Amber Gregg, who was hired as the sustainable life co-ordinator for the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society is also the Wildsafe BC co-ordinator for the Cariboo Regional District and the District of 100 Mile House. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

The bear necessities of managing attractants

WildSafeBC is the provincial leader in preventing conflict with wildlife through collaboration

WildSafeBC is the provincial leader in preventing conflict with wildlife through collaboration, education and community solutions. The program has been up and running throughout the spring and summer with funding generously provided by the Cariboo Regional District and is delivered by the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society.

As the WildSafeBC Coordinator for the Cariboo Regional District, I hear plenty of stories from residents in the region about wildlife and wildlife encounters. It is not uncommon to see deer in our daily life and we are even accustomed to seeing bears on a regular basis. Many of us are comfortable living in close proximity to wildlife and have modified our habits to prevent conflict.

As summer comes to an end and we head into fall, we are starting to see some bear activity as they search for unnatural food sources for additional calories prior to hibernation. Now would be a good time to have a look around your residence and follow these guidelines for managing attractants to avoid conflict:

Read More: People throwing food at a bear in Fernie alarms conservation groups

• Keep all garbage securely stored until collection day or drop off at the transfer station – it is important to note that garbage is the number one attractant for black bears and it offers a large amount of calories for them.

• Pick all berries and fruit from fruit trees and bushes

• Bird feeders often become bear feeders so take down all bird feeders, including humming bird feeders

• Feed pets indoors and keep them on a leash when out for a walk

• Keep your BBQ clean and free from odors

• Manage compost properly

• If you keep chickens, bees, or small livestock, use a properly installed electric fence

By warning residents and educating the public about attractant management WildSafeBC hopes to prevent human-wildlife conflict. For further information about the program or for tips on wildlife safety visit https://wildsafebc.com, follow WildSafeBC Cariboo on Facebook, or contact your local Community Coordinator, Amber Gregg, at 250-398-7929 or by email cariboo@wildsafebc.com.

Amber Gregg is the WildSafeBC Coordinator with the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society.

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