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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Virtually all the Grizzly Bear mortalities in Alberta, Canada in 2013 were linked to humans(26 of 31 deaths)................Cars, Poachers and landowners downed the bruins with 34 additional deaths due to bears being killed for livestock depredations..........So somewhere close to 10% of the estimated 600+ Griz was exterminated in the western Province bordering the USA last year.......With Bears starting to migrate to the eastern end of Alberta, the question of the day is how much conflict will ensue with Ranchers?............How much of that conflict is due to sloppy ranching, open pit bone yards that attract bears and wolves,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Can mitigation programs be instituted quickly enough to keep Bears off highways?..........And of course, "human fed grizzlies become dead grizzlies,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Can the bone yards be cleaned up?..............Can tighter control of where cattle and sheep graze be implemented?

Conflicts with grizzlies on the rise as bears expand east from Rockies

Conflicts with

 grizzlies on 

the rise as bears


 east from Rockies

Population shows signs 

of increasing

Conflicts with grizzlies on the rise as bears expand east from Rockies

The 2013 annual report on the provincial Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan suggests the animal’s population is increasing in southwestern Alberta.

The number of conflicts between grizzly bears and people
 is growing in southern Alberta as the bears continue to
expand eastward, according to the 2013 annual report by
the province. As part of its Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan, the
 province reviews conservation and management activities
 each year. “It’s a great summary of the work we do,” said
Carrie Sancartier, spokeswoman for Alberta Environment
and Sustainable Resource Development, which is
 responsible for the plan.The plan was implemented in
2010 when it was determined there were fewer than 700
grizzly bears in Alberta, prompting the province to list the
 species as threatened and come up with strategies to
 ensure their survival.

The 2013 report confirms there was a total of 31 grizzly
 bear deaths — the highest number in a decade.
Twenty-six of those deaths were caused by poachers,
 motorists and landowners. Another 34 grizzly bears
 were relocated after threatening public safety,
attacking livestock or damaging property. “The
majority of more serious grizzly bear occurrences .
 . . were recorded in southwest Alberta, particularly
agricultural landscapes surrounding Pincher Creek
 and Cardston,” notes the report, which was released
 this week. “Numerous cases of livestock depredation
and property damage in the Chain Lakes area and
 northern Porcupine Hills also led to several grizzly
 bear relocations in 2013.

“Evidence indicates that grizzly bear populations are
 expanding in this portion of Alberta, requiring significan
t efforts by the local agricultural community and
 government staff to prevent and respond to conflict.”
Twenty-five of the 34 bears captured and relocated by
 government staff were in southern Alberta. Tony Bruder,
 a rancher who lives in the Twin Butte area, said 2013
was a difficult year for landowners in the area.
“It was a horrible calving season,” he said of the spring,
when cows give birth. “There was a lot of trouble. We
 had those May snows and the bears didn’t have
anything to eat, so they ate calves instead, and cows.”
Indeed, the province’s report shows eight bears were
relocated from southwestern Alberta last April and May
. Similarly, it notes October saw another nine bears
 moved — mostly due to attacks on livestock or
property damage.

“That’s generally the worst time for bears, because
 they are bulking up and getting ready for winter,” s
aid Bruder, noting there has to be a way to deal with
 problem bears. Some ranchers still believe Alberta
 needs to consider a hunt in the area, but the province
 has said it’s too early in the recovery plan to
contemplate the move and instead works to prevent
 and respond to conflicts.

Conservationists said the latest report shows there’s
 more work required.
“It reinforces the need for these conflict mitigation
programs,” said Katie Morrison, conservation director
 for the southern Alberta chapter of the Canadian Parks
and Wilderness Society. “Conflicts are happening when
 there are humans and bears in the same space,
especially when there is some sort of attractant bringing
 the bears in.”She added that the number of bears being
 relocated is also a concern. “Research has shown that
 approximately 30 per cent of relocated bears die
following relocation,” she said. “So it’s not just an
 issue of decreasing conflict for human safety and
 livelihood, but also decreasing the conflicts so we’re
not having the relocations that potentially lead to
deaths of bears.”

The province continues to work with southern
Alberta landowners to reduce the conflicts, trying
 to avoid contact by removing attractants such as
animal carcasses, installing bear-proof doors on
grain bins and putting electric fencing around
 livestock pens.Several programs are being run
 by the Waterton Biosphere Reserve, an organization
that works to balance biodiversity conservation and
 sustainable human use of the land. “It’s hard to say
 whether we’re making progress or we’re not,” said
chairman Jeff Bectell, who also ranches in the area
. “We tend to get one thing solved and then maybe
 the bears move on to another spot or try something
else.”He also pointed to recent evidence the bear
 population is increasing in the area
Statistics suggest there are about 1,100 bears in
the Crown of the Continent area, which includes
 southwestern Alberta, B.C.’s Flathead and northern
 Montana.It’s estimated about 50 of those bears live
permanently in Alberta.The province, in partnership
 with several other organizations, is trying to determine
 the exact number by analyzing hair samples in
 southwestern Alberta
Last year, when samples were taken from private
 as well as public lands, the results showed at least
122 different grizzly bears (72 males and 50 females)
n the area — up from 51 recorded on public lands a
 year earlier. The province’s report notes, however,
that it’s not a population estimate and suggests they
 will continue to monitor the area to confirm whether
the bear population has grown in the area as bears
 move eastward.

If it has, as many ranchers suspect, Bectell said that
 could help explain the increase in conflicts.“How much
 is due to increasing bear numbers and how much is
due to how we are running our operations?” he said,
 noting they are seeing an uptick in the number of
 landowners participating in their programs


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