This article is over 5 years old and may contain outdated information.

Wildlife

B.C. bears could face tough winter

Bears could be facing a tough winter after an early berry season and a fall salmon run that was projected to be low.

  • Nov 10, 2015
  • 274 words
  • 2 minutes
A grizzly with two cubs (Photo: Michelle Valberg/CanGeo Photo Club)
A grizzly with two cubs (Photo: Michelle Valberg/CanGeo Photo Club)
Expand Image
Advertisement

As you sit down to tuck into your Christmas dinner this year, spare a thought for hibernating bears in British Columbia.

The animals could be facing a tough winter after an early berry season and a fall salmon run that was projected to be low. Berries are a key source of food for bears, as is salmon, the fat of which bears rely upon to help it hibernate for as long as six months.

Frank Ritcey, the provincial coordinator for WildSafeBC, the British Columbia Conservation Foundation program that aims to reduce human-wildlife conflict, told the CBC in August that bears eat up to 20,000 calories a day in the fall as they prepare to fatten up for the winter. But Ritcey noted that the lack of berries heading into the fall could cause a sharp increase in bear-human conflicts, the CBC reported.

In the same report, Barrie Gilbert, a bear expert at Utah State University’s College of Natural Resources, said that a lack of salmon could see bears starving “to death in their dens,” but that bears wouldn’t necessarily be at long-term risk. “There would be high mortality, but I wouldn’t say it would put them at risk,” Gilbert said. “They go through these cycles quite often.”

Earlier last summer, the CBC reported that the combination of record warm ocean temperatures and low, unusually warm rivers posed a threat to salmon numbers in British Columbia.

Advertisement
Polar Bears

This story is from the December 2015 Issue

Related Content

People & Culture

The truth about polar bears

Depending on whom you ask, the North’s sentinel species is either on the edge of extinction or an environmental success story. An in-depth look at the complicated, contradictory and controversial science behind the sound bites

  • 4600 words
  • 19 minutes

Wildlife

Think like a bear: learning to coexist

Humans and bears are sharing more landscapes now than ever before. As we continue to invade their world, will we be able to coexist?

  • 4432 words
  • 18 minutes

Wildlife

Broughtons in the balance: As salmon runs fail, grizzlies are on the move

Salmon runs are failing and grizzlies seem to be on the move in the islands between mainland B.C. and northern Vancouver Island. What’s going on in the Broughton Archipelago?

  • 2960 words
  • 12 minutes

Wildlife

The ice walkers: Canada’s polar bears

An excerpt from Gloria Dickie’s book, Eight Bears: Mythic Past and Imperiled Future, which explores the planet’s eight remaining species of bears and the dangers they face

  • 2770 words
  • 12 minutes

You may also like

People & Culture

On thin ice: Who “owns” the Arctic?

As the climate heats up, so do talks over land ownership in the Arctic. What does Canadian Arctic Sovereignty look like as the ice melts?

  • 4353 words
  • 18 minutes
L’Atlas des peuples autochtones du Canada, SGRC, 50 Promenade Sussex, Mélanie Joly, ministre du Patrimoine canadien, Inuits, Premières Nations et Métis.

People & Culture

La SGRC, en partenariat avec les organismes des premières nations, des Inuits et des Métis, prévoit créer l’Atlas des peuples autochtones du Canada

Ce projet multiplateforme et ambitieux, lancé par les peuples autochtones, sera un outil d’éducation et de réconciliation.

  • 1367 words
  • 6 minutes