Canadian National Emblem

Discussion in 'Celebrate Biodiversity' started by Junglekeeper, Oct 31, 2011.

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Which animal would you prefer to be Canada's national emblem?

  1. Beaver

    7 vote(s)
    77.8%
  2. Polar bear

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  3. Other (please specify)

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  1. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    So which animal do you think would better serve as Canada's national emblem?
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Does Canada have any endemic animals?
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  4. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I like the beaver - it's a symbol of industriousness and good planning, much like Canada itself.
     
  5. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Does it not!

    How about the snowy owl, wolverine, brown bat, walrus, caribou, moose? Flying squirrel, Canada goose, Atlantic puffin, great blue heron? Porcupine? Bison, fisher, sea otter, wild horse, wolf?
    Insects---ladybug, grasshopper, black widow spider? Garter snake?

    (Not to mention hockey fans...often confused with the Pacific loon.)
     
  6. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I'm pretty sure that Michael F was referring to the definition of endemic that refers to an animal that is restricted to Canada, not just native. That would leave out all of the animals mentioned by Togata57. A brief search of the Internet only found 2 mammals endemic to Canada: the Vancouver Island Marmot, as mentioned by Daniel, and the Maritime shrew. There are plenty of endemic fish and insects, but none of the edemic species is likely to attract much interest from the general public.
     
  7. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  8. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I vote for the Lynx as an animal that is more widely distributed than the polar bear and much smarter than the beaver.
     
  9. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    As the article mentioned, the beaver had a part in history. The trade in beaver pelts by the Hudson's Bay Company played a big role in opening up Canada. The significance of the beaver is recognized in ceremony:
     
  10. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    But we have so much invested in the beaver - for instance, there's the Arrogant Worms' song "We are the Beaver". What would become of that!
     
  11. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    The video posting reminded me of something. Canadians of a certain age will certainly remember this vignette with its distinctive opening music: Hinterland Who's Who - Beaver.

    Factsheet for the beaver at Hinterland Who's Who.
     
  12. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I wasn't here then, but I've just learned from the Hinterland factsheet that "This animal ... has influenced the history of Canada more than any other animal". So there.

    These were TV "commercials"? They remind me of the Mark Trail comic strips.
     
  13. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    They're referred to as public-service announcements according to the History page.
     
  14. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Hmm. Appears that the beaver is not endemic to Canada.
    However, despite this fact, it has served as an official national emblem since 1975.
    Why then should endemicity now be demanded?
     
  15. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    No one said that the national emblem had to be endemic. Michael F just asked if there were any animals endemic to Canada.
     
  16. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    I was crediting Michael with making an excellent point.

    Seems as though endemicity should be a prerequisite for emblem status.

    The beaver was chosen for its economic importance: this is at least sensible and realistic.
    Senator Eaton wants the polar bear because she thinks it's cute and is irked by beavers gnawing on her boat dock. Is she up for re-election, getting her name in the news?
    Shall an issue of this magnitude be decided by one senator's whim?

    I'm with the beaver. For economic reasons: I am opposed to the taxpayers and citizens of Canada having to finance this sure-to-be expensive and unneeded scheme.
    (Marmot a close second.)
     
  17. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    That would be nice, but that would mean the USA choosing something other than the bald eagle. Can you imagine changing that?

    Hooray for the beaver. Beavers are so industrious, one was trying to make its home in the Native Garden here at UBCBG earlier this year. It was not harmed, but shipped far, far away to a wild area.
     
  18. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Not now, certainly. No more than I can imagine removing and replacing the beaver in Canadian coinage and everywhere else it appears in its official guise.

    I take as my precedent in endemic advocacy the august Ben Franklin, who was less than thrilled with the bald-eagle bandwagon. Ah, how different things might have been!
    http://www.greatseal.com/symbols/turkey.html

    If no emblem existed and the selection process was being started from scratch, I would be a 100% endemic supporter. However, the beaver/bald eagle have the heft of tradition behind them---if there is no urgent reason to change their status, let 'em be!
     
  19. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Endemicity isn't a prerequisite, but it is nice if the option exists.

    I'm always amazed at how much time and money US state legislatures seem to waste on this sort of thing!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_United_States_state_insignia

    Britain doesn't have any such emblems at all, apart from a few informal (non-statutory) ones chosen by newspaper campaigns.
     
  20. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Hang on, Micheal, Britain has the emblems that appear on its national heraldry - the Lion and the Unicorn. You just don't use them the same way that North America does theirs.
     
  21. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    We know they're not endemic.
     
  22. Margaret

    Margaret Active Member 10 Years

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    If media reports are to be believed the polar bear is under threat from the quickly disappearing ice in the north. The beaver seem to be thriving and the marmot are now doing well. We really do have better things to spend our money on than changing our emblem but it is fun speculating.
     
  23. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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  24. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Thanks Junglekeeper for some light relief in the continual gloomy news
    I was wondering what triggered your poll!
     

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