Challenge 7: Human-Wildlife Conflicts



Concerns about human-wildlife conflicts are increasing, including those related to agricultural impacts, urban wildlife, wildlife-vehicle collisions and dangerous wildlife.

Opportunities:

  • Improve understanding of human-wildlife conflicts, and address the underlying causes such as the presence of attractants in communities.
  • Encourage individual and community prevention and mitigation of human-wildlife conflicts by providing incentives and disincentives.
  • Expand programs to reduce conflicts with agricultural communities.
  • Provide safe passage for wildlife to move across barriers such as roads.

Discussion Question

  • What are the most effective ways to reduce wildlife-human conflicts in British Columbia?

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94 responses to “Challenge 7: Human-Wildlife Conflicts

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    [-] Jake

    Education programs which include hard facts on the numbers of negative conflicts within a region, delivered to those in that region.

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    [-] Chris

    Education
    Teach people that not all animals are cute and cuddly.

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    [-] Scott

    Education to the general public that wild animals are not these cuddly animals in all these Disney movies.

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    [-] Jared

    Need to respect rights of land owners to prevent damage to property, spreading of infectious diseases and minimize crop loss caused by wildlife while still maintaining respect for sustainable wildlife populations

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    [-] Lesley

    All municipalities should have bylaws related to wildlife feeding, garbage/attractants.
    Allocate funding to municipalities for appropriate/related signage
    Encourage bylaw enforcement/ COS needs to activity and regularly fine/ticket offenders. Education without enforcement doesn’t work.

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    [-] Lee

    Education is key to diffusing antagonism to wildlife. We should also refer to it as human-wildlife coexistence rather than conflict (which implies a winner/loser). We need education that the greatest amount of damage to food crops is through rodents not larger mammals. People want food and people want wildlife. By focusing on human-wildlife conflicts people focus their anger on the wildlife species instead of trying to change the social-political need for drought disaster relief programs, financial aid for fencing and watering programs, crop and animal insurance programs (private and public), etc. or having enough key wildlife habitat protected to avoid problems. Coexistence between species, although sometimes difficult, drives us to find human-human solutions grounded in science. Typical ways that conflicts are reduced through land use planning are to ensure that there is land for humans and wildlife to succeed, by protecting enough key wildlife habitat and establishing buffer zones. In some areas land use change is encouraged as well as purchasing lands that provide valuable wildlife habitat. Partnerships can be formed with private individuals to create programs such as the Defenders of Wildlife Compensation and Rewards Program for the Yellowstone area, a program that compensates ranchers and provides financial reward incentives for allowing wolves to den on their property. Although not always perfect, solutions are out there.

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    [-] Dick

    Do not euthanize animals. Euthanize or exile people who disturb wildlife. Humans need to learn we are the invasive species.

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    [-] Scotty

    If that is your true opinion. You are part of the problem and are taking part of the disturbance of wildlife. Humans are naturally part of the ecosystem, have always been. But due to advances in technology/ medicine/ agriculture. Our population is ever increasing and we need to find a balance. Exiling people isn’t the answer and doesn’t help with this very important discussion.

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    [-] Annie

    Yes to all your suggested opportunities. Engage with researchers in this area , with community groups needing the dollars to do this work. Use the committed groups to help you with the work.

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    [-] Judy

    Funding for growing municipalities is essential for both education and enforcement. The by laws between municipalities should be homogenized because, for example, bears don’t know the difference between boundaries and can easily travel between municipalities with good bear management by laws and those that don’t. The COS must be funded and staffed to levels where they were able to enforce the by laws and ticket offenders. Often, municipalities may not have adequate by law officers to attend to complaints of people leaving their garbage bins out at the wrong times. More money should be directed toward education for people who live near wildlife areas in order for them to understand the importance of restrictive garbage management by laws and how to behave in the presence of wildlife. Wildlife movement corridors should be studied and road over passes or underpasses should be built. In addition to this other options for warning drivers of wildlife on the roadways should be considered. The railways (CN and CP) cause major mortalities of wildlife on the tracks due to leaking grain cars. This has been going on for decades and the province is aware of this but has done nothing to correct the railways. The grain cars hoppers leak and, although they are under the jurisdiction of Transport Canada, the province could take actions to bring attention to this problem. Whenever an animal is killed on the railway the train crew should immediately notify the company and the dead or suffering animal should be euthanized and removed because, otherwise, other animals who come to feed on the carcass will be killed or injured. All grain spills should be cleaned up immediately. I am familiar with this problem due to my involvement with organizations who are trying, without success, to change railway habits. The mortality rates on the railway are large and are impacting moose in the northern section of the province because the moose travel along the tracks when the snow is high.

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    [-] Chantal

    Appropriate funding must be made available to municipalities for educational initiatives.
    Municipalities should be encouraged to create local wildlife feeding by-laws and other by-laws for education and enforcement purposes at the local level.
    The Conservation Officer Service and FLNRO’s enforcement agents must be proactive in ticketing and issuing fines both before and after conflict occurs.
    Increase the use of wildlife corridors over or under highways and major roadways.
    Institute third-party oversight of enforcement.

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    [-] Doris

    Sufficient funding must be made available to municipalities for educational initiatives.
    Increase the use of wildlife corridors over or under highways and major roadways.

