Human Wildlife Conflicts A Plenty in B.C.
Prince George, B.C. – 2017 has proven to be a very busy year for the BC Conservation Officer Service.
So far this year, there have been more than 16 thousand human-wildlife conflicts reported. Of that, more than 10 thousand involved black bears, 11 hundred involved cougars, and 350 involved grizzly bears.
Deputy Chief Chris Doyle says so far, there hasn’t been any increased human-wildlife conflict reported as a result of wildlife fleeing the fires. “We are getting some human-wildlife conflict reports from around those communities that have been affected by wildfires, but nothing unusual or nothing in greater numbers than normal. It is possible that when certain food sources disappear wildlife will disappear, but so far, we haven’t noticed a big increase in conflicts related to wildfires.”
Doyle says while the numbers of human wildlife conflict reports were up early in the year “But the numbers have stabilized recently, certainly we are seeing fewer calls in the last few weeks than we were seeing earlier in the summer.”
Doyle says it’s hard to say how things will evolve heading into the fall “It’s really going to depend on the natural food supply and communities being diligent with attractants, so it’s hard to say how the season will progress.”
It is the time of the year that residents are reminded to take extra steps to ensure bear attractants are secured says Doyle “It’s also a reminder that it’s an offence under the wildlife act to feed or attract bears and other dangerous wildlife. It is also an offence to negligently store attractants which includes garbage, fruit or other attractants that may attract dangerous wildlife.”
Doyle says recently a business in Penticton was issued a dangerous wildlife protection order to manage some attractants. “The business was provided some time to come into compliance, but a follow up inspection confirmed that no action had been taken. On August 24th that business was charged for failing to comply with the order and for attracting dangerous wildlife. Fines totalled $805 dollars, a second order has now been issued to the company to come into compliance. Unfortunately a black bear was destroyed in the area related to the attractants.”