BC Black Bears

Mother bear and cub in British Columbia.
Photo by Tony Joyce

Black bears are common throughout British Columbia. In fact, BC has one of the world’s largest populations of Ursus americanus.

Reducing negative outcomes for black bears in British Columbia can be seen complex, as there are numerous jurisdictions and agencies involved, as well as various localized needs. But everyone can participate in promoting coexistence and making positive change for bears in their communities.

Coexisting with black bears is possible in all ecosystems and communities. The following resources, tools, and articles can help you and your neighbours successfully coexist. 

Deadliest Communities for BC Black Bears

The Fur-Bearers published data showing the number of black bears killed by the BC Conservation Officer Service in communities across British Columbia. This data was obtained from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and published annually. (Note: reporting of these statistics has been put on hold due to challenges obtaining complete data in 2024. Read our blog post here for more information.)

Black bears killed by conservation officers by area, annual. 2015-2022

AREA20152016201720182019202020212022Total
100 MILE HOUSE 102684222458
108 MILE RANCH 7014000416
150 MILE HOUSE 130102007
70 MILE HOUSE000001113
ABBOTSFORD010040016
ADAMS LAKE000000011
AGASSIZ 120202209
AINSWORTH000000101
ALBION 100000001
ALEXIS CREEK001311017
ALEZA CREEK000010001
ALKALI LAKE 100000001
ANAHIM LAKE000010001
ANGLEMONT020102308
ANMORE000120003
APPLEDALE 100000001
ARGENTA 100000124
ARMSTRONG0013601112
ARRAS010000001
ASHCROFT 100000001
ATLIN001033209
AVOLA 100200025
BALFOUR 300100004
BAMFIELD001210004
BARKERVILLE000100012
BARRIERE001012307
BEAR LAKE002002004
BEAVERDELL010000304
BELCARRA022001016
BELLA BELLA000003609
BELLA COOLA 001030004
BIG BAR010000001
BIG BAR LAKE010000001
BIG LAKE001000001
BLACK CREEK003000003
BLACK PINES000200103
BLAEBERRY000000011
BLEWETT010000102
BLUE RIVER 1026200011
BLUEBERRY CREEK001000001
BOB QUINN000003003
BONNINGTON011000013
BOSTON BAR 140100006
BOSWELL010010103
BOUCHIE LAKE001000001
BOWSER 112000004
BRIDGE LAKE 100000315
BRILLIANT002000013
BRISCO000020024
BRITANNIA BEACH002010003
BURNABY0163331118
BURNS LAKE 3712193213171104
BURTON010000001
CACHE CREEK102000205
CAMPBELL RIVER1913131148665
CANAL FLATS100010002
CANIM LAKE 100200014
CASTLEGAR 169723341458
CELISTA010100002
CHARLIE LAKE 200001003
CHASE011021106
CHEMAINUS012000014
CHERRY CREEK000000011
CHERRYVILLE000001001
CHETWYND1221234621
CHILLIWACK4740434026
CHRISTINA LAKE17300318941
CLEARWATER 56611252441
CLINTON 3100404113
CLUCLUZ LAKE000000011
COAL HARBOUR0101125111
COALMONT000000033
COBBLE HILL110001014
COLDSTREAM000000022
COLDSTREAM DISTRICT5200121011
COLWOOD000000101
COMOX 122011108
COOMBS000110013
COQUITLAM3126142158473
COTTONWOOD 100000001
COURTENAY 6241302018
COWICHAN VALLEY001000001
CRANBROOK 7012121216
CRAWFORD BAY 110000013
CRESCENT VALLEY100001103
CRESTON2321051216
CULTUS LAKE033110008
CUMBERLAND600001018
DAWSON CREEK1111113211
DEASE LAKE 0101080010
DECKER LAKE001310106
DEROCHE000002103
DOUGLAS LAKE000000101
DUNCAN 100022106
DUNSTER000013004
EAGLE BAY000000101
EDGEWATER000002002
