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BBC Studios Planet Earth III - Filming application for Ellesmere Island wolves (149404)
Proposal Status: Conformity Determination Issued
Project Overview
Type of application: New
Proponent name: Theo Webb
Company: BBC Studios
Start Date: 2021-06-01
End Date: 2021-11-01
Operation Type: Annual
Project Description:
Planet Earth III is the latest and final in the Planet Earth trilogy and is due to broadcast in 2023. This series will explore the Planet's habitats and the species that live there by telling extraordinary behavioural stories and showcasing Earth's most remarkable wildlife spectacles. New to this series will be stories of animals under threat from human activity such as climate change. The series will build on the success of the previous two series with an estimated global audience of over 1 billion people. The “Extremes” episode of this series will showcase the species that survive in some of the toughest and most changeable habitats on Earth. For this episode, we are aiming to film the Ellesmere Island wolves during the summer of 2021 during a 3 month period between July and October 2021. Our aim is to follow a pack of wolves within a 100km radius of Eureka weather station. The sequence will detail the lives of a pack with young pups in their struggle to build strength before the oncoming polar winter. The story will feature the extraordinary pair bond of the alpha pair, their support from the pack and their collective attempts to hunt in their territory. The film crew will be a small and experienced team of 5-6 people with at least two members being veteran Ellesmere filmmakers. In addition, at least three of the camera operators will be very experienced filming and living with filming wolves. We will have expert pre-shoot logistical support from Sarah McNair-Landry, from Iqaluit. The team will have a small basecamp of approx. 6 personnel tents with additional supply tents. The crew will move around the tundra using ATVs in order to follow the wolves and will utilise small camping tents where needed whilst away from basecamp for 1-2 nights during extended filming trips with the wolves. The team will ensure that the highest wildlife filmmaking ethics are followed when filming the wolves and will ensure that there is the very minimal environmental impact around the filming locations. We have already secured the support of ECCC for this expedition and will ensure that all other permit applications are secured. The BBC Natural History Unit prides itself on following the highest wildlife filmmaking ethics and this expedition will be no exception. When working in these remote and untouched wilderness areas, our primary objective is to respect the wildlife and the environment. Our carefully selected crew have years of experience working with animals with two members specifically whilst working with the wolves on Ellesmere. Ronan Donovan is a biologist that has travelled to Ellesmere to film the wolves on two occasions and will be our expert guide and safety advisor. In addition to our respect whilst filming the animals, we will ensure that we make as minimal impact on the tundra as possible ensuring all possible mitigations are in place to dispose of waste and ensure no pollution to the landscape occurs. Our logistics and environmental protection mitigations are being prepared by expert expedition leader Sarah McNair-Landry.
Persons: 6
Days: 90
Project Map
List of all project geometries:
ID Geometry Location Name
6940 polygon Main operating area - exact locations dependent on wolf pack movement
Planning Regions:
Affected Areas and Land Types
Inuit Owned Surface Lands
Extablished National or Territorial Park
Settlement Area
North Baffin Planning Region
Project Land Use and Authorizations
Project Land Use
Temporary Structures
Licensing Agencies
GN-DOE: Wildlife Observation Licence
QIA: Right of Way Agreement
NIRB: Screening Decision Report
Other Licensing Requirements
No data found.
Material Use
Type Quantity Size Use
Honda 520 - ATV 4 2150mm x 1205mm 4x ATVs to move around the tundra following the wolves.
Helicopter - Bell 407 1x 11m Helicopter for scouting and camp location purposes. The helicopter would be positioned at Eureka Weather Station for 1 week (approx) at the beginning of the filming window (est. Week 4July 2021). The helicopter will be used initially for scouting for the best wolf pack for filming. When a pack is located, the helicopter will land at a safe distant from the wolves and a team will disembark to follow the wolves. The Helicopter will also move the basecamp into position.
Honda Generators (small) 2-3 51 x 42.5 x 29 cm Generators used to power the basecamp and to charge the filming equipment such as batteries and computers.
Fuel Use
Type Container(s) Capacity UOM Use
Gasoline 7 200 Liters Fuel for the ATVs and generators
Aviation fuel 30 200 Liters The aviation fuel for the helicopter will be stored in a secure compound at the Eureka airstrip for the helicopter to be refuelled here only.
Propane 4 20 Lbs Used for cooking stoves and heating tent areas
Hazardous Material and Chemical Use
Type Container(s) Capacity UOM Use
No records found.
Water Consumption
Daily Amount (m3) Retrieval Method Retrieval Location
0.03 Melting snow/ice and from streams Dependent on camp location
Waste and Impacts
Environmental Impacts
Please see below. for predicted environmental impacts, and method of disposals.
Waste Management
Waste Type Quantity Generated Treatement Method Disposal Method
Non-Combustible wastes Estimated: 4x 60 liters blue barrels of garbage All garbage and general waste will be stored in animal proof containers. All garbage and general waste will be collected and flown out from location.
Greywater Minimal, dishwater for 5-6 people for 3 months All dish soaps and soaps will all be biodegradable. Soaps will be used at least 70 meters from water sources. Strained dishwater will be scattered at least 70 meters from water sources.
Sewage (human waste) 5-6 people for 3 months Temporary pit-latrine will be covered with a wood animal proof structure during usage. A temporary pit-latrine will be constructed for human waste. A deep hole will be dug and covered by temporary wood animal proof structure. The pit-latrine will be at least 70m from water. At the end of stay the deep hole will be covered with soil, and temporary wood structure will be removed. 
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2020-12-15 09:33:53, from: Goump Djalogue
 Good morning Teo, Could you please add the authorizing agencies in your application (GN-DOE, QIA, and NIRB), that Also, you said in the application that this is the last part of trilogy. I was wondering, if the first two series took place in the Nunavut. If yes, could you please indicate when and the proponent, as well as any permit or reference number? Thanks

