It’s the final week to catch Migrations: Travelers of the Salish Sea, at the Robert Bateman Centre in the Steamship Terminal. A multimedia exhibition, with original artwork by Robert Bateman and other artists, it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Convention Act in Canada and asks us to do more to protect nature in our own backyards.
“We want tourists and locals to understand where they are in nature,” says Bateman Centre managing director Peter Ord. “Don’t take eggs from nests, ensure your dog isn’t interrupting wildlife, don’t throw cigarettes into our waters. These kinds of messages underlay this exhibit.”
Before the Migratory Bird Convention Act came into force a century ago, wildlife and marine birds were unprotected and often killed for food and other purposes. Today, there are 27 migratory bird sanctuaries in Canada, three in the Greater Victoria area. The Victoria harbour became a migratory bird sanctuary in 1923.
Migrations combines the efforts of more than 15 participating conservation and environmental groups in the Victoria area, with first-person narrative from key contributors, including biologist and Canadian Geographical Society fellow Jacques Sirois, Joachim Carolsfeld of the World Fisheries Trust, and members of the Songhees First Nation, who describe how the harbour has changed in the thousands of years of human occupation.
Migrations: Travelers of the Salish Sea ends on October 8.