Development and its impact on cougar habitat

Vancouver Sun,
June 24, 2009

Re: ‘I just knew I had to get between them’; mother says her instincts took over when she saved her daughter from attacking cougar, Westcoast News, June 18This article stated that B.C. is home to 4,000 to 6,000 cougars. There is no sound basis for such an estimate. The fact is, there is no reliable,inexpensive method to assess cougar numbers continuously; furthermore, the provincial government makes little or no effort to study cougars.

It was also mind-boggling to hear a provincial conservation officer dismissing the impact of development on cougar and prey habitat. Leading cougar researchers Ken Logan and Linda Sweanor have written that habitat loss due to human development is the single greatest threat to cougar conservation in North America.

In B.C., the continuing encroachment on wildlife habitat has led to a predominantly “shoot first, ask questions later” method of large carnivore management.

Chris Genovali
Executive Director,
Raincoast Conservation, Sidney

You can help

Raincoast’s in-house scientists, collaborating graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and professors make us unique among conservation groups. We work with First Nations, academic institutions, government, and other NGOs to build support and inform decisions that protect aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and the wildlife that depend on them. We conduct ethically applied, process-oriented, and hypothesis-driven research that has immediate and relevant utility for conservation deliberations and the collective body of scientific knowledge.

We investigate to understand coastal species and processes. We inform by bringing science to decision-makers and communities. We inspire action to protect wildlife and wildlife habitats.

Coastal wolf with a salmon in its month.
Photo by Dene Rossouw.