Report Human-Wildlife Conflict
What To Do If You Observe Dangerous Wildlife
If you observe dangerous wildlife in an urban area involved in any of the following, please report the incident:
- Accessing garbage or other human supplied food sources.
- Instances where wildlife cannot be easily scared off.
- Dangerous wildlife is in a public location like a city park or school during daylight hours.
- When a cougar or wolf is seen in a urban area.
Observing dangerous wildlife in the woods, back country, forested areas or a wildlife interface is normal. We recommend that anyone spending time in these areas should ensure that they are familiar with how to react should they encounter dangerous wildlife.
When Do Conservation Officers Respond?
Conservation Officers respond to conflicts with dangerous wildlife where there is a risk to public safety. Examples of these situations include responding to attacks, bears breaking into buildings, repeated dangerous wildlife encounters at or near public locations, and situations where dangerous wildlife has become habituated (no longer afraid of humans) or food conditioned (dependent upon human provided foods) and now present a risk to public safety.
Preventing Conflicts With Dangerous Wildlife in Urban Settings
Each year, too many bears and other wildlife are killed because of human decisions and behaviour. When we leave garbage out, it has the power to attract a bear from tens of kilometres away.
When we allow bears to transit through urban areas without making attempts to scare them, they lose their natural fear of humans. Our behaviours directly and indirectly lead to the deaths of wildlife.
However, there are a variety of simple things that each of us can do that make a big difference to preventing human wildlife conflicts. When endorsed and supported by an entire community, these activities have the power to prevent dangerous wildlife (bear, cougar, wolf and coyote) from entering our communities, and becoming a public safety concern.
Dealing with Low-Risk Wildlife Conflicts
As a public safety provider, the COS is focussed on responding to human wildlife conflicts and environmental violations that pose a threat to public safety. As a result, the COS does not attend low-risk wildlife conflict incidents or instances where conflict situations can be prevented by making changes to your property or daily behaviours. Examples of these low-risk encounters with wildlife include conflicts with racoons, squirrels, skunks, crows, geese, deer and other ungulates. In the vast majority of these situations, simple actions will help eliminate the conflict such as:
- Erecting barriers such as fences or nets to keep deer out of gardens.
- Planting vegetation that does not attract wildlife.
- Removing food attractants such as garbage and bird seed, securing composts, removing fruit as it ripens and picking up windfalls, and not leaving pet food outside.
- Securing buildings to prevent access to roofs, attics and crawlspaces.
- Ensuring that vulnerable livestock is secured within appropriate structures and/or fences.
- Installing scare devices.
While some of the above recommendations are easily implemented through simple behavioural changes, others, such as erecting fences, changing vegetation, installing scare devices or securing a home can be more time and money intensive. In these instances it is critical to keep in mind that these costs will help prevent future conflicts and can often prevent larger and more costly problems in the long run.