Bear activity prompts increased management

Grizzly bears forage for berries. ©NPS Photo/Jacob W. Frank

In two areas of Canada, new management and increased removals are being implemented in response to increased bear activity near humans.

Buffaloberry bushes are drawing bears closer to Lake Louise, Alberta, and into greater proximity to humans. The berries are attracting bears near camping sites and recreational areas by the lake, which is located within Banff National Park. As a result, Parks Canada has issued a warning about increased grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) activity and visitors are reminded to be diligent, as bears become focused while feeding and can be frightened more easily.

Parks Canada has started removing buffaloberry bushes from campgrounds on the east side of the park in an attempt to discourage bears from venturing too close to humans. Other management options are being considered for next year, including increased buffaloberry bush removals, electric fences, and trail closures.

In related news, conservation officers in the Revelstoke, British Columbia, euthanized nine bears in one week; the bears had been foraging through trash and roaming through residential areas. Conservation officers expressed frustration over the euthanizations, as they have worked to educate residents about measures to prevent human-bear conflicts, including properly securing garbage bins.

Read more about Lake Louise bear management and the Revelstoke bear events from CBC.