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Coastal Grizzlies on the Move

When Douglas Neasloss, Resource Stewardship Director and former Chief Counselor of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation, first noticed grizzly bears on coastal islands in B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest, he was concerned. Although mainland parts of his traditional territory contained both grizzly and black bears, only black bears were known to live on the islands. Neasloss told provincial government biologists, but was dismissed because “he was not a biologist.” Determined, he found allies at the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and University of Victoria who recognized the value of this local knowledge and could meaningfully combine it with science.

Recently, wildlife scientists published a study in the international peer-reviewed journal, PLOS ONE, affirming that Neasloss was right all along. Researchers from the Kitasoo/Xais’xais’ own Spirit Bear Research Foundation, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, and the Hakai-Raincoast Lab at UVic conducted a two-year survey of 14 islands in the Great Bear Rainforest – outside the range the B.C. government recognizes in its management of grizzlies. Ten islands showed evidence of resident grizzly bears…

A version of this article was first published on the Seaside Magazine website.

We are so excited to share our annual report – Tracking Raincoast Into 2023 – with you! Tracking gives you highlights from the year, our science, flagship projects, as well as a peek at what’s in store for the coming year.

Dive into Tracking and learn more about our work safeguarding coastal carnivores in the Southern Great Bear Rainforest tenure. We are currently raising funds to stop commercial trophy hunting in more than a quarter of the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia. Now is a good time to sign up and stay connected to our community of researchers and change-makers.