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    [-] Line

    – Appropriate funding must be made available to municipalities for educational initiatives.
    – Municipalities should be encouraged to create local wildlife feeding by-laws and other by-laws for education and enforcement purposes at the local level.
    – The Conservation Officer Service and FLNRO’s enforcement agents must be proactive in ticketing and issuing fines both before and after conflict occurs.
    – Increase the use of wildlife corridors over or under highways and major roadways.
    – Institute third-party oversight of enforcement.

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    [-] Conni

    Humans should respect the animals boundaries..There should be signs posted ie be aware there are bears or wolves or cayotes or any other wildlife in these areas. Another way would be to relocate animals . Animals are curious creatures and they do tend to roam. Killing off our wildlife is probably the worst thing that our governments can do. I breaks the chain of life for man and animals..

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    [-] Chris

    Looks good not get to it.

    Improve understanding of human-wildlife conflicts, and address the underlying causes such as the presence of attractants in communities.
    Encourage individual and community prevention and mitigation of human-wildlife conflicts by providing incentives and disincentives.
    Expand programs to reduce conflicts with agricultural communities.
    Provide safe passage for wildlife to move across barriers such as roads.

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    [-] Rick

    Urban wildlife is a growing problem in most cities. Urban deer populations are exploding and causing significant problems. They no longer have the same responses as deer living in the wild. They have become agggresive and even dangerous at times. I just saw a cyclist very badly injured when a deer charged out and knocked him to the ground. He needed hospitalization. Something needs to be done to cull their populations down to a reasonable level. This problem is not related to just deer but they seem to be the least managed.

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    [-] Alexander

    The most effective ways to reduce human-wildlife conflict are:
    -Reduce attractants
    -Improve habitat away from cities
    -Improve wildlife migration corridors and provide safe passage cross train tracks and roads.
    -Utilize hunters as a free resource to target species which require culling. In the case that doing so is unpopular (wolves, bears, etc.) educate the public on the mortality rates and lack of success of relocation and the cost of conservation officers having to intervene to either attempt (and likely fail) to relocate an animal or to “rescue” sick or orphaned animals which end up habituated to humans and unsuitable for release.

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    [-] David

    Encourage more municipalities to adopt stricter bylaws to discourage people from
    feeding wildlife or purposely leaving foods available to attract wildlife. As an example,
    The District of Mission doesn’t have such bylaws so it’s almost impossible to deal with
    people feeding raccoons, which in turn attracts rats, coyotes, skunks, and the occasional
    cougar and bears.

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    [-] Peter

    *Appropriate funding must be made available to municipalities for educational initiatives.
    *Municipalities should be encouraged to create local wildlife feeding by-laws and other by-laws for education and enforcement purposes at the local level.
    *The Conservation Officer Service and FLNRO’s enforcement agents must be proactive in ticketing and issuing fines both before and after conflict occurs.
    *Increase the use of wildlife corridors over or under highways and major roadways.
    Institute third-party oversight of enforcement.

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    [-] Holly

    Wildlife crossing roads will happen. Slow down, be alert. Don’t feed them don’t have bait piles bird feeders non of it. Increase the land better the land

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    [-] Yingyan

    There is no human wildlife conflict. Only human caused wildlife mortality. The BC COS should review its outdated matrix and change its definition of habituation. Habituated wildlife is not necessary aggressive. Given the chance they can be rehabbed, adult or cub. The current practice of shooting any animal showing signs of habituation and with no aggression is totally unacceptable. The COS should manage the people, not the animal. And they should stop lying about dangerous bears, cougars or coyote to instill fear into people and making them act irrationally. These animals can be well taught to behave differently with hazing and avert conditioning. But the COS was too lenient on people violating the wildlife act and let the situation worsen. Then they will come and kill the animal, leaving the people continuing their irresponsible behaviors to endanger future animals. I just heard COS would soon to be equipped with assault rifles. What a waste of tax money! Hire well trained biologists, well informed researchers and well experienced rehabers, not the hunters and trappers and bullies. The organization need an overhaul to return it around to work with the local communities, listen to the local communities and change its current trigger ready culture.

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    [-] Dave

    Respectfully, my friend Gary has a brain injury from when a deer walked in front of his car as he drove home from work. Gary can no longer work or do the things he used to do. There are human and animal costs to these conflicts. Your view is too simplistic to be effective. That deer wanted to cross the road and in that rural area should be able to. How could we ever train every deer to look both ways before they cross?

    We need to provide education to reduce conflicts as much as we can. We need trained and empowered COS who can make science based judgments in each case. Where they can reasonably relocate or rehab an animal, they should do so. Where they cannot, they should quickly and humanely kill the animal. I agree with you about assault rifles. A well trained COS will need one, sometimes two, shots with a quality bolt action rifle and our tax money should not be spent on automatic weapons. Buy them a good and appropriate tool.

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    [-] lena

    I have lived in the Blackburn area of Prince George for more than 25 years – we have a healthy population of many wildlife species due to the fact that we are surrounded by greenbelt. last year alone, we had 3 sets of bears with cubs and one sow even had 3 cubs. we have many animal trails around us utilized by lynx, moose, deer, coyote etc. My biggest pet peeve is the fact that new comers to the area are not being respectful of this wildlife and are constantly putting their garbage cans out the night before. i wish these folks would respect where we live and learn that a fed bear is a dead bear. don’t be lazy and get up in the morning to put your cans out.

