Some good news for nature lovers from the BC Conservation Officers Service.
“Overall, human-wildlife conflicts with bears and cougars are down lower than previous years,” says Deputy Chief Chris Doyle. “In fact, June had some of the fewest conflicts since we started reporting them.”
The number of cougars killed in BC also the lowest ever recorded and numbers for both black and grizzly bears were near the bottom of the range.
Provincially, the number of reported sightings for black and grizzly bears and cougars were low and the number of animals destroyed even lower.
Only a single cougar was killed by conservation officers in June, the lowest number ever recorded. Four BC grizzlies and 51 black bears also lost their lives.
Here in the Omineca region, the Conservation Office received only six calls each about grizzly bears and cougars between April and July and none of the animals needed to be relocated or destroyed.
Black bears didn’t fare quite as well. Officers attended 31 reports and 11 bears were killed. Six cubs were captured and sent for rehabilitation.
Doyle says recent weather has played a role.
“It seems that this year, generally speaking, it’s not quite as hot and dry across most of the province. We’re seeing some more moisture than we’ve seen in the past couple of years, which has resulted in more vegetation being available. It will also ensure that berries ripen at a normal rate.”
More available food means fewer animals moving into human populated areas.
Hopefully, the low conflict levels will continue.
“If we get these similar weather patterns where we see some sun and some rain, we should see lower numbers of conflicts in many areas. And, as well, it may depend in some areas on how good fish returns are in various streams.”