The Georgia Straight
Statistics reveal decade-long increase in B.C. hunting licences for grizzlies and black bears
by Travis Lupick on March 25th, 2015
British Columbia’s spring grizzly and black-bear hunts open on April 1. This season, more hunters are expected to take to the province’s forests than in any year in recent memory.
In 2013-14, the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations issued 1,699 resident hunting licences for grizzly bears, according to data posted online in response to a freedom-of-information request. That’s up 58 percent since 2005-06 (the timeframe for which data was made available).
The province has, similarly, issued more licences to black-bear hunters. There were 21,836 allotted in 2013-14, up 52 percent from eight years earlier.
For comparison’s sake, the total number of “resident species licences” increased only 30 percent over this period. (A spokesperson said the ministry could not immediately supply statistics for how many of those licences resulted in a kill.)
Chris Darimont, a science director with Raincoast Conservation Foundation and assistant professor at the University of Victoria, told the Straight an overall rise isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “What does cause me alarm,” he continued, “is the increases in carnivore kills.”
Darimont explained there are naturally fewer carnivores compared to plant eaters. Larger predators also take more time to reproduce, and can be more easily affected by habitat destruction. In addition, he noted we often don’t know the true population of a particular animal or the mortality rate a species can tolerate before experiencing unsustainable population declines.
“That grizzly-bear hunt, in most places in the province, is done in the absence of fieldwork that examines if there really are the number of grizzly bears that [government] models say there are,” he explained. Darimont called attention to a November 2013 peer-reviewed study he co-authored that found the number of B.C. grizzlies killed by hunters has repeatedly exceeded the number targeted by the province…
To read the full article please visit The Georgia Straight website.
Help us protect KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest
Together with Pender Islands Conservancy, we are raising funds to purchase and permanently protect a 45 acre forested property on the edge of the Salish Sea. The KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest is located within the Coastal Douglas-fir (CDF) biogeoclimatic zone, one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in Canada. It is also among the most threatened in Canada. Protecting these forests is an investment in our collective future.
We’ve just announced a donation matching campaign to support the purchase and permanent protection of KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest. Every dollar donated before December 31, 2022 will be matched by anonymous donors. This is a chance for you to double your impact!