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    [-] Karen

    Education is key. Misinformation and fear lead to poor decisions. Clear guidelines with enforcement when problems arise. Wildlife need not always be the ultimate loser in human/wildlife encounters. They are not the enemy when we are in their home. Limiting human access to some areas is ok and needed. Understanding of the big picture is key.

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    [-] Mike

    As we move further and further in to habitat conflict is inevitable. Education of the public and industry is important.

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    [-] Barbara

    When we let people access/build on/change areas we have to consider the effect it will have on the current wildlife and habitat situation. Anything that destroys habitat and access for wildlife to their habitat (fences, roads, dams etc), without proper/save options for bypass, has to be stopped.
    Any highway upgrade/maintenance should include plans to build over/underpasses. No fencing along highways should be allowed without a proper/save way for wildlife to cross. Or it is just moving the high impact area. In other words – Do not create more opportunities for conflict, reduce them by understanding and planning accordingly.
    Public education has to start in school. Teaching about Wildlife and Habitat, based on scientific facts, should be a mandatory subject. Cities and towns should be encouraged to educate their new ‘townfolks’. Have a province wide ‘Awareness Day’ once a year and have all stakeholders participate. Start a competition/challenge and give a region/city/town/club/school/organisation/business/Individuals ‘bragging’ rights. Have those leaders recognized province wide.
    Hold offenders accountable! Individuals, organizations, businesses and governments – everyone!

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    [-] Stephanie

    Education for tourists-we have all witnessed or seen videos of tourists feeding bears, getting way too close to wild life for photos. Major fines for feeding bears, leaving garbage cans out, dumping garbage etc. Build highway wildlife corridors, stop developments in important wildlife habitats as it only pushes the animals closer to humans. More conservation officers. More FUNDING.

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    [-] Dr.

    Wood bison are an endangered species in Canada. They are also red-listed. 5 – 32 head per year are killed on the Alaska Highway. Prescribed fire, salting, and linear corridor and disturbances away from the highway are predicted to reduce the time that bison spend on the highway. These bison are of the most genetically pure stock in Canada and possibly in the world. They were reintroduced to the Nordquist and Etthithun areas in 1995 and 1999 respectively by the BC Government.

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    [-] Rob

    Utilizing science-based management and hard data to make wildlife decisions is imperative. Decisions made based on social and special interest groups pressures are rarely in the best interest of wildlife. The cancellation of the grizzly bear hunt was one additional management tool that would effectively reduce wildlife-human conflicts. Despite at times strong opposition to it, decisions on wildlife management must stem from science-based decision making not emotional bias. Utilizing hunter harvest as a means for predator control assists with wildlife management and creates long-term positive benefits for conservation from funding.

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    [-] Emery

    Most human conflicts are with predators. I bowhunt bears, and have been charged 2 times in the last 2 years. I wasn’t threatening them. I was just walking by, and they outright came at me. And now that the government shut down grizzly bear hunting, the grizzly bears have become a lot more aggressive, and there are way to many in some areas.

    Hunting of predators needs to be done to save our wildlife. Bring back the grizzly hunt and that will be a start.

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    [-] nadine

    I am curious why you believe that the bears charging you is a conflict. If you are out in wilderness then you are just another animal in the environment. You don’t have the right to be safe from a predator when you choose to be in wilderness. Be thankful you can still go into the wilderness and see bear. If you demand safety you will need to choose to stay surrounded by dense urban development where there are laws to protect you from conflict from the human animal.

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    [-] Nadine

    Stop improving access into wilderness. Start being ok with charging people for wildlife interference. Lower the speed limits in known areas of wildlife use near road ways. Stop developing urban areas further into wilderness. Be ok if people are injured or killed because of their own bad behavior. Domestic animals must be raised on private land and it’s the land owners job to fence off the land to ensure protection of their herds. If they don’t then herd loss is not a problem to be solved. Wildlife grazing on private crops is the land owners situation to solve. Build higher fences. Pass the cost to consumers. Make it illegal to kill any wildlife without a hunting license specifically for food. It is not our right to be free from so called pesky animals. Start teaching that wildlife encounters are positives and not negatives. If we improve habitat for wildlife and change our attitudes we won’t perceive any encounter a conflict.

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    [-] Kent

    Start at home of course teaching your children about wildlife, but also in the school system where all teacher’s should take a hunter’s education course, and learn as much as possible about the area they live in to pass on common sense knowledge that teaches people how to avoid conflicts..

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    [-] Kyle

    What are the most effective ways to reduce wildlife-human conflicts in British Columbia?
    – Utilizing science-based management and hard data to make wildlife decisions is imperative. Decisions made on social pressures are not in the best interest of wildlife. The cancellation of the grizzly bear hunt was one additional management tool that would effectively reduce wildlife-human conflicts. Despite at times strong opposition to it, decisions on wildlife management must stem from science-based decision not emotional bias.
    – Utilizing hunter harvest as a means for predator control is a cost-effective means of managing wildlife.
    – Effective planning of communities and infrastructure to reduce the impact on wildlife. Where there are wildlife habitat and corridors are well known, plan to avoid them or at the very least develop mitigating strategies.
    – In dealing with wild sheep specifically develop an area in the province where wild sheep exist and develop a 50 km boundary around all of those areas. Within those areas, mandate compulsory testing on domestic sheep for any disease that place wild sheep at risk.

