wildlife

Kakawin Songs - Orca Pods Chatting in Clayoquot Sound

Kakawin Songs - Orca Pods Chatting in Clayoquot Sound

It was a beautiful and blustery summer evening in Tofino. Swell was building and naturally we were a little hesitant to head out to sea. All day the office was buzzing with excitement and stories of Kakawin playing in Clayoquot Sound.

After clocking out, we suited up and made our way down to the dock. To manage guest expectations, our skipper Jesse played it cool and briefly mentioned that Orca had been sighted earlier that day. We departed from the harbour and made our way north on the inside of Vargas Island. As we entered the inside of Flores Island, the waters were calm and breeze was warm. We immediately spotted the Kakawin playing close to shore. They were actively breaching, spy-hopping and tail slapping; even the babies knew what to do!

Wildlife Sightings: Summer 2017

 Wildlife Sightings: Summer 2017

We are grateful for what was yet another wonderful summer in Tofino. Wildlife sightings this season were extraordinary! We saw Gray Whales in Clayoquot Sound every day on our tours in July, August, and September; and we saw Black Bears on 118 out of 122 days from June to September. It's truly remarkable when you are able to have this many encounters with whales and bears in a natural setting... it is certainly part of what makes Tofino so special.

Orca Communities in a Fragile Environment

Orca Communities in a Fragile Environment

Orca communities form different species or ecotypes, each with unique acoustic behaviors, feeding habits and prey preferences. Occasionally, the range of these different orca overlaps but they never interbreed and they rarely interact. Orca are top predators and unfortunately they accumulate pollutants that are transferred through the food web which become stored in their blubber and can be passed along to nursing young.

In the northern hemisphere we have three ecotypes: Offshores, Transient Orca, and Resident Orca.

Life on the Edge

Life on the Edge

Tofino’s Unique Coastal Wolves Carve Out a Living

As one of Canada’s premier tourism destinations, we are partly dependent on wildlife. Wolves are no doubt a highlight of a visitor’s wildlife experience in Clayoquot Sound. Not only do wolves hold deep ecological and intrinsic value, but for a community like Tofino, they also hold economic value. We as community members and business owners have a responsibility to ensure their survival. Wolves are revered by First Nations and are emblematic of kinship, and the “wild”. The howl of a wolf below a full, west coast moon, is as unforgettable as the call of a lion in Africa; yet, for decades, wolves have been persecuted from every angle. It is time to adapt our behaviors and perspectives in order to coexist with wolves.
 
This year we have had 16 days with wolf sightings, so far. We have seen wolves swim the channel, scout the shoreline, call for their mates, eat a bear carcass and confront a sow with her cubs. This is as it should be--rare and spectacular!
 
Clayoquot Sound has had its fair share of human-wildlife conflicts and the summer of 2016 was no exception. These are most often “human problems” as we increase pressures on animal habitat. Human-food habituated wolves living on Vargas Island, just north of Tofino, had learned to break into kayak hatches in search of food. While it had been an accepted practice to store food in hatches, it was apparent this had to change.