EWC August 23' Update

The Exposed Wildlife Conservancy
August 31, 2023

Grizzly bears (Ursus Arctosa) are the second largest land carnivore in Canada with polar bears being the largest. With a lifespan up to 30 years old, grizzlies are critical to having healthy ecosystems. Specifically, grizzly bears are known as ecosystem engineers and umbrella species. This means that other animals depend on grizzly bears to shape the landscape by dispersing seeds, digging up the land, fertilizing the forest, and even helping to regulate prey populations.

Despite their size, lifespan, and role within the environment, grizzlies have very low reproduction rates. This is a result of a female grizzly bear not having her first litter until she is five to seven years old and then breeding every three to four years afterwards. Over her lifespan, a female grizzly bear will only have four to five litters. It is for this reason that grizzly bear recovery rates are lower when compared to other species.

Will a Grizzly Bear Hunt in British Columbia Return?

In 2017, grizzly bear hunting was banned in British Columbia. However, a newly released Grizzly Bear Stewardship Framework appears to open the door to revisiting a licensed hunt. As we have stated previously in our videos and on our social posts, we don’t believe that there is any biological, ethical or legitimate reason to hunt grizzly bears and we will be doing everything in our power to close loopholes in this new framework and ensure that the hunt does not come back.

Grizzly bears have been designated federally as a species of special concern, and are an iconic symbol of Canada. They play a critical role within their environment and are significantly relevant for many different cultures. Grizzly bears are also protected under the B.C. Wildlife Act, which currently prohibits all licensed hunting of grizzly bears in B.C.

The combined impacts of habitat loss, food security issues, coexistence challenges, and the climate crisis continue to put enormous pressure on recovering grizzly bear populations in Western Canada. Under the guise of the Grizzly Bear Stewardship Framework, guide outfitters and hunters would be able to resume hunting of grizzly bears throughout the province in partnership with several First Nations. We believe this would be a massive step backward in grizzly bear conservation in BC and in Canada and we will fight tooth and nail to ensure that the hunt does not come back.

We are asking for you to give grizzly bears a voice and provide your feedback, in support of grizzly bears,  to the Government of British Columbia and request that the deadline for community feedback be extended to the end of the year so serious gaps and concerns within the proposed Framework can be addressed.

Within Alberta, grizzly bears have been classified as a Threatened species since 2010. Research data released in March 2021 showed an increase in Alberta's grizzly populations are cause for hope, but the road to recovery is far from over. With a population estimate well below the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s criteria for threatened status, grizzlies clearly remain a species at risk.

The Exposed documentary In the Cross Hairs: The Road to Recovery for Alberta's Threatened Grizzly Bears provides an in-depth look to the repercussions of resuming grizzly bear hunting. If you are looking to learn more about grizzly bears, the effects of hunting them, and what you can do about it, this documentary provides the answers.

Did You Know?

Speaking of bears, did you know that a black bear cub can consume up to 30 ounces of milk per day until they are weaned off the milk between 6 to 8 months of age? At that time, they will start transitioning into solid foods such as ant pupae and berries. The black bear cubs will continue to stay with their mom for their first full winter season as a cub, hibernating with mom. At 2 years of age, the cub will then venture out on their own, establishing their own territories and finding their own mates.

Managing Coyotes at Home

Coyotes are becoming commonplace in urban areas. This is in part due to their natural territories being taken over from humans and their opportunistic hunting strategies. Although coyotes tend to avoid humans, there are a few tactics you can employ to keep a coyote away from your property.

   • One such tactic you can use to discourage coyotes from visiting your home is making your property an unpleasant experience for them. This includes throwing projectices, such as sticks and tennis balls, towards (not at) coyotes when they come close to your home.

   • You can also use noise as a deterrent through shouting at the coyote or using shake cans (cans filled with pennies or batteries) or banging pots/pans together.

   • Using motion sensored lights and having sprinklers on at night can also deter coyotes from coming onto your property.

   • Other strategies include not keeping fresh water sources (pet's water bowl or garden water features), pet food, or human garbage unsecured or unattended.

   • Keep pets (especially cats and other small animals) inside at night.

Animal Encounter Feature

A soulful fox encounter as told by our Ambassador and Co-Founder John E. Marriott.

“This den had just one pup and one adult, no sign of other pups or of Dad...I suspect the original den got raided by a wolf or bear and that these were the two survivors, though that's just a theory based a bit on the fact that when I first saw this female, she was busy digging side escape holes for the main hole at this site (indicating she had just recently moved there). Normally the adults don't play with their pups much, they leave that to the pups to do among themselves; but in this case, because her lone surviving pup didn't have any siblings to play with, the mom took it upon herself to be a regular playmate. It was incredibly heartwarming to watch and to get to be a small part of this incredible bond between these two."

Thank you for giving wildlife a voice! We will keep you updated on what transpires with the proposed grizzly bear hunt in British Columbia and how you can get involved.

In the meantime, be sure to follow  us on social media for a weekly dose of fun, relevant, and interesting information on apex predators and other wildlife! We can be found on Facebook and Instagram at @exposdwc.

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