Reducing conflict with bearsNews Article
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) is reminding residents, property owners, and visitors to be aware of bears in the region. If there is a potential wildlife conflict in your community, please contact the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277. This will allow Conservation Officers to assess the risk levels and work towards a safe solution for both the community and the wildlife involved.
As long as a bear is moving through a community, is not lingering, and is not interacting with people or our property, there is no conflict. There are many situations where a bear moving through the community is to be expected, such as when they are trying to access a natural food source like a fish-bearing stream, or trying to access foraging opportunities on the other side of what was once their normal home range.
When bears quit moving through the community and start using it as a foraging area for human-provided foods, then conflicts may develop. Bears that start using human-provided foods (anthropogenic foods, in the words of the biologists) can become food-conditioned. A habituated bear tolerates humans in much closer proximity than what is safe for both bears and humans. This increases the potential for a dangerous interaction between the bears and humans.
- Store garbage in a secure building until collection day or consider purchasing a bear-resistant household cart.
- Ensure bins are tightly closed.
- Regularly wash all recycling items and clean the bins that contain garbage or recycling.
- Do not leave garbage in the back of a truck, even if it has a canopy.
- If you cannot store garbage securely, freeze smelly items and add to the bin only on the morning of collection.
- Pick all ripe fruit.
- If any overripe fruit falls, ensure it is regularly cleaned up.
- Maintain healthy trees with annual maintenance and fruit reduction methods.
The Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP)hotline should be used to report wildlife-human interactions where public safety may be at risk: 1-877-952-7277
For further information, please contact Shelley Fiorito, RDOS Projects Coordinator at 250-490-4110 or email email@example.com.
Mark Pendergraft, Chair
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen
RDOS Projects Coordinator
Toll Free 1-877-610-3737