EDGEWOOD020000002
EGMONT000000011
ELKFORD 500001028
ELKO 300000014
ENDAKO000010203
ENDERBY 200210005
ERIE000000011
ERRINGTON001110003
FAIRMONT 1111242315
FALKLAND 100201004
FANNY BAY000100001
FERNIE 213012312446
FINTRY000001102
FOREST GROVE 101100025
FORT FRASER001100002
FORT NELSON 5371423227
FORT ST. JAMES000230128
FORT ST. JOHN 1101232111
FRANCOIS LAKE010011104
FRASER LAKE0010208213
FRUITVALE 132100108
GARDEN BAY002310006
GARNET VALLEY001000001
GENELLE010000012
GIBSONS 4062511019
GITANYOW001000001
GITWANGAK000000101
GLADE010000001
GLENROSA020000002
GLENVOWELL001021004
GOLD BRIDGE000020013
GOLD RIVER 9114424631
GOLDEN 71216277951
GOOD HOPE001000001
GOOD HOPE LAKE000000011
GRAND FORKS 7622345332
GRANISLE 222000129
GRASMERE 200000013
GRASSY PLAINS000010001
GRAY CREEK010012105
GREEN LAKE - 70 Mile House 100030004
GREENVILLE011000002
GREENWOOD 2110009114
HAIDA GWAII000000011
HALFMOON BAY001122118
HARRISON HOT SPRINGS010001002
HARRISON LAKE001000001
HARRISON MILLS203100006
HARROGATE000000011
HARROP000000011
HAZELTON 41808113237
HEDLEY000010001
HEFFLEY CREEK001010002
HEFFLEY LAKE000100001
HILLS010200003
HIXON 100000102
HOLBERG002100003
HOPE 1010214110
HORNE LAKE 110000002
HORSEFLY000310015
HORSESHOE BAY000000011
HOSMER 000000000
HOUSTON 32781413038
HUDSON'S HOPE 110010104
HYDE CREEK002000002
INVERMERE0250603218
ISKUT000003003
JADE CITY000101002
JAFFRAY 103000004
JOHNSON'S LANDING000001001
JORDAN RIVER000100001
KALADEN000100001
KAMLOOPS 151116913513688
KASLO0601130213
KEATS ISLAND000100001
KELOWNA 716581076968
KEREMOS000000011
KERSLEY 100000001
KILDONAN000000022
KILLINEY BEACH000100001
KIMBERLEY 51052656847
KINGCOME INLET000010001
KISPIOX 110014018
KITAMAAT VILLAGE (HAISLA NATION)000000101
KITAMAT VILLAGE001000001
KITCHENER 100000001
KITIMAT 01718179447
KITSEGUECLA000020002
KITWANGA04301256232
KLEMTU000030003
KLUSKUS000000011
KNUTSFORD000000011
KOOTENAY BAY000020103
KRESTOVA000001001
KYUQUOT000001001
LAC LA HACHE 4021110211
LADYSMITH013100005
LAKE COUNTRY000000022
LAKE COUNTRY DISTRICT (WINFIELD)020000002
LAKE COWICHAN 3001000711
LANGDALE010000001
LANGFORD000001001
LANGLEY000000011
LARDEAU000010001
LAVINGTON003000003
LIARD HOT SPRINGS 100000001
LIKELY000000112
LILLOOET 6611546332
LIONS BAY000000022
LITTLE FORT000020002
LOGAN LAKE000000044
LOGAN LAKE DISTRICT 100011003
LONE BUTTE030200027
LUMBY030022018
LUND 200000002
LYTTON 2200015010
MABEL LAKE000000000
MACKENZIE 20348147846
MADEIRA000020204
MALAKWA000002013
MANNING PARK000010001
MAPLE RIDGE 447101941655
MARA LAKE000100001
MARYSVILLE000001012
MASSET001001002
MAYOOK001000001
MCBRIDE001010002
MCLEESE LAKE000401016
MCLEOD LAKE001011025
MCLURE000010001
MEADOW CREEK 100001215
MERRITT 1130425319
MERVILLE000010001
METCHOSIN 103010027
MEZIADIN JUNCTION000011002
MICA000000011
MIDWAY 100001103
MISSION 5133344124
MOBERLY LAKE000000213
MONTE CREEK010000001
MONTROSE 100101003
MORICETOWN0031910014
MOUNT CURRIE 5211331016
MOYIE010000001
NAKUSP000010001
NANAIMO 32316021027
NANOOSE BAY000000112
NARAMATA 100101014
NASS CAMP000100001
NEEDLES000010102
NELSON 14187644112185
NEW AIYANSH 1591000016
NEW DENVER040100038
NEW HAZELTON0032053013
NEWLANDS000000101
NITINAT001000001
NORTH VANCOUVER 1691723130
OCEAN FALLS000000011
