorry to report has not been won (yet!). We are asking all guests visiting the lodge in 2014 to sign a petition demanding that the hunt be stopped. We are also reaching out to all past guests to take a minute and sign the petition located here. This request is open to everyone regardless of when you visited the lodge. If you traveled with your family please be sure to ask all of them to sign the petition, the more signatures we collect the better. If you haven't visited the lodge yet but will be visiting in 2015 please feel free to sign the petition.

As you will see on the petition all we are asking for is your name, country, approximate amount of money you spent on your visit to B.C. (Optional but important if you are willing), and your email address so that we can keep you up to date on our progress. Click here for the petition.

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Bear behavioural research in Glendale Cove 2014

Dr. Melanie Clapham

This year will see the return of behavioural research being conducted on the grizzly bears of Glendale Cove. After unfortunately losing data to fire in 2012, this year will be an exciting one for me as I will be able to recollect lost samples and progress my research project on scent communication in grizzly bears!

Photo: John Kitchin / Melanie Clapham

In 2009, I began my PhD research based at Knight Inlet Lodge, studying the function of scent marking in grizzly bears. To establish this, we set up camera traps in the forest surrounding the Glendale river estuary and documented natural scent marking behaviour in grizzly bears of different age and sex classes across different seasons. Using this non-invasive approach, we established that scent communication in a high density population of grizzly bears functions to communicate competitive ability between adult males and therefore plays an important role in breeding and survival. We also found that grizzlies are selective in the location, species and size of tree on which they place their scent marks to make their scent more conspicuous to other bears. These findings have since been published in internationally-recognised academic journals (PLoS ONE and Animal Behaviour) and presented at international conferences such as the International Conference on Bear Research and Management and International Behavioural Ecology Congress.

Photo: John Kitchin / Melanie Clapham

For my postdoctoral research, I aim to develop the project to assess the scent marking behaviour of other populations of grizzly bears, such as those living at low densities with low food availability, and comparing these findings to our findings of Glendale bears. Additionally, in Glendale Cove this year I will be collecting samples of the scent left on trees by bears and conducting chemical analyses on these samples to examine the chemical make-up of bear scent and establish the chemical messages conveyed when a bear smells the scent of another bear. I will also be further investigating the link between food availability and scent marking behaviour in Glendale grizzly bears in fall 2014.

Photo: John Kitchin / Melanie Clapham

In all, 2014 is shaping up to be a great season for research at Knight Inlet Lodge! If you are visiting us at the lodge this summer make sure to catch up with fellow researcher John Kitchin and I for an update on our ongoing research projects during your stay! We fully acknowledge the ongoing support of Knight Inlet Lodge in funding and facilitating bear research in Glendale Cove.

Please take a look at my new website for more information on my research -

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The Bear Essentials

1st Edition - July 4th 2014

We have been enjoying some rarer sightings in Glendale Cove for the past couple of days. The morning of July 2nd, a group of at least five Transient (also known as Bigg's) Orca came into the cove across from the lodge. There are different types (or races) of Orca that call the waters of British Columbia home – the Transient Orca are the marine mammal-eaters, known to feast on Harbour Seals, Sea Lions, Porpoise, Dolphins and other whales.

Guide Hayley was able to capture some video footage of the Orca to assist in identification. Hayley identified the Orca as the T055's, the T109A's, T012A and T007B's. These codes identify each whale as an individual – for more information on these whales please see the online Photo-identification Catalogue Transient Killer Whales of British Columbia and Southeast Alaska – a product of many years of tireless research and photo-identification on the West Coast.

After watching the Orca do a circuit of the Cove, Knight Inlet Lodge guests enjoyed some aerial behaviour with one of the individuals breaching, or launching its body completely out of the water, three times and some tail slapping as well. One of our guides and researchers, John Kitchen, was able to capture a breach on camera. A Stellar Sea Lion with a sizeable pectoral flipper wound was spotted swimming around the Cove with its injured limb elevated a few hours after the Orca departed – possibly acquired during a near miss with a Transient? We can only guess!

Photo: Moira Le Patourel

We were treated to another sighting of the Transient Orca early in the morning on July 3rd. Shortly after 05:45, Guide Eddy awoke to the sound of loud blows (whale exhalations) across the water. For the following hour and a half, guests and staff enjoyed watching at least seven Transient Orca (possibly nine) lay in wait for a pod of Pacific White-Sided Dolphins that they had cornered on the South Western shore of Glendale Cove.

As we watched the event unfold, the Dolphins speedily worked their way up the shoreline and were turned back unsuccessfully not once but three times, having to make a hasty retreat towards the back corner of the estuary.

Shortly before 07:30 the Dolphins rallied for a fourth and final time, putting on an incredible burst of speed, they worked their way along the far shoreline staying in very tight to the beach. It appeared they successfully snuck past the lurking Transients at just the right moment! The group of Transient Orca were hot in pursuit of the racing dolphins as they rounded the point, heading West out into the Inlet, at our last sighting. It wasn't over yet!

Moira Le Patourel

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Paws for thought

Knight Inlet Lodge is pleased to have grizzly bear Researcher's Melanie Clapham and John Kitchin back with us for the 2014 season. For an update on what Melanie is up to you can read her story elsewhere in this newsletter.

2014 is looking to be a very successful season for Knight Inlet Lodge with August and September fully booked. We start taking reservations for 2015 on August 1 so if you are thinking about visiting the lodge next year email us for rates and information

Photo: Meaghan Bergman

Our aviation partner Vancouver Island Air has added a second turbine de Havilland Otter floatplane to their fleet. By replacing their Beech 18 floatplane with the Turbine Otter they have increased their capacity to 28 for flights to Knight Inlet Lodge. Take a look at their website here

We are pleased to welcome Matt Couldwell to the team at Knight Inlet Lodge. Matt is a former guest at the lodge (twice) who is now returning on a work placement as part of his University studies on Wildlife Conservation. Matt has promised to write a few blogs and newsletter stories for us over the season. We look forward to hearing his unique perspective on being a member of the team.

A new season always means new staff but in 2014 we are pleased to say welcome back to Lodge Manger Brian Collen, Chef Paul Aitken, Lead Guide Moira Le Patourel, Dean Dogherty, Jessica Parkin, Paul Kemshaw, Alex Barron, Robin Jackson, Claire Nixon, Shawn Bracken, Madison Dunigan, Alyssa Jackson, Ed Savage, and Brandon Wilkie.

Christine (Gid) Carr Huggins is a good friend of Knight Inlet Lodge. Over the years she was not only our main contact at Norman Carr Safaris for the Guide exchange program but a person we admired for her hard work and dedication to the Kapani School project. Gid and her husband Adrian are now operating a new business called Elephant Wood Zambia. Click here for a description of what they are up to.

If you haven't already please take a minute to sign our petition to Stop The Hunt. Click here for the story and a link to the petition.

Photo: Meaghan Bergman

Knight Inlet Loge hosted a film crew from the Getaway TV show in Australia in June. They were good enough to share some of the footage they took with a drone aircraft with us. To see some very unique views of Glendale Cove and Knight Inlet click here

Finally don't forget to keep in touch with the lodge through our Facebook page. It is full of great photos, videos and grizzly bear updates.

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