2021-01-07 11:10:53, from: Theo Webb
 Dear Goump, Please see the requested changes to the application. I hope this is sufficient info? Yes, this series is the third in the Planet Earth trilogy. These series are filmed across the world and are not filmed in single locations. Planet Earth 1 featured footage of the Arctic Wolves that was shot on Ellesmere Island in ca. 2005/6. Technology and filmmaking techniques have moved on significantly since this series broadcast and we are excited to be able to film on Ellesmere again if possible. Kind reagrds Theo


Environmental Protection:
s3.13.8: The applicant undertakes to prevent any new occurrences of pollution, garbage and contamination at the site of the development.

Removal of Fuel Drums:
s3.13.8: The applicant undertakes to remove all drums safely from the site and dispose of the drums in a safe manner.

New Site Restoration and Clean Up:
s3.13.1 and Appendix H, s1: The applicant undertakes to clean up the site and restore the site to its natural condition to the greatest extent possible.

Old Site Restoration and Clean Up:
s3.13.2: The applicant undertakes to clean up the site and restore the site to its original condition to the greatest extent possible, including any work required due to the applicant's action prior to this application.

Low-Level Air Flights:
Appendix H, s3: Will the applicant avoid all low-level flights?

Caribou Protection Measures:
s3.3.7 and Appendix D: Will the applicant comply with the Caribou Protection Measures outlined in section 2.4.6 and in Appendix D?

Caribou Water Crossings:
s3.3.7 and map: Will the applicant avoid, between may 15 and September 1, to construct any camp, cache any fuel or conduct any blasting within 10 km of any Designated Caribou Water Crossing identified

Polar Bear Denning Areas and Walrus Haul-outs:
s3.3.8: Will the applicant keep its activities away from any polar bear denning area or walrus haul-out?

Reporting of Archaeological Sites:
s3.11.3 and Appendix H, s2 and s8: Will the applicant immediately report the discovery of all suspected archaeological sites to the Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth (GN)?