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    [-] Gary

    I couldn’t agree more.
    Hunters pay the Provincial Government for the privilege of helping to control wildlife to the carrying capacity of the environment.
    Banning hunts takes away this source of revenue and then places additional burden on Conservation Officers to deal with more resulting conflicts when they inevitably occur.

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    [-] Chad

    Education education education. And start handing out very hefty fines to people for feed wildlife such as bears and wolves. Money which could be used to start education programs

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    [-] Warren

    Hunter harvest of predators assists with wildlife management, and provides funding from license/tag fees.
    Adequate survey data can map where wildlife populations may come into conflict with any proposed development, and plan to avoid or minimize conflict.
    Wild sheep are particularly vulnerable to diseases from domestic sheep. A 50 km boundary must be set around known wild sheep habitat, in which compulsory testing of domestic sheep for disease will occur.

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    [-] Eric

    School curriculums should incorporate our natural resources as part of our province’s history, as well as how it is stilll prevalent today. Wildlife conflict education, real facts about or wildlife (not the Disney facts), and genuine interaction between a BC’s urban youth demographic and nature would raise a generation that is more connected to the outdoors, thus reducing wildlife conflict through education from a young age.

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    [-] Charlene

    I live in Cranbrook where we have had an ongoing debate around managing the resident urban deer population. We have had deer in our back yard and the surrounding greenbelt regularly for many years now. I have routinely tried to discourage their presence. I used to “sit on the fence” about the cull. No longer! I recently experienced the ferocity of a doe (who was with fawns) attacking a dog mere meters from my back door. I have no doubt the doe meant to kill the dog and it took two of us (adults) to eventually stop the attack. I have never witnessed anything so horrific! All the education in the world is not going to help any of us, especially children and the elderly, feel safe going out in our yards, going for walks, playing outside in the neighbourhood, etc. with the risk of encountering aggressive, dangerous deer. As residents and homeowners, I believe we have a right to this safety, and the municipal and provincial government have a duty to protect us!

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    [-] christopher

    Better development planning of communities to include wildlife habitat and corridors should probably include an environmental impact assessment
    Bring agriculture to the table to develop plans that support wildlife as well as agriculture being as most farms are on winter ranges
    Use hunters for predator management strategies and control
    Partner with AG on predator control

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    [-] Peter

    Wildlife conflicts are unavoidable. We “weed” our vegetable patches and we slap mosquitos. It would be great if we humans all could develop a higher level of respect, and hence tolerance, for the wildlife members of our community as they go about their daily business of trying to harvest some sustainable fair share of the environment’s resources. Education, again, is most valuable and effective—effective in reducing unreasonable fear of larger mammals (such as bears/cougars, for example), effective in reducing fear of many so-called “invasive” species, effective in fostering tolerance for fair sharing. BC’s WildSafe program could be much more effective if it were ostensibly driven by an underlying eco-centric philosophy, a philosophy that directly challenges the still-prevailing mindset that “if a plant or animal is neither useful nor a threat to me, it’s not worth my time.” WildSafe BC could be transformed into a potent mindset-altering education vehicle.

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    [-] Gary

    Ignorance of wildlife attractant problems in interface urban areas needs to be tackled urgently and forcefully. How many times have bears been shot after a bin was left out in an urban interface area?
    This must be tackled with bylaws and stiff penalties for offenders, plus education programs.
    Safe wildlife corridors are a great idea and should be applied much more widely than just on the TransCanada, what about Hwys 97 and 16? Wherever a major construction project is being undertaken, there should be a mandatory requirement to install wildlife crossing points and fencing to prevent road interactions with vehicles.

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    [-] Gary

    Public Education must be a centrepiece of any strategy to reduce Human Wildlife conflict.
    I believe that elements from the CORE program regarding Habitat Carrying Capacity, Animal identification, habitat and behaviours, supplemented with modules on urbanized wildlife and conflict avoidance should be taught to all Secondary level schoolchildren.
    I see this knowledge as a key part of the good citizenship required to live alongside the abundant nature that we have in BC. I also believe that education of this type would also go a long way to mitigate urban ignorance and complacency regarding wildlife and wild places. There are still schools in our area that offer CORE as an elective course, but I think that the fundamentals of our environment should be mandatory for all schoolkids.

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    [-] Logan

    Ecosystem restoration work to reduce forest encroachment needs to be increased. The lack of forage forces wildlife into human populated areas. By increasing forage away from populated areas the wildlife will shift back to historical patterns instead of staying in the winter ranges year round.

