WildSafeBC hoping for headstart on spring programs

WildSafeBC tries to reduce human-wildlife conflict through education

It seems like spring is getting a head start in Castlegar and so too is WildSafeBC.

The program, which strives to reduce human-wildlife conflict through education and attractant management, typically starts in May but this year the City of Castlegar has made an early start possible.

The 2013 season was one of the quietest in the past decade in terms of bear activity and human-bear conflict.

According to Jenny Wallace, WildSafeBC Community Coordinator, that is no reason to expect the same in 2014.

“Often after a season of abundant natural foods like we had in 2013, there will be more cubs born the following spring. With this potential increase in the number of bears seeking food in our community, it is critical that we start the season off right by keeping all attractants inaccessible,” she said.

In the next couple of weeks, black bears will start to emerge from Castlegar area dens and many will head to low-elevation valley bottoms in search of early spring foods like grasses and skunk cabbage.

“This annual spring influx of bears does not need to equal increased conflict” said Wallace. “As long as the bears are not tempted by unnatural foods like garbage, pet food or birdseed, they will soon move back up to higher elevation habitat as they follow the green-up of their natural foods.”

By managing backyard attractants and making them inaccessible to bears now, conflict later in the season can be prevented. A bear only needs to stumble upon garbage once to start a pattern of food conditioning – a pattern that all too often ends in the destruction of the bear. This pattern can be avoided by preventing that initial garbage encounter.

But bears are not the only wildlife species to demand our attention in the spring. Raccoons are in the midst of breeding season right now and may be more active and a bit bolder in town. Proper attractant management prevents most conflicts with raccoons but it is still a good idea to keep pets inside at night, especially cats. Raccoons can seriously injure a cat or dog if cornered or threatened.

Ticks are another species to consider at this time of year. Wallace has received more reports of ticks than any other species during the first couple of weeks on the job.

“Tick season is definitely underway in the West Kootenay. It’s no reason to avoid the bush, just something to be aware of and check for after every hike!” Although rare, ticks can carry dangerous diseases and care should be taken to avoid bites. Wear long sleeves and pants when hiking in the bush and do a thorough check of yourself, children and dogs after spring hikes.

For more information on local wildlife activity, contact WildSafeBC Community Coordinator Jenny Wallace at 1-250-365-8971 or castlegar@wildsafebc.com. You can also find updates on local wildlife activity on Facebook: WildSafeBC Castlegar.

To report a wildlife conflict, call the Conservation Officer hotline at 1-877-952-7277.

Just Posted

Robson Community School got a new playground this year. Photo: Submitted
Robson Community School says thanks for playgound

Submitted by Robson Community School PAC It takes a village to build… Continue reading

Daryl Jolly, his wife Kerry Pagdin, their sons Cole Jolly (left) and Graeme Jolly, and their dogs Gracie and Clover. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College arts chair diagnosed with lung cancer, family launches fund drive

Daryl Jolly co-founded the college’s digital arts program

TELUS is proposing to construct a 5G tower at Pople Park. Photo: Sheri Regnier
First 5G tower in Trail proposed for placement in popular park

TELUS has a consultation process open until June 28

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air leaving Castlegar airport in July

The airline says market can’t handle two airlines

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

Lindsay, Isla and Ethan Fischer & Maddie, Everly, Ray and Jessica Pressacc of the Tadanac Residents Association along with Aron Burke (Kootenay Savings Community Liaison) Kootenay Savings file
Kootenay Savings Foundation continues community support

The Kootenay Savings Foundation has once again handed out their twice a… Continue reading

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-month-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Most Read