High level of rigour in grizzly management: report
The provincial government last week reported it is taking steps to enhance its grizzly bear management procedures in light of recommendations from an expert panel.
The authors of the Scientific Review of Grizzly Bear Harvest Management System in B.C. found that the province has a ‘high level of rigour and adequate safeguards’ in place to ensure the long-term stability of grizzly populations. They also note that B.C. has produced more DNA-based population estimates for grizzly bears than any other similar jurisdiction in the world.
The report includes 51 recommendations aimed at enhancing habitat protection, population inventory, access and harvest management, and increasing public consultation. Wildlife staff members are updating the grizzly bear harvest management procedure to address some of the recommendations, while others require additional analysis.
The report was prepared by a panel of three respected wildlife biologists, all leaders in the field of grizzly bear research and conservation.
“Assessing the sustainability of wildlife harvest is a challenge for many species, but the B.C. grizzly bear harvest management procedures are rigorous, science-based and have meaningful safeguards. The future of grizzly bears in the coming decades, however, will depend on planning, habitat management, population monitoring and conservative harvest levels,” said Andrew Derocher, co-author of the Scientific Review of Grizzly Bear Harvest Management System in B.C.
“The panel confirmed that B.C.’s population estimates are second to none and has provided many valuable recommendations that will further improve grizzly bear management decisions in B.C. and help guide long-term conservation policy and procedures for years to come,” said Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
There are an estimated 15,000 grizzly bears in B.C. The last independent review of the province’s grizzly bear harvest management procedures occurred in 2003.