Bear calls decreasing

Bear calls decreasing

Rossland and Trail are experiencing a huge fruit tree crop this year and bear encounters could be increasing.

Even though bear related calls are down on average across the province in comparison to last year, WildSafeBC warns residents the active fall season is about to heat up with regards to human-bear conflicts.

“We’re down about 20 per cent province-wide in terms of bear related calls to the Conservation Officer Service Reporting line,” said Frank Ritcey, provincial coordinator of the WildSafeBC program.

“However, that could all change with the fall season. Natural forage has been good with a long wet spring but the dry hot summer could have reduced the availability of natural foods.”

Bears are entering a phase of their yearly cycle called “hyperphagia,” a time when they can take in up to 20,000 calories in a single day. It is during this period that they create great stores of fat to make it through their winter hibernation period.

“Garbage, unpicked fruit, bird feeders, pet food, outdoor freezers, and small livestock all become targets for the bears,” warned Ritcey. “Preventing bears from accessing these attractants will help to keep the wildlife wild and our communities safe.”

Rossland and Trail are experiencing a huge fruit tree crop this year. Apples, pears and plums are all in abundance and the bears are leaving their calling cards as proof that they are back in town.

People are asked to pick all fruit and share what you can’t use. Save your apples for Oct. 5 and turn them into cider at the Community Fruit Press Day.

If you need help with your fruit or have questions, contact Sharon Wieder at 250-231-2751.

Since the inception of Bear Aware (the fore runner of WildSafeBC) the annual destruction of bears has dropped from about 1,000 animals a year to approximately 500 animals a year.

In Rossland people can reach a WildSafeBC community coordinator at 231-2751 or rossland@wildsafbc.com.