OKANAGAN FALLS01001001214
OLALLA000011002
OLIVER0101133514
OOTISCHENIA000000101
OSOYOOS000111104
OYAMA020000002
PANORAMA000000033
PARKSVILLE 102210006
PASS CREEK000000011
PAVILLION000010001
PEACHLAND 2070113115
PEMBERTON 12454410232
PENDER HARBOUR001030004
PENTICTON 3070614324
PINANTAN LAKE000000101
PINK MOUNTAIN000000358
PITT MEADOWS0701410013
PORT ALBERNI 1184911191063
PORT ALICE0412220516
PORT CLEMENTS001001002
PORT COQUITLAM 2433572531
PORT EDWARD000100001
PORT HARDY 57018117443
PORT MCNEILL0024734222
PORT MOODY0240221011
PORT RENFREW010101216
POUCE COUPE 100010002
POWELL RIVER 324841474275
PRINCE GEORGE 2539313124453632263
PRINCE RUPERT002000002
PRINCETON 5105261222
PRITCHARD010000001
PROCTER011000002
QUADRA ISLAND 000000000
QUALICUM BAY000000011
QUALICUM BEACH 1323105318
QUATSINO000010102
QUEEN CHARLOTTE CITY 201000205
QUESNEL 91014191120192104
QUILCHENA000010001
RADIUM HOT SPRINGS001000124
RASPBERRY000000011
RED LAKE000000011
REVELSTOKE 1234321231260
RIONDEL 100000012
RISKE CREEK000010001
ROBERTS CREEK 100123007
ROBSON 211020017
ROCK CREEK000030014
ROLLA000010001
ROSE LAKE - WILLIAMS LAKE000001001
ROSEBERY020000002
ROSEDALE002002015
ROSSLAND 51946512345
ROSSWOOD000005005
RUTLAND000000101
SAANICH000010001
SALMO 6401112015
SALMON ARM 2630010214
SANDSPIT022010005
SAVONA000000123
SAYWARD 102111006
SCOTCH CREEK010002014
SECHELT 7161830026
SHAWNIGAN LAKE024001018
SHELTER BAY010000001
SHOREACRES010000001
SICAMOUS0620201011
SIDNEY 100000001
SKIDEGATE IR010003206
SKIDEGATE LANDING000020024
SKOOKUMCHUCK 100000102
SLIAMMON000001001
SLOCAN021000003
SLOCAN PARK001000001
SMITHERS 291492348372
SOINTULA000000011
SOOKE 9483431739
SORRENTO000001203
SOUTH BANK000140308
SOUTH HAZELTON001001002
SOUTH SLOCAN - NORTH OF THE DAM INN 100000102
SOUTH SLOCAN - SOUTH OF THE DAM INN100000001
SPALLUMCHEEN000000101
SPARWOOD 92212215235
SPENCES BRIDGE010000001
SQUAMISH 811861565665
STEWARD001000001
STEWART013001005
STONER 100000001
STUART ISLAND 000000000
SUMMERLAND 2014763427
SUN PEAKS 110010205
SUNSET PRARIE000000101
SURREY000100001
TAHSIS 2710100011
TAKSYIE LAKE000100001
TAPPEN002400006
TATA CREEK010200003
TATLAYOKO LAKE000000011
TAYLOR (NORTH)001010002
TAYLOR (SOUTH)001120004
TELEGRAPH COVE001020003
TELKWA 16431334236
TERRACE 16222464112112
THORNHILL001007109
THRUMS000000101
TIE LAKE001000001
TLELL001000001
TOFINO 102010329
TOPLEY002000013
TOPLEY LANDING000002204
TRAIL 121551067652
TUMBLER RIDGE 2205122115
UCLUELET0523619430
VALEMOUNT000300014
VANCOUVER001100002
VANDERHOOF 2321411620
VENABLES VALLEY000000022
VERNON761023016650
VICTORIA010100204
WARDNER000100001
WARFIELD 201001138
WASA 100110014
WELLS002100003
WEST KELOWNA 316136131245
WEST VANCOUVER6102935127
WESTBANK000002002
WHISTLER8734332636
WILDWOOD (WILLIAMS LAKE)000010001
WILLIAMS LAKE95109886560
WILLOW RIVER000000101
WILMER000000101
WILSON CREEK210000003
WINDERMERE000000235
WINFIELD000100001
WINLAW000020125
WONOWON000011114
WOSS LAKE000021003
WYCLIFFE 300000003
YAHK 200001003
YARROW001000001
YMIR030100015
YOUBOU011000002
ZEBALLOS 200021005
Total5415195364156325555815004279
Data Source: BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change - Freedom of Information Requests MOE-2022-21065, MOE-2023-30949

