Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning, BC Nature, Conservation Northwest and other organizations are distributing informational posters at retail outlets, trailheads, public buildings and other facilities. Sighting reports are screened by trained personnel and forwarded on to BC government biologists who will follow up with field verification.
Grizzly bears are extremely rare in most of southwest BC, particularly in the Cascades and the eastern slopes of the Coast Range. The public is being asked to report sightings because every individual grizzly is important to these populations.
The BC government lists grizzly bears in Cascades, Garibaldi/Pitt River, Stein/Nahatlatch Rivers and Squamish/Lillooet populations as “threatened.” Government estimates that there are fewer than 35 grizzly bears on the east slopes of the BC Coast Range and the Cascades in the area stretching from Lillooet to I-90 in Washington.
Grizzly bears are slow to reproduce and slow to recover from low numbers. BC biologists and their counterparts from the US have worked together for years on grizzly bear science and recovery. The project groups hope to invest citizens in a similar vein through “citizen science” and monitoring.
Every verified sighting contributes to our knowledge about SW BC’s grizzly bears which in turn helps us understand how vulnerable they are to local extinction. Hikers, climbers, hunters, fishers, photographers, loggers and ranchers – anyone who is recreating or working in the mountains can potentially contribute. The more solid information biologists have about grizzly bear abundance and distribution the better their ability to monitor bear recovery.”
A collaboration of environmental groups has launched an effort to enlist public support in documenting sightings of rare grizzly bears in southwest British Columbia.
Call the toll-free sightings hotline (1-855-GO-GRIZZ or 1-855-464-7499) if you see a grizzly in southwest BC.
For more information go to: coasttocascades.org/sightings