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    [-] Jordan

    Utilizing science-based management and hard data to make wildlife decisions is imperative. Decisions made based on social and special interest groups pressures are rarely in the best interest of wildlife. The cancellation of the grizzly bear hunt was one additional management tool that would effectively reduce wildlife-human conflicts. Despite at times strong opposition to it, decisions on wildlife management must stem from science-based decision making not emotional bias. Utilizing hunter harvest as a means for predator control assists with wildlife management and creates long-term positive benefits for conservation from funding. Effective planning of communities and infrastructure to reduce the impact on wildlife. Where wildlife habitat and corridors are well known, plan to avoid them or at the very least develop mitigating strategies.

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    [-] Ken

    $10/cubic meter of wood harvest should go straight to wildlife management.

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    [-] Amy

    Provincial legislation is needed that penalizes wildlife feeding. It is common for people in my community to feed deer and eagles, and many individuals do it to give their children an ‘up close’ experience with wildlife. This leads to more conflicts, especially when the bear come to eat what the deer left behind. Funding should go into education initiatives that communicate the problems associated wildlife feeding. Municipalities should be incentivized to provide bear-safe garbage bins. Any management strategies of animals perceived as dangerous should include education on approaches that include using livestock protection dogs like Great Pyrenees.

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    [-] Bronwen

    – Allowing wildlife, especially our most vulnerable grizzlies and caribou, to make their wide-ranging movements to find mates and feed is key. Core habitats must be protected.
    – Ensuring our roads allow wildlife movement while protecting motorists should be an important focus.
    – Education to help land-owners coexist with wildlife through attractant management and conflict reduction are important as we help wildlife populations recover.

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    [-] Evelyn

    – Allowing wildlife, especially our most vulnerable grizzlies and caribou, to make their wide-ranging movements to find mates and feed is key. Core habitats must be protected.
    – Ensuring our roads allow wildlife movement while protecting motorists should be an important focus.
    – Education to help land-owners coexist with wildlife through attractant management and conflict reduction are important as we help wildlife populations recover.

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    [-] Adam

    Highway mitigation is good public policy for everyone, and site-specific designs for local wildlife movement should be a priority. These can include underpasses, overpasses, exclusionary fencing, reduced speed limits or road design that encourages vehicles to slow down, and animal detection systems.

    Wide-ranging wildlife species – like wolves, grizzlies, caribou, lynx, even wolverines and marmots – need to be able to move the way they evolved to move, in order to find food in changing seasons and with a changing climate, and to find genetically diverse mates. Protect large core habitats, and make sure they are connected with viable movement corridors.

    There is plenty of room for more education to help residents and landowners better manage wildlife attractants, including carcass composting and fence re-design according to local needs.

    People really want localized data collection, which is fair but also requires considerable, ongoing investment. Localized data collection is often the best starting point, but there are also many co-existence strategies make sense no matter the specific rates of conflict in a given location. How many black bear deaths legitimate bear-proof garbage bins? If there are bears being killed in town because they’re getting in garbage, that should generally be reason enough.

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    [-] Heather

    Stop destroying their natural habitat. Greater fines for people interacting with wildlife in ways that will make them dependent on humans. RELOCATE animals STOP KILLING THEM!

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    [-] Tammie

    I live in a farming community, but I am not a farmer. What makes me sick is that if they see a bear, deer, coyote..etc. in their fields, they just instantly destroy the animal. I witnessed a bear being harassed and tired out by a truck chasing her down in a field. I witnessed another, mother bear being shot leaving two cubs alone, a farmer riding out on his quad just to shoot a young coyote! This is just barbaric, disgusting human behavior, and it has to stop. The most effective way to reduce wildlife-human conflict in agriculture communities is…. Farmers get drastically fined if they harm wildlife. I cannot emphasize enough, that animal rights HAVE to become the norm moving forward.

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    [-] Kat

    This is a very big topic. The bottom line, I think is respect. Environment in general and wildlife in particular are disrespected by many of us. That said, education of young people would be so valuable. Understanding that animals are sentient beings and rely on us to protect and care for them. Re: Conservation. These officers need to look carefully at the circumstances before destroying any
    wildlife. We humans are the guardians of our amazing planet. Lets do our best.
    Thank you,
    Katherine Beeson

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    [-] Frank

    bear spray for one. have better habitat on winter grounds than a farmers land compensate farmers for hay loss. shot aggressive bears wildlife fences seem to have worked in banff national bark. i think the fence could be a little lower. that’s where good science and local input would work.

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    [-] Ian

    With increased frequency of clearing of roadside undergrowth and trees to a depth of at least 10 metres on each side of EVERY highway in BC, I believe wildlife and vehicle collisions will be significantly reduced. Ministry budgets need to be increased to reflect this higher level of maintenance with the source of the necessary funds to be fuel taxes province wide.

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    [-] Bryson

    By using proper science based identification managable/huntable speicies inorder to identify possible trouble populations. Also introducing large fines for people found to be interfering with natural behavior… Such as feeding or baiting wildlife

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    [-] John

    All about education. We need to ensure that everyone understands how to respect wildlife so that incidents decrease.

