British Columbia’s auditor general says the biggest threat to the province’s grizzly bear population is not hunting but loss of habitat.
Carol Bellringer released her grizzly bear audit yesterday.
She says expansion of communities and in industry makes it more difficult for grizzlies to find food, raise their young and results in increased human-bear conflicts.
The BC AG explains one of the greatest threats to the animal is resource roads.
She claims British Columbia has over 600,000 km of resource roads and that number is increasing by 10,000 km every year.
Bellringer suggests the expansion allows for greater human access to grizzly resource areas and results in more illegal kills.
The Auditor General makes 10 recommendations, including clarifying the management and protection roles of the forests and environment ministries to reduce overlapping responsibilities.
The report says provincial ministries haven’t fulfilled many long-standing commitments for managing grizzly bears in the province.
Bellringers concludes there’s an absence of province wide grizzly monitoring and inventory strategies.
She says grizzly populations are increasing in some areas of B.C. but that is likely occurring independently from an adequate government management plan.
No numbers were given specifically for the East Kootenay or Interior.
The New Democrat government responded in the report with a pledge to accept the 10 recommendations and develop a grizzly bear management plan with clear objectives, roles and responsibilities.
– British Columbia Auditor General Carol Bellringer