Guide to ‘Area’ field from the Ministry of Environment: The Emergency Call Centre database uses “Area/Community -> District -> Zone -> Region” structure. It also has a ‘City’ field but it is not used as a required field. For example, the area “Nanaimo” belongs to Nanaimo District, Nanaimo District belongs to Central Island Zone, then Central Island Zone belongs to West Coast Region. Area -Nanaimo is likely closer to city than district, but it is not the exact city.

This data does not include black bears killed by parties other than the BCCOS.

Download source data: MOE-2022-21065 (2015-2021), MOE-2023-30949 (2022)

How You Can Help

  • Attractants around your home. Bears (and other wildlife) follow their noses and will take extra risks to get easy snacks. Remove attractants such as outdoor pet food, bird feeders, and barbecue grease traps. Take a look at this list to learn more about attractants that may surprise you, like citronella candles (bears love ‘em).
  • Waste management. Properly secure trash in wildlife-resistant bins, rinse food containers before putting them in recycling, and follow your municipal or regional district’s requirements for keeping waste secure until pickup time.
  • Landscaping and gardening. Fences mean little to most wildlife in Canada, and it’s important to consider what attractants we create through our landscaping and gardening choices. Pick fruit and berries while ripe, and remove from the ground immediately if fallen; consider adding electric fencing to gardens to keep bears away; harvest vegetables as soon as they’re ripe.
  • Educate! Individuals can make a big difference in their communities by sharing content from The Fur-Bearers on coexistence into local Facebook groups, WhatsApp chats, or other social media platforms. Our bear coexistence door hangers are an easy way to get out and distribute information in your neighbourhood, too. Click here to learn more about our door hangers and how to order some for you to distribute in your community.
  • Get involved. The following sections on community groups, businesses, municipal governments and provincial government all require individuals to advocate for solutions. Keep reading to learn how to make an impact as an individual at higher levels of government!
  • If you’re already a member of a community group, providing education is simple! You can request presentations from groups like The Fur-Bearers, or educational materials that can be distributed within the group. Your community group can also cover a significant amount of ground in distributing door hangers or organizing educational/awareness events.
  • Fruit trees, as an example, can be a lot of work for some people. Large volumes of fruit can quickly grow and fall, creating significant attractants for wildlife. Some organizations like the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project have programs that benefit the whole community by collecting the fruits and distributing them to food banks or even selling them to fund local programs.
  • A collection of community voices can be impactful when presented to businesses, municipalities and provincial leaders. Consider advocating for by-laws, education, and enforcement to reduce negative outcomes for wildlife.
  • Waste management. Dealing with the trash can be a job no one wants at a small or large business, but it remains an essential task for all operations. It is also one of the most significant ways that businesses and business owners can help reduce negative outcomes for wildlife. Ensure that your dumpsters, recycling, food waste, and storage are wildlife-resistant and appropriately secured. Be prepared to invest in and adapt your waste management practices to be a positive community partner for your neighbourhood as well as wildlife.
