Female grizzly shot in defence of property

Female grizzly shot in defence of property

The female grizzly that has been relocated from Fernie made her way back to James White Park via the Fernie mobile home park on May long weekend and was later shot in defence of property in a rural area west of Fernie.

The Elk Valley is very rich grizzly bear habitat in close proximity to human development. More unsecured garbage, traffic on the highway, people using the trails and new developments can all contribute to human/wildlife conflict. People need to have a better understanding and tolerance of wildlife and wildlife behaviour for us to peacefully coexist.

Biologists are currently studying the way grizzly bears use the landscape in the Elk Valley and how they interact with people. They plan to have radio collars on a sample size of approximately 10 grizzly bears and monitor their activity. The results of the study will be used to make suggestions on how to minimize interactions with people based on the data. Similar studies have been done in the flathead for the last 36 years. Landscape in the flathead is similar to the Elk Valley but there are no permanent residents.

Moving bears within their home range (relocation) buys bears time to make better choices and avoid people, but it’s not a permanent solution for resolving human/bear conflict. Trans-location, moving bears a long distance has proven ineffective. They almost always come back to their original territory or become “problem animals” in other communities. They often fail to adapt to their new habitat, may starve to death, be killed by other dominant wildlife, or get shot on their way back to their home territory.

At home, keep garbage indoors away from bears, clean up BBQ’s, bring in birdfeeders and use electric fencing to protect livestock. On the trail, make noise to warn bears of your presence and avoid surprise encounters and carry bear spray, have it accessible and know how to use it.

For more information on wildlife safety visit www.wildsafebc.com

 

Grizzly bear returns to James White Park and moose sightings on trails in Fernie

Spawood grizzly sherryTuesday May 23.  The female grizzly that has been relocated from Fernie made her way back to James White Park this past Saturday evening.  Moving bears within their home range (relocation) buys bears time to make better choices and avoid people, but it’s not a permanent solution for resolving human/bear conflict.

Trans-location, moving bears a long distance has proven ineffective.  They almost always come back to their original territory or become “problem animals” in other communities.  They often fail to adapt to their new habitat, may starve to death, be killed by other dominant wildlife, or get shot on their way back to their home territory.

Moose sightings have been reported on Montane Trail and a moose and her calf on the Ridgemont trail network.  Never approach a moose. Give the animals a wide berth and ensure they always have an escape route. Female moose with calves need extra space. Moose cows are very protective of their young and may attack if they perceive a threat. If you come across a cow and calf, calmly leave the area immediately.

For more information on wildlife safety visit www,wildsafebc.com

May 23 update (free press) May 25

Tuesday May 23.  The female grizzly that has been relocated from Fernie made her way back to James White Park this past Saturday evening.  Moving bears within their home range (relocation) buys bears time to make better choices and avoid people, but it’s not a permanent solution for resolving human/bear conflict.

Trans-location, moving bears a long distance has proven ineffective.  They almost always come back to their original territory or become “problem animals” in other communities.  They often fail to adapt to their new habitat, may starve to death, be killed by other dominant wildlife, or get shot on their way back to their home territory.

Moose sightings have been reported on Montane Trail and a moose and her calf on the Ridgemont trail network.  Never approach a moose. Give the animals a wide berth and ensure they always have an escape route. Female moose with calves need extra space. Moose cows are very protective of their young and may attack if they perceive a threat. If you come across a cow and calf, calmly leave the area immediately.

For more information on wildlife safety visit www,wildsafebc.com

 

Grizzly bear sighting at the north end of Old Stumpy Trail.

Thursday May 18.  A young grizzly bear was reported charging at a dog earlier this morning on Old Stumpy Trail.  Be prepared and expect to enounter bears anytime.  Make noise to warn wildlife of your presence and avoid surprise encounters.

Dog owners, dogs may provoke defensive behaviour in bears.  Mountain bikers, your speed and quietness put you at greater risk. slow down, make noise especially when approaching blind corners and areas with poor line of sight.

With the long weekend coming up expect to share trails with wildlife, hikers, bikers and dogs.  It’s up to us to be responsible.

For more information on safety go to www.wildsafebc.comIMG_4137

Bear sightings reported on Old Stumpy trail and by the Stanford Inn Fernie

Monday May 15.  bears and bikes screenshotBlack bear sightings reported on the trail by the Stanford Inn and a bear and two cubs seen on Old Stumpy trail.

There have been no further reports of the grizzly bear that was seen on Hand Avenue in West Fernie and relocated just out of town earlier this month.  The grizzly made her way back to Mt Proctor and eventually James White Park a few days later. She was then moved by the Conservation Officers out of town once again  The grizzly was initially reported feeding on greenery and as far as we know had not learned to feed on unnatural food (garbage).  Thank you for keeping garbage indoors away from bears, cleaning BBQ;s and securing anything else that might attract bears to your property.

This is the perfect example of how moving bears doesn’t solve the problem, they usually come back.  Keeping garbage stored indoors until collection day and securing wildlife attractants is the best way to keep people safe, prevent property damage, and avoid the unnecessary killing of bears that come into conflict with people.

Grizzly bear on Niagra Crescent in Elkford

Friday May 11.  This grizzly niagra grizzlybear was seen on Niagra Crescent in Elkford on Wednesday night.  Bears are emerging from dens and moving to valley bottoms to feed on greenery. Be prepared and expect to encounter bears anytime.