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    [-] Nick

    By allowing sustainable hunting of predators, rather than limiting hunts based on non-scientific opinion (the grizz hunt closure), we will keep the populations at a healthy level to avoid an over abundance (which is typically when the issues happen based on the data for bear attacks)

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    [-] Kevin

    Fence all major routes with under/overpasses for wildlife corridors

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    [-] GREG

    THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD INCREASE THEIR EFFORT TO FACILITATE ENCOURAGE AND FUND ORGANISATIONS SUCH AS STREAM KEEPERS – PACIFIC SALMON FOUNDATION AND THE NATURE TRUST OF BC IN ACQUIRING MANAGING AND CONSERVING WILD HABITATS IN PERPETUITY

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    [-] Jennifer

    Wildlife belong to all British Columbians and our tax dollars pay to manage them. This includes activities like the conservation officer service and hunting and trapping. I’d like to see those funds also used to help protect wildlife, through rehabilitation and habitat protection.

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    [-] Bruce

    What topic covers the exponential growth of deer in residential areas including Greater Victoria?

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    [-] kathleen

    I support all the ideas in the opportunity bullets above and would like to see them all addressed. As a vegan living in a medium-sized ocean community, it appears more education and funding is needed in order to protect wild animals from human interaction. Providing funds for municipal governments and animal-awareness groups can help educate the public about the challenges we face, and about ways to protect wildlife and minimize human-wildlife conflict.

    Thank you for doing this important work!!!!

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    [-] Nick

    Safe passage is key. Many migratory species require the need to move through specific corridors and to do so freely. Insurance companies could chip in and help reduce automobile wildlife interactions.

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    [-] Joleen

    Education! Invest in educating the growing human population. Also, enforce some of the exisiting by-laws and fine the offending humans appropriately (tresspassing, feeding wildlife, hunting off season etc.). There seems to be a large disconnect from the younger generation and polically motivated/mass development minded people. Perhaps slowing down on some of these developments and intergrating more environmental curriculum to the public and private education systems will be helpful too. Also address the fact that there is a lack of services to support wildlife and habitats so proper funding here would be benificial as well.
    When buidling highways incorporate more save passage areas for the migratory animals (grassed overpasses or large unground culverts.) thus decreasing the traffic/animals accidents interactions as well as the ‘tourist photo-op’ interactions.
    Crack donw on industries that are contaminating the environment. Enforce the exisiting laws and fine them for illegal dumping of chemicals, materials and other pollutants such as exhaust smoke and noise pollution. I have witness greasy chemical swirls in some of the random creeks while hiking throughout our province over the years and it’s downright shameful. These should be pristine waters yet they are cleary not.
    Bring back more provincial campgrounds to accomodate the growning number of population who wishes to do take part in these types of activities. Clearly there is a shortage of this type of recreation spots to accomadate the growing number of people attempting to book sites. Hopefully that will reduce the amount of people just finding random areas to ‘party’ at and leave a mess from their camping and reducing the amount of attractants for the wildlife.
    I realize that all my suggestion come with a pricetag but is it not worth investing in our province’s future? The wildlife and ecosystems were in place long before we bagan developing. Humans were the factor to all/most of the environmental changes therefore it is up to us to restore balance as best we can.

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    [-] David

    Educate, but then there must always be ramifications for negative actions – see bears in the Lower Mainland / Whistler – some people will never listen and we need to have strong laws on poaching and inappropriate human behaviour which endangers wildlife (also see ocean vessel proximity to whales, photo-tourism and proximity to grizzlies, etc.)

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    [-] Graham

    More funding for officers and park rangers to be able to inform tourists about bears and to keep watch in problem areas

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    [-] Emily

    Thank you for opening up such a forum for comment. The most effective way to reduce negative human-wildlife interactions, or incidents, is to continue to partner with researchers, funding and supporting collaborative interdisciplinary work in this area. Conservation policy and wildlife management decisions MUST be based on the best available science. Most importantly, research that is interdisciplinary is very much needed, i.e. research that examines both ecological factors, such as animal behavior and population sizes, as well as social factors, such as the impact of management actions and local attitudes towards wildlife. This type of research will inform the types of ecological changes that are needed, such as larger wildlife habitat areas or improved landscape connectivity, as well as how well any conservation action will be received and responded to at the human community level.

    I would also like to echo previous comments, and encourage all proactive efforts such as education and outreach including clear signage, and using proven mitigation techniques for mitigating incidents, such as wildlife crossings, wildlife-proof garbage disposal, seasonal recreation area closures, and community-level bylaws addressing wildlife attractant management.

    Ideally, these efforts will improve human-wildlife coexistence, allowing the persistence of healthy animal populations for both their indispensable ecological roles as well as their value to human society.

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    [-] Tammie

    Instead of hiring hunters to act as conservation officers (who seem to kill every animal caught up in a human-wildlife conflict), why not hire people trained in conservation to act as officers? What if our provincial government opened their own school to share cutting edge ideas and methods to bring the best solutions to the table? We could become the leading authority of conservation and wildlife protections. Our province is so beautiful and full of promise, it’s heartbreaking when I hear about yet another bear or cougar (or whatever) shot outright as the first resort.

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    [-] John

    First and foremost, there needs to be an increase in education funding and enforcement funding. More officers, more outreach, more opportunities for landowners to learn prevention and mitigation to lessen conflict. Financial incentives to ranchers and landowners that follow protocols that mitigate conflict (range riders, electric fencing, etc).

