Human Wildlife Conflict Statistics Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Predator Stats?
The predator statistics represent calls received from the public and the subsequent actions taken by the Conservation Officer Service (COS) in response to the calls. The reports are made to the B.C. Report All Poachers and Polluters (R.A.P.P.) hotline 1-877-952-7277 and website.
These statistics include calls and reports received through R.A.P.P. for black bears, grizzlies and cougars in the identified month. The numbers are then broken down by the number of incidents attended and the action taken by COS in response to the reports. Actions include: predators destroyed by a Conservation Officer (CO) or other, translocation, hazing or transporting bear cubs rehabilitation.
What Does Each Column Mean?
|Number of calls:||Calls, reports made via R.A.P.P. website and toll-free phone line.|
|Number Attended:||Number of reported incidents that Conservation Officers (CO) attended.|
|Destroyed by COS:||Number of predators destroyed by CO in response to report of human-wildlife conflict.|
|Destroyed by Other:||Number of predators destroyed by other agencies or the public.|
|Total Destroyed:||Total of Destroyed by COS and Destroyed by Other.|
|Translocated:||Number of predators relocated to another area.|
|Hazed:||Number of predators where non-lethal repellents or deterrents were used to move an animal out of an area or discourage an undesirable activity.|
|Cubs to Rehab:||Number of cubs relocated to wildlife rehabilitation facility for later return to wild.|
What Do the Stats Indicate?
Long-term trends in bear conflict numbers indicate that the overall number of calls from the public regarding bears is increasing. This is likely due to availability of the 24 hour R.A.P.P. line (1-877-952-7277) and increased communication encouraging the public to report all bear incidents in urban and rural areas, including sightings. Continued human development encroaching on bear habitat likely plays a role in this increase as well.
The main cause of conflicts in B.C. is access to non-natural food sources. Bears that learn how to access exposed pet food, ripe fruit, improperly stored garbage, dirty barbeques or easily-accessible composts become conditioned and will continue to return to the food source.
Conflicts between humans and bears are particularly high during the spring and fall seasons. In the spring, bears are emerging from dens and seeking food sources high in nutrients to recover from winter hibernation and provide for new cubs. In the fall, bears are actively seeking out food to build up fat reserves in preparation for denning up. They are particularly attracted to foods that are abundant and high in protein and energy and that they can get with little effort. Both situations create potential for conflicts when bears are allowed to access non-natural food sources.
The percentage of calls attended by a CO and the overall number of bears killed each year due to conflicts has continuously decreased over the last 20 years. This is likely due to increased awareness by the public concerning proper management of attractants through the Bear Smart and Bear Aware programs, and improved enforcement tools regarding feeding of dangerous wildlife.
Black Bears: Black bears are abundant throughout B.C. and extremely adaptable. They are able to take advantage of human dominated landscapes and the number of human-black bear conflicts each year is consistently high.
Fluctuations in the number of conflicts with black bears appear to be based mainly on the availability of natural food sources. In years with good growing conditions in the spring, and a warm dry fall to prolong berry production, conflicts with black bears are relatively low. Salmon spawning numbers can also impact bear conflict levels in some areas of the province.
Grizzly Bears: Grizzly bears are less abundant and tend to inhabit more remote areas. They do not adapt well to living in and around developed areas and conflicts with Grizzly bears has remained relatively consistent over the last 20 years.
Cougars: While cougars are active year-round, the spring and summer months have more reports to the R.A.P.P line. This is due to a number of factors including the increase of human outdoor activities such as hiking and camping and young cougars roaming more widely in search of unoccupied territory. These factors increase the incidents of conflict with humans during this time.
Also, a cougar sighting or incident may generate dozens of calls, in the area the incident occurred.
Is the R.A.P.P. toll-free line and website the only way you gather these statistics?
Yes, these statistics only reflect what is recorded in the database.
What Are These Statistics Used For?
These statistics are used to track trends in human-wildlife conflict activity, identify areas to focus education and other conflict reduction activities, and manage COS workloads.
When Are These Statistics Updated?
These statistics will be updated by the 10th of the month and represent statistics filed and reported by the 6th of the month.
What is the R.A.P.P Line?
Members of the public may report a conflict with wildlife that threatens public safety, an environmental violation or an incidence of poaching to the toll-free number (1-877-952-7277) or the by using the online form.
How do I find information on wildlife conflict activity in a particular area like a town or district or conflict stats for other species (e.g. deer, coyote)?
Currently we don’t have the ability to provide human-wildlife conflict statistics in that much detail. We are continually upgrading our system and plan to have individual conflict calls and COS actions for all species accessible on-line in the near future.
New for the 2012 season, is a mapping system on the Bear Aware website that gives a reasonable approximation of where human-wildlife interactions are occurring throughout the province. You can learn more and view this mapping initiative at Bear Aware.
What is the Bear Smart Communities Program?
he Bear Smart Community program is a voluntary, preventative bear conservation program designed by the Ministry of Environment in partnership with the British Columbia Conservation Foundation and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. It is based on a set of criteria that must be achieved for communities to be awarded “Bear Smart” status.
The goal of achieving Bear Smart Community status is to address the root causes of bear-human conflicts, reduce the risks to human safety and private property, and reduce the number of bears that have to be euthanized each year. Squamish, Kamloops, Lions Bay and Whistler are the first four B.C. communities to achieve the Bear Smart designation.