From the AFP:

_Canadian environmentalists are calling for strict conservation measures as the controversial grizzly bear hunt begins over the Easter weekend in Canada’s westernmost province. A report by scientists at two environmental organizations said the kill rate in past seasons exceeded provincial limits and will endanger the animals considered a keystone species in the nation’s ecosystems.

“The number of grizzlies being killed in British Columbia is excessive,” Faisal Moola of the David Suzuki Foundation said in a statement.

__”The government’s own data show that humans are killing more grizzly bears than allowed, and the greatest cause of death is trophy hunting….”

Scott Ellis, a spokesman for professional hunting guides…disputed the findings that trophy hunting threatens grizzly survival.

“There are some good points raised, and some alarm bells that are rung unnecessarily,” said Ellis of the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia….

“The grizzly bear hunt is probably the most intensively managed hunt on the planet,” he said….

[Meanwhile,] Environment Minister Barry Penner told a local newspaper the hunt kills two percent of the grizzly population annually, below the nine percent kill rate it could withstand._

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