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    [-] John

    And I agree with one of my fellow commenters, COs should be brought in from all walks of life, they should not just be hunters. For far too long our wildlife management decisions have been made by hunters and trappers with very little thought or input from all of the other users of our wildlife and wilderness and this needs to change, starting with the hiring of COs that are biologists and wildlife viewers and non-hunters to fill out the ranks.

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    [-] Tracy

    Alter road systems/planning to avoid disruption of migration routes.

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    [-] Michael

    Regulated hunting is a great way to manage wildlife populations and reduce conflicts in areas where they are likely. For example, bear and predator hunts in areas near towns and cities. BC’s biologists and wildlife managers should use hunting to help keep our wildlife populations well balanced. That way the province is bringing in money (which can be invested in management) and getting a job done at the same time, instead of the alternative which would be to have paid professionals doing the work.
    We should also be better educating people about avoiding wildlife conflicts, especially tourists. We should also increase the penalties for causing wildlife conflicts, bad garbage management for example. Finally, infrastructure and cities should be designed to help minimize conflicts

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    [-] Clayton

    More education to people. Less media disnifying wildlife and more news teaching awareness

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    [-] Sorelle

    • Economic realities of property damage caused by rabbit infestations need to be well defined with information about the segments most affected and what they are willing to do to control the issue.
    • Localized preventative measures need to be explored and control information circulated.
    • The European rabbits are city dwellers and as the feral colonies grow and spread out, so does the obvious attractant to predators. The cycles of rabbit infestation and predator conflicts need to be examined. The predators may be initially good for control, but then what controls the predators?
    • There are no safe barriers for the rabbits nor are there many options to protect landscaping and agriculture, other than to take the rabbits out of the environment.

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    [-] T.

    The deer situation inside Greater Victoria needs to be addressed. We have deer eating and defecating daily in our yard all year round. There are near misses daily between cars and deer. They are especially difficult to see at night as well as when they step out of shadows during the day. There are simply no natural predetors in town and there needs to be a significant cull of deer on the South Island (or relocation).

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    [-] karry

    Work to build a relationship that allows co-existance. Living on the North Shore we have bears wandering in our backyard, deer eating our flowers, cougars in the forests, coyotes sometimes in the parks and many owls. I see a bear in my neighborhood trails at least twice a year. There is no reason for us to not live with these animals. Promote awareness for coexistence. The BCSPCA has education session for in the classroom and for daycare to teach children about domestic animals, we need a similar program from a wildlife perspective. Start with a one hour session geared at 3-5 year olds that focuses on why wildlife is better to see from a distance, why they don’t want to encourage them to come closer. Then branch it out to older children, to teach how to respect wildlife, how live with wildlife etc.
    HUGE fines need to exist for those people that promote behavior that endangers wildlife (which in turn can endanger humans). Recently a video went viral that had two children feeding a bear cub from their patio door and later a parent gave crackers to the mother bear. This action results in a paltry $345 fine for the people. It could result in an early death for the bears…and possibly harm to a humans if the bears start looking for food in someones backyard. I am glad to see that video has now been removed.

    Understand what wildlife needs. We are the ones bringing change, not them. Information collection is key. There may even be information available from university studies, studies in Europe or from various groups such as the David Suzuki foundation etc. Understand what information exists and move from there.

    We may need to rethink how much space we humans should occupy for our residential, transport and economic needs. Wildlife habitat and migration paths need to have a priority over a development with big houses and big backyards. Wildlife habitat and migration paths need to have a priority over industry. Wildlife The question is what is valued.
    Culling of predators has not been proven to be effective. It is also often a cruel and inhumane practice. Predators are part of the natural cycle of the wild. Let me be clear in that I am speaking of predators that are also wildlife. It is rare that a human who is a hunter is called a predator but they are also predators. Hunters want more wildlife so they can hunt but they often want less wolves/bears because they impact a human’s hunting possibilities.
    Designate more protected areas and include migration paths. Development and industry must work around this.
    Continue to build overpasses/underpasses for wildlife over roadways. This was worked well for Banff National Park where there are 38 overpasses and 6 underpasses between it and Yoho National Park. It does take about 5 years for animals to get used to it but elk were using it within the first year.

    I believe that farmers are allowed to have their livestock graze on crown land without any permit. If they are on crown land and predators impact them then they should not, absolutely not, be allowed to retaliate against the predator. Crown land should promote wildlife first. Any actions against wildlife should result in significant fines and banning of use of the land.

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    [-] Andrew

    Educate the public. Higher fines for unsafe practices.

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    [-] Alison

    – Encourage municipalities to create by-laws regarding feeding of wildlife and leaving out attractants.
    – Make it a priority to ENFORCE those bylaws with stiff fines, rather than killing animals which are considered to be ‘habituated’ but which may not be agressive.
    – Maintain all existing wildlife habitat and replant forests (and rehabilitate damaged lakes and streams) to increase habitat.
    – Maintain and expand wildlife corridors so wildlife can cross highways and major roadways safely.

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    [-] Josh

    Maintain corridors for wildlife to travel through theirs seasonal ranges. Limit the grazing of domestic stock on critical winter feed. Protect wildlife from disease transfer by preventing communication between wildlife and farmed stock such as sheep and salmon. Restore wetlands and habitat within cities to support wildlife. Manage all wildlife at an consistent level to maintain species health and limit human conflict. Live more sustainably.

