ISSUES FACING GRIZZLIES
During our Board of Inquiry process, our research and submissions indicated that there are three primary categories under which threats to grizzly bears' health and welfare fall.
There are numerous complicated challenges involved in ensuring that grizzlies have access to the large territories that permit them to thrive. There are many competing land use priorities that have the potential to threaten the long term survival of our grizzly bears.
Habitat issues include human infringement on grizzly bear landscapes, lack of secure territory, and challenges around food sourcing, including those relating to climate change impacts.
DID YOU KNOW?
Optimal grizzly bear landscapes are: roadless, a mosaic of areas hosting young plant communities and natural forest clearings, and close to denser forest that offers grizzlies cover for hiding and shade for their day beds.
Human caused death is by far the greatest source of mortality for grizzlies. It is also the chief factor limiting grizzly bear populations other than major energy food sources. In BC, every year there are an average of 326 human caused grizzly deaths with the majority of those (264) being hunter kills. These numbers do not include the unreported kills associated with poaching and other unauthorized deaths.
DID YOU KNOW?
Grizzlies can live for 30 years but, in areas with considerable human-bear interface, people cause the deaths of over 80% of grizzly bears.
The provincial government is tasked with the responsibility for putting into place the necessary regulatory and management framework for the protection of grizzly bear populations in BC. Over the past 30 years, some important initiatives have been undertaken by the Province to protect the bears. As an example, in 1984 the government established a large no-hunting zone in the Khutzeymateen Valley on BC’s north coast. This was later expanded and in 1994, became Khutzeymateen/K’tzim-a-deen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary.
However, the Report of the Board of Inquiry identifies weaknesses in the current provincial government management system. We are concerned that the combined impact of these weaknesses in the system represent a serious threat to the province's ability to protect our grizzly bears.
You can read more about our research and analysis on these issues, and our work to improve the welfare of BC's grizzly bears in our BOARD OF INQUIRY REPORT.READ REPORT