Human Conflicts With Wildlife On The Rise
Prince George, B.C. – The provincial government is giving WildSafeBC $275,000 to provide education about human-wildlife conflicts and increase awareness in communities.
WildSafeBC recently evolved out of the highly successful Bear Aware program as it became clear that human conflicts with other wild animals were increasing as they had with bears. The majority of the encounters are still with bears emerging from hibernation and looking for food. But other wildlife, including cougars, coyotes and wolves, are becoming more active and increasing the potential for conflict.
This provincial funding will allow WildSafeBC to dispatch 22 co-ordinators around the province to give presentations to community groups, schools and residents, offering educational tips to reduce conflicts with wildlife.
WildSafeBC is designed, owned and delivered by the B.C. Conservation Foundation. The Conservation Officer Service is the primary responder to human-wildlife conflicts where there is a risk to public safety, conservation concerns, or where significant property damage has occurred. It is working with the co-ordinators to identify and resolve wildlife-related issues in B.C. communities.
Last year the Conservation Officer Service received 29,200 calls on human-wildlife conflicts. Of those calls, 17,771 involved bears.