Several Grizzly Bears have been lost in recent years to poachers. These losses have been a huge setback to plans for Grizzly Bear recovery in South Western BC.
Due to our concerns about these losses, the PWA requested a meeting with a Provincial Biologist to discuss the situation. The April 17th, 2012 Grizzly Bear Presentation was well attended, with some 35 folks there to take in the show and learn about Grizzly Bears.
Wildlife Biologist Steve Rochetta presented an interesting slide show, explained the Provincial government’s conservation plan for the Grizzly Bear and answered our questions. The Grizzly Bear is an iconic species – its presence on the landscape indicates a healthy ecosystem – something we should all strive for.
At the end of our meeting we came up with a four-point plan that local residents can use to help protect the local Grizzly Bear population:
1. If you observe any suspicious hunting activity – this applies to all species and locations…
RAPP LINE: Toll-free 1-877-952-7277 Cellular #7277
The RAPP line is manned 24 hours a day and is the very best way to get help as soon as possible. Please use it!
2. If you observe a Grizzly Bear on the valley floor or Lillooet River “flood plain” – where it is likely to come into contact with humans…
Steve will do his best to come up to Pemberton, observe the bear (or set up a camera) and try to manage the situation to avoid conflicts.
3. Collecting hair samples for DNA analysis
Many local landowners have barbed wire fences around their property. There is a good chance of collecting hair samples from Grizzly Bears which “crawl” through these fences. Hair samples are an excellent way of identifying Grizzly Bears, as they provide a DNA sample. Anyone interested in adding to the already extensive Grizzly Bear DNA records can participate by:
We are looking for the long guard hairs which provide the best DNA – the fuzzy hair next to the hide is not as good.
Black Bear hair is usually one colour from end to end while Grizzly Bear hair will show a colour change. If in doubt, send it in for analysis.
Photos are an excellent tool for Mr. Rochetta as he may be able to recognize the bear you have captured in the photo. Setting up “trail” cameras inappropriate locations is probably the best way to get these photos. You might be lucky enough to get a photo of a Grizzly on your own “handheld” camera too.
Please submit photos – along with the details of the location taken – to Mr. Rochetta by email.
Allen McEwan, Secretary
Pemberton Wildlife Association