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    [-] Yolanda

    Provide safe passage for wildlife to move across barriers such as roads.

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    [-] Nancy

    I think when we see video or evidence of humans feeding wildlife, intervening inappropriately, hurting any animal, garbage attracting wildlife there should be a mandatory consequence whether it is a training course (online or classroom) to teach them the consequences for the animals. I would like to see less to no killings by conservation officers (what does the word conserve mean). “the deer is not crossing the road, the road is crossing the forest”. Where roadways are near wildlife in urban areas there should be speed signs of 30 kms/hr and it should become a norm that people who live near wildlife act like it is a privilege and the animals must be respected and protected. There could be a more aggressive campaign to teach the benefits of these animals and the consequences for them (such as possums eats many ticks, bats are not evil etc) and when we run over possums by accident babies may still be attached to the mother and need help. Areas where humans may come in contact with wildlife should have contact information for the local rescue area posted, so people can quickly contact someone. Humans can easily walk away from a situation when they do not know how to get help. I believe we will have to have bylaws to enforce protection of animals with fines (especially for re-offenders) and mandatory training/education for first-time offenders. I do not know if there is currently a program in elementary schools but it would be beneficial to have CO’s (once they no longer kill animals) visit schools and teach what to do and how to behave and the consequences to animals. Knowlege and respect is our greatest weapon in protecting our animals. I have heard (and seen in my neighbourhood) when local police and RCMP are called because an animal was hit by a car it took them, in my case three shots to kill the baby deer, and the story a read, four shots to kill the baby bear. So perhaps police can be taught how and where on the body to shoot an animal so they have the least amount of suffering.

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    [-] John

    The current Bear Aware Program needs to be assessed to determine its effectiveness. I believe it has been as the people seem more diligent in removing attractants.

    Agricultural conflicts mined to be addressed on an individual basis, possibly purchase of property if a critical wildlife winter range. Bait crops for bird mitigation. Fencing for animals with incentives as needed.

    Highway collisions, overpass constructed in critical migration areas, determined from analysis of vehicular incidents, in conjunction with fencing to prevent animals from entering roadways. Similar actions on railways to curb the loss of moose. These are costly programs initially however save human and wildlife lives.

    Education is critical for the public, as often the incidents of conflict are initiated by humans and or their pets interactions with wildlife. Wildlife is called wildlife for a reason, respect this and keep your distance
    Programs used by industry by having a “wildlife person “on site to ensure worker safety, is an effective program.

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    [-] Martin

    Would like to see 100% of tags and licenses to go towards the conservation of wildlife and wild places. Funds being used for science should tell use what is needed. Would like to see science based conservation for the betterment and management of BCs wildlife.

    Would very much like to see more wildlife Bridges and travel corridors to get around High fenced areas on highways instead of having there migration route blocked

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    [-] Kara

    – heavy fines for those keeping attractants accessible (chicken coops that are not electrified, fruit trees not picked, petfood left out)
    – heavy fines for farmers, ranchers, and any growers not adequately protecting livestock, etc. from predators via non-lethal means
    – increased education around non-lethal means of reducing conflicts with wildlife and enforced expectations of individuals participating in same
    – education and training of police/RCMP to tranquilize predators instead of killing them; with increased communication between police and wildlife rehabbers on how to handle conflicts and how to safely remove wildlife from potentially harmful situations

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    [-] Leeanne

    Learn to respect and be calm and give way to wildlife. Charlie Russell literature should be read by all and endorsed by CO’s
    More ticketing of people for garbage and other food issues, like fruit attractants need to be issued. I’m sure all us in the province would be willing to pay more taxes to keep our wildlife safe. Hirer more conservation officers and ones that aren’t solely hunters

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    [-] Vickie

    Human wildlife conflicts are only going to continue to happen and even increase in frequency. Having the grizzly hunt stopped is just one example of a less than intelligent decision that was made based on emotional and politics instead of the hard facts of science. Going forward. It making ridiculous decisions like that and even reversing ones that have been previously made should help with decreasing human wildlife conflicts.

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    [-] Scott

    We should expect more human-wildlife conflicts because there are more bears and more people, as well as more people accessing the backcountry. Therefore, good programs such as WildSafeBC should be utilized and expanded upon to ensure British Columbians are aware of the role they play in keeping wildlife wild and their communities safe. Where appropriate, hunting can be a valuable tool for managing wildlife populations and British Columbians should be educated about the role hunters and anglers play for the benefit of all.

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    [-] David

    Invest in public education.

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    [-] Jefferson

    Do away with this current reactive COS ‘model’ that enables “food conditioning” (especially bears), and ensures wildlife conflict. Add/amend legislation, for emphasis on proactive, preventative Sections of the BC Wildlife Act (e.g. amend Section 33.1 to include offences for ‘indirect feeding’ of ‘dangerous wildlife’ with non-natural attractants (garbage, fruit trees, etc.)) with definitive (concrete) enforceable repercussions (monetary penalties and/or non-natural attractants removed). Law must be inclusive of all human behaviour, as bears (‘dangerous wildlife’) don’t distinguish between separate titles/labels e.g. ‘farmers’, ‘ranchers’, ‘lawyers’, ‘bus drivers’, etc.; