Environment – Tar Sand mining in Alberta, Canada is not only making its mark on the environment, it is also having an adverse effect on the black bear population in the area.
According to the Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, 145 black bears were killed by Fish and Wildlife conservation officers last year. Black bears have become attracted to the oil sands area camps because they are seeking food and garbage. Approximately 68 of the 145 bears killed were in the area of these camps.
“Their approach seems to be, if it becomes a problem, kill it–rather than prevent the problem in the first place. Humans are destroying bear habitat and not disposing of garbage properly. So, we kill the bears.” National Wildlife Federation scientist Dr. Doug Inkley said in a blog post.
A spokesman for Alberta Sustainable Resources Development stated that black bears aren’t endangered and therefore the impact on the population is insignificant.
Oil sands have only recent become part of the world’s oil reserves, and it’s environmental burden has frequently been criticized by groups like Greenpeace, Climate Reality Project, MoveOn, League of Conservation Voters, and more. Extraction of oil from tar sands can produce toxic waste, release toxic chemicals into the air, and emit global warming pollutants.
NWF is currently working to stop the construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline which would pump oil from Alberta to the Texas Gulf coast continuing to threaten Canadian black bears, caribou, and wolves.