Grizzly Population

Grizzly bears are currently thriving in healthy numbers in the province of British Columbia. BC is home to half of Canada’s entire grizzly population and a quarter of all grizzly bears worldwide. Conservative estimates put the total number of grizzlies living in British Columbia somewhere between 10,000 and 13,000 bears. Current grizzly bear habitats in the Kootenay Mountains, Northern Rockies and Northwestern British Columbia are among the most densely concentrated and healthiest grizzly bear populations in the world. Though the grizzly is by no means classified as “threatened or endangered,” the species is listed as “vulnerable or sensitive” due to their intolerance of nearby human proximity and their reluctance to adapt to human heavy surroundings. Read the rest of this entry »

Black Bear Population

The black bear is actually British Columbia’s most thoroughly distributed large mammal, with only the provinces large urban cores out of its reach. While tough enough to occupy the province’s roughest mountain terrain, the black bear can also make its home on the outer coast and islands of British Columbia. Only 5 of the black bears natural habitat in BC has been permanently forsaken for human development. While a larger percentage of the land supports significant human settlements, black bears, unlike their grizzly counterparts, are actually tolerant of moderate human interaction and unthreatened by close proximity to man. Despite their adaptability, major highways and transportation networks have fragmented and displaced some large black bear constituencies, which has affected population growth patterns in certain areas. Read the rest of this entry »

What to do When Bears Attack

Though bear attacks are very uncommon, it is still better for hikers and woodsmen to stay alert and on guard at all times. To understand how to defend yourself, you must first be aware of exactly why the bear is attacking you. Though at the point of a bear attack you are probably terrified and not thinking clearly, taking a moment to get your wits about you and analyze the situation could be the few seconds that end up saving your life. First you will want to identify the type of bear attacking you, as black bears and grizzlies attack for very different reasons.While grizzly attacks are a lot more common, this is generally due to the clumsiness of humans than to any sort of predatory nature. Grizzlies attack only when they feel threatened, and while you may not feel you are a threat to the massive grizzly bear, just walking within 10-20 feet could trigger its defensive instincts. Proximity to the grizzly’s cubs may also play a part in its decision to attack. Feeling that its smaller offspring are threatened could be just as alarming, if not more, heightening their aggressiveness. Because grizzlies only attack when on the defensive, it is recommended that when confronted, you should play dead in hopes the large bear will walk away. Even the strongest men are no match for a grizzly in combat, so your best bet is to minimize your perceived threat level as much as possible. Read the rest of this entry »