Number of Bear Incidents
Why monitor this
Being a Bear Smart community means Whistler is committed to incorporating long-term bear smart practices into the community’s waste infrastructure, educational programs and resident lifestyles. However, many challenges still exist and the major ongoing contributor to human-bear conflict is human carelessness with bear attractants around homes, workplaces, and vehicles. Attractants include garbage, recycling, compost, pet food, fruit trees, and even petroleum products, among other things. A bear only needs to obtain a food reward once to become conditioned to human foods and consequently, set down a path that can lead to eventual destruction.
As a community, Whistler wants to avoid all preventable bear deaths. Unfortunately, in spite of collaborative bear management issues, there continue to be human-bear conflicts, habituation of bears, and preventable bear deaths every year. Monitoring the number of bears destroyed by the Conservation Officer Service each year provides a measure of how we are doing, as a Community, at controlling our attractants and the subsequent number of bears that are lured down a deadly path. Through each of us adopting proper waste management practices we can protect Whistler’s resident bear population.
What this measures
This indicator reports the number of bears destroyed in Whistler on an annual basis as well as the number of bear related calls to Conservation Officers.
Major factors that affect this indicator:
- Abundance of berry crop: in low berry crop years, bears are more likely to seek out human food sources.
- Human carelessness: regardless of the abundance of berries, bears are at greater risk of becoming conditioned to human food sources when community waste management practices are poor.