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Did you know B.C.’s wildlife is at risk? Share your ideas for helping at-risk species

November 1, 2016

Do you care about caribou, frogs and birds? How about badgers or turtles? Did you know that British Columbia has hundreds of endangered species living in our province and no stand-alone law to protect them?

Until Nov. 30, you have a unique chance to share your ideas for helping at-risk species in B.C. Using accessible questions in four categories, the provincial government is starting a discussion with citizens to generate innovative solutions to the problem of at risk species.

Join the discussion by visiting the Species at Risk website, or provide written submissions by emailing

Exotic Pets and Endangered Species?

“While habitat loss and climate change continue to be significant factors that impact endangered species in this province, some introduced species can become invasive and have serious consequences for local B.C. wildlife,” says Dr. Sara Dubois, BC SPCA chief scientific officer.

The exotic pet trade brings in species from outside the province to sell in pet stores around the province- this is one of many reasons the BC SPCA warns against exotic pets.

When the novelty of an exotic pet wears off, many people release their unwanted pet into the wild thinking incorrectly they are ‘setting it free’. In reality, they could be introducing a competitor or predator into the environment that negatively affects a native species.

Turtles under Threat

Not all turtles belong in the B.C. wilderness. The red-eared slider turtle, the most common species of pet turtle, was introduced to British Columbia through the pet trade and now threatens the native western painted turtle.

Originally from the Southern United States and Northern Mexico, it now competes with our native turtles for habitat and food, contributing to the western painted turtle being endangered in parts of the province.

Western painted turtles. Photo credit: Laurie SchretlenPhoto

Protecting wildlife is everyone’s responsibility, and we know our supporters will have great ideas for ways to help improve lives for species at risk- creating more public awareness about the problem exotic pets is one example of a way to help. Share your thoughts today!

Red-eared slider

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