The Fur-Bearers supports UBC student research on wildlife

A black bear in British Columbia. Photo by Ivan Sabo / Getty Images

The Fur-Bearers is pleased to have been a community partner for UBC student projects in the winter of 2022-2023. We collaborated with students on a group project that focused on coexistence strategies in municipalities, and on an individual directed studies course that analyzed black bear data in British Columbia. We are grateful for the opportunity to work alongside talented students and share knowledge on key issues facing wildlife in the province. We’d like to send a huge thank you to instructors Nadia Xenakis and Dr. Kristen Walker for their leadership in these courses!

Wildlife coexistence in Metro Vancouver municipalities

A raccoon on a fence. Photo by Ken Duffney / Getty Images
A raccoon on a fence. Photo by Ken Duffney / Getty Images

What practices are in place in lower mainland municipalities that promote coexistence with wildlife? A collaboration between UBC students and The Fur-Bearers looked at how municipalities address human-wildlife conflict and promote coexistence. Students designed a questionnaire for municipalities to provide insight into how they’re responding to wildlife issues.

Their research examined various municipalities’ practices, bylaws, and education strategies. Included in the city snapshots below are highlights from ten different municipalities, public resources for citizens, and management implications and best practices for designing wildlife-friendly cities. We’d like to thank the students involved in this pilot project and congratulate them on their work this semester! Shout-out to Ashley, Meghan, Emma, Storm, and Jingjian!

Click here to view the presentation: An Assessment of Wildlife Coexistence Practices in Metro Vancouver Municipalities (2023)

Explanatory note for bylaw checklist sections: Laws relating to attractants, feeding wildlife, and hunting and trapping are found at the provincial level through the Wildlife Act and associated regulations. Municipalities can support provincial measures through bylaws which can place further restrictions on these activities within their jurisdictions. An example includes bylaws prohibiting the feeding of species other than those covered in the Wildlife Act under “dangerous wildlife” (bear, cougar, coyote, wolf).

Human-black bear conflict in British Columbia

Black bear walking along the roadside
A black bear walks along the road. Photo by Linda Burek / Getty Images

The Fur-Bearers supported a UBC undergraduate student to conduct research into human-black bear conflict in British Columbia. The collaboration was part of a final year directed studies course. In 2022, The Fur-Bearers published seven years of community-level data showing areas with high levels of black bear killings by the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service. This data was a starting point for the research and allowed UBC student Leya Hirakawa-Kao to analyze key factors in this issue.

The final report summarizes scientific literature into black bear behaviour, visualizes data using charts and heat maps, and focuses on high-incidence communities and the factors that hinder and promote human-black bear coexistence. We would like to congratulate Leya on this project and thank her for collaborating with us on this important research!

Click here to download the report – Human-Black Bear Conflict in British Columbia: Analyzing trends in BCCOS black bear deaths between 2015-2021

Help Make A Difference

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.

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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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