This holiday season, TELUS is giving you the chance to show your love for Canadian wildlife and WWF by shopping wildly for conservation! TELUS has generously set aside $5 million over the next five years to support wildlife conservation, and they want you to help them decide which projects should receive their funds.
WWF is one of three environmental organizations taking part in this campaign and we have submitted six exciting projects from across Canada for you to choose from.
To show your support for WWF and give on behalf of TELUS, just follow this link. If you are a TELUS customer, you can request a code in store and enter it in the “Enter your code” box. If you are not a TELUS customer, you can simply click on “Shop Now.” An amount will be allocated randomly and you can donate all of your credit to one project or split it between your favourites. Hurry – the promotion ends December 31st, 2014!
Project: Polar Bear-Human Conflict Mitigation
With sea ice melting due to climate change, polar bears are spending more time off the ice and on the land – and in communities. Seeking food wherever they can find it, a growing number of bears are drawn to human settlements, where they pose a threat to people. These communities are too often forced to take lethal action as they defend their own lives and livelihoods.
That’s why WWF is stepping up to help keep people and bears safe by providing support to communities, through measures including: solar-powered electric fencing for sled dog enclosures, storage containers for meat, and hiring a monitor to patrol the streets of the communities after dark. In the Hamlet of Arviat, where WWF helped launch a pilot program with support from Coca-Cola Canada in 2010, ‘defence kills’ of bears have gone from eight to zero. WWF is now looking to expand this successful program, helping train members of other northern communities.
By supporting this project, you’ll help WWF provide critical resources to remote Arctic communities to keep polar bears and people safe.
Project: How Healthy Are Your Waters?
Salmon are an important part of aquatic ecosystems, and are just one of the many important species that depend on, and reflect, the overall health of our waters. Until recently, there was no consistent, science-based way to measure how healthy Canada’s waters are across the country. That’s why we launched our Freshwater Health Assessments. We assess the condition of water quality, water flow, fish, and bugs to grade our waters on a scale from very good to very poor. This will provide us with the crucial information needed to shape decisions about conserving and protecting water health. To date, we’ve assessed the health of 25% of all Canada’s rivers. Your support will allow us to reach the ambitious goal of assessing all of Canada’s major water bodies by 2017 – just in time for Canada’s 150th birthday!
Project: Migratory Arctic Marine Bird Mapping
Every year, thousands of birds migrate to the Arctic Ocean, but relatively little is known about where they go and which areas provide critical habitat. This information is critical for understanding and supporting what these birds, like the Ivory Gull, need to thrive long-term, as the Arctic warms rapidly due to climate change. That’s why WWF is funding research to map the habitat of Arctic marine birds, with support from Coca-Cola.
Project: Threats to Freshwater in Canada
In many places across Canada, freshwater species are at risk due to habitat loss, polluted waters, excessive water withdrawals, and disruptions from dams and diversions. WWF’s Freshwater Threats Assessment is identifying the top threats affecting water health across the country. Armed with these results, WWF will be able to work more strategically to protect freshwater species, like the Western Painted turtle, from these threats.
Your support will help us to better understand and rank the threats to lakes, streams and rivers across Canada, so we can help reduce them and better protect freshwater species and their habitat.
Project: Threats to Freshwater in Canada
A loon’s presence is a good sign of a healthy water ecosystem as it spends most of its life in water, swimming, diving and fishing. Loons, like many freshwater species are sensitive to threats like pollution, habitat disturbance and commercial development. In fact, around the world, freshwater species have declined by a massive 76 per cent due to threats to them and their habitats. For freshwater species, there are many pressures affecting the amount and quality of freshwater available to them – there’s only so much water available for people and wildlife to share.
That’s why WWF is working to determine the greatest threats to freshwater ecosystems and where they occur across the country, so we can work to reduce those threats and protect iconic species like the loon.
Project: Protect At-Risk Whales
Belugas are sometimes called the white whales for their distinctive colour. They’re small – for a whale, that is – and usually range from 13 to 20 feet in length. They have distinct round foreheads and smooth and long backs with no dorsal fins. Belugas are extremely sociable mammals that like to stick close together and migrate in pods, ranging from a few individuals to hundreds of whales. They’re also the polyglots of the whale world and communicate in a wide variety of clangs, whistles and clicks in addition to their ability to imitate a lexicon of other sounds.
They are most commonly found in the Arctic, and a big portion of them summer in Canadian waters. A few small populations are found further south, including St. Lawrence River belugas. Unfortunately, some populations of belugas are being heavily impacted by rapid climate change, chemical and noise pollution as well as over-exploitation. Belugas depend heavily on this sea ice for protection from predatory killer whales, yet another threat that’s being magnified as sea ice retreats. This holiday season, let’s give these magnificent creatures some peace and quiet with cleaner, undisturbed waters.
TELUS and WWF-Canada
With a shared passion for conservation of nature and wildlife, TELUS and WWF are working together for Canadian species. Across Canada, habitat loss and degradation, pollution, invasive species, climate change and unsustainable harvesting have put over 500 species at the risk of extinction.
In November 2013, TELUS entered into a partnership with WWF-Canada to not only help face conservation challenges head on, but also provide opportunities for the community to help make a difference. TELUS will contribute $1,000,000 over the next four years to WWF-Canada conservation efforts across Canada.