The safest bear encounter is one prevented.  Make noise to warn bears of your presence and avoid surprise encounters.  If you see a bear and the bear has seen you, remain calm, identify yourself as human using your voice, back away slowly and leave the bear an escape route.  Dog owners, remember to keep dogs under control, dogs chasing wildlife can provoke defensive behavior and result in conflict.

Bears will travel great distances looking for food and are frequently drawn into residential neighborhoods by the promise of garbage and other attractants. It is much easier to keep food away from a wild bear in the first place than it is to teach a bear to stay away from unnatural food that he has learned to enjoy.  Keep garbage indoors until collection day, bring in bird feeders, clean BBQ’s and secure all wildlife attractants.

Securing attractants is the single best way to keep people safe, prevent property damage, and avoid the unnecessary killing of bears that come into conflict with people. For more information on preventing human/wildlife conflict go to www.wildsafebc.com

 

Grizzly bears reported in 7 mile regional park by Elkford

Wednesday May 10.  Grizzly bears were reported in 7 mile park by Elkford.  Bears will travel great distances looking for food and are frequently drawn into residential neighborhoods by the promise of garbage and other attractants. It is much easier to keep food away from a wild bear in the first place than it is to teach a bear to stay away from unnatural food that he has learned to enjoy.  Keep garbage indoors until collection day, bring in bird feeders, clean BBQ’s and secure all wildlife attractants.

For more information on wildlfie safety go to www.wildsafebc.comSpawood grizzly sherry

No further recent reported sightings of the grizzly bear in JamesWhite Park

james white grizz

Monday May 8.  There have been no further reported sightings of the grizzly pictured above in James White Park last Friday May 5.  It appears that the bear has moved on, hopefully to feed in the wilderness.   Fernie is wildlife country, expect to encounter bears, moose, cougars, deer and other wildlife anytime.

Thank you for making efforts to prevent conflict with wildlife by ensuring you are not attracting wildlife to your home with unsecured garbage and other attractants.  Remember to make noise to avoid surprise encounters with bears when out in recreational areas.

For more information on wildlife safety visit www.wildsafebc.com

Grizzly bear in James White Park Fernie

Spawood grizzly sherry

Saturday May 6.  A grizzly bear was seen in James White Park on Friday May 5.  Bears are emerging from dens and moving to valley bottoms to feed on greenery. Be prepared and expect to encounter bears anytime.

The safest bear encounter is one prevented.  Make noise to warn bears of your presence and avoid surprise encounters.  If you see a bear and the bear has seen you, remain calm, identify yourself as human using your voice, back away slowly and leave the bear an escape route.  Dog owners, remember to keep dogs under control, dogs chasing wildlife can provoke defensive behavior and result in conflict.

Bears will travel great distances looking for food and are frequently drawn into residential neighborhoods by the promise of garbage and other attractants. It is much easier to keep food away from a wild bear in the first place than it is to teach a bear to stay away from unnatural food that he has learned to enjoy.  Keep garbage indoors until collection day, bring in bird feeders, clean BBQ’s and secure all wildlife attractants.

Securing attractants is the single best way to keep people safe, prevent property damage, and avoid the unnecessary killing of bears that come into conflict with people. For more information on preventing human/wildlife conflict go to www.wildsafebc.com

 

Grizzly bear sightings reported on Fairy Creek trail in Fernie

Wednesday April 12.  Grizzly bear sightings have been reported on Fairy Creek trail earlier this week.  Balck bear sightings reported on Canyon Trail and Alpine trail.

fairy creek grizzly

Be prepared and expect to encounter wildlife anytime.  Make noise to warn bears of your presence and avoid surprise encounters.  If you encounter a bear and the bear has seen you, keep calm, identify yourself as human using your voice, back away slowly and leave the bear an escape route.

WildSafeBC local program activities are scheduled to resume early May.

For more information on wildlife safety go to www.wildsafebc.com

Decrease in human/wildlife conflict for Elk Valley and South Country communities

A great berry crop, community initiatives (bear resistant dumpsters and fruit tree harvesting programs), increased awareness (child and adult educational programs) and a high bear mortality rate in 2015 where more than thirty food conditioned and habituated bears had to be destroyed have all contributed to an overall reduction in human wildlife conflict in the Elk Valley and South Country in 2016.

Although the total number of Problem Wildlife Occurrence Reports, calls to the Conservation Officer Hotline, has decreased, the proportion of Grizzly bear calls has increased.  There have been five human caused non-hunting grizzly bear deaths caused by car and train collisions, control kills due to human/bear conflict and illegal kills. Five habituated food conditioned black bears had to be destroyed in 2016, two in Fernie and three in Sparwood.

A new University of Alberta study by PhD candidate Clayton Lamb has found the Elk Valley has effectively become an ecological trap, where human development in close proximity to attractive berry crops resulted in a 17% lower survival rate for Grizzly bears.  According to Lamb “Non-hunting deaths — like those caused by road, rail and human-bear interactions — are harder to regulate and will require much more education and behavioural adjustments.”

We have chosen to live in wildlife habitat. Thank you to everyone who has made efforts to remove wildlife attractants from their properties and prevent human/wildlife conflict when out in recreational areas.  The end result has been a significant reduction in wildlife mortality caused by human-wildlife interactions.  The WildSafeBc program will be in hibernation until May 2017.  We look forward to continue working with residents and visitors to ensure that wildlife stays wild and communities stay safe.  well fed sparwood grizzly