  • Particularly at the retail level, businesses have an incredible opportunity to educate or provide educational opportunities to the community. Consider placing wildlife coexistence materials (available from The Fur-Bearers upon request) near your checkout or on a community board. Work with your local community groups, municipalities, and provincial agencies to find out what information could be best suited for your neighbourhood, and how you can help spread important safety information to consumers.
  • By-laws. Municipal governments may not be responsible for wildlife, but attractant management and resident behaviour do fall within their jurisdiction. Implementing wildlife attractant (and feeding) by-laws creates a significant educational and enforcement tool that can mitigate negative encounters and improve coexistence in your community. Click here to check out the Wildlife Attractant By-Law Toolkit created by the Get Bear Smart Society.
  • As the level of government with the most frequent engagement to residents, municipalities and regional districts have outstanding opportunities to provide educational materials. The Fur-Bearers works with municipalities to create original, co-branded, or “ghost written” educational materials for web sites, social media, and print distribution items. We are also available to provide educational presentations and outreach. Contact us to find out more at info@TheFurBearers.com.
  • Cross-jurisdictional efforts. Coexisting with wildlife isn’t just a provincial or municipal responsibility; working with the multiple agencies and levels of government involved while focusing on solutions is imperative. Consider reaching out to counterparts in other communities or governments to start bridging the gaps that currently exist in response to and management of wildlife-related issues.
  • Oversight. The agency responsible for responding to negative encounters with wildlife, the BC Conservation Officer Service, has no independent, third-party oversight despite being an armed policing agency. This agency kills over 500 black bears per year, on average. BC’s Auditor General in 2017 wrote that programs like WildSafeBC have no proper evaluations in place, despite receiving ongoing government funding from the BCCOS. Creating oversight of the BCCOS, WildSafeBC, and allocating appropriate resources to education and prevention of negative encounters, are essential to achieve sustainable coexistence in British Columbia.
  • Jurisdictional clarity. Individuals and municipalities are frequently uncertain as to who is responsible for what when it comes to wildlife-related issues. As the province holds stewardship for wildlife, it is imperative that jurisdictional clarity be prioritized: who is responsible for what when it comes to attractant management, education, investigation and enforcement, and so on. If the province will not be solely responsible, it should be clearly stated, and the opportunities for municipalities to engage in education and enforcement must be highlighted and accessible.
  • Prioritizing education and enforcement. The BC Conservation Officer Service kills over 500 black bears per year on average, but issues very few citations, orders, or fines. While there is a significant number of calls for service (which is confused by mixed messaging on when to call), the ratio of bears killed when responding compared to other human-based enforcement actions is significant. Making education and enforcement of human behaviour (which is the cause for most killings of bears, according to the BCCOS) a priority is logical and essential.

Resources

Social Media Sharables

Have ideas we should include? Reach out to us at info@TheFurBearers.com or tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with your suggestions! This page will be updated as more tools are available.

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Join The Fur-Bearers today and help us protect fur-bearing animals in the wild and confinement. To become a monthly donor (for as little as $10/month – the cost of two lattes) please click here and help us save lives today. Your donation is tax-deductible.

About Us

Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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