Arctic wildlife in the spotlight

Rand Rudland

High Arctic wildlife will be in the spotlight Nov. 19 when the Pender Harbour Wildlife Society presents a talk by Dr. Rand Rudland.

Travelling from Anadyr in northeastern Russia, through the Bering Strait, and high into the Chukchi Sea on the Russian icebreaker Kapitan Kalebnikov, Rudland visited Wrangell Island, one of the remote sanctuaries of the still thriving eastern population of polar bears.

During the trip he encountered more than 50 bears, many walruses, hundreds of humpback whales and millions of seabirds.

Rudland will present a slideshow on the daily routines and wildlife sightings during his two-week adventure as ship physician aboard the Klebnikov. 

Rudland retired after 40 years of a diverse family medicine practice centred on the Sunshine Coast, with forays across the Canadian Arctic to provide medical services in fly-in northern communities like Coral Harbour, Baker Lake, Rankin Inlet and others. He has experienced first-hand the impacts of climate change on Canada’s northern communities and landscapes.

He has also travelled as ship physician aboard the World Discoverer and the Spirit of Enderby to such remote destinations as Antarctica, South Georgia, eastern Russia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

Working with Whiskey-jack Nature Tours, he has led natural history tours to the Yukon and the western Canadian Arctic, as well as to Central America. His passion is wildlife photography, and he hopes that his images and experiences help to expose and educate his audiences on the climate emergency we are presently facing. 

The free event takes place at Pender Harbour Secondary School and is open to the public. It starts at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

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– Submitted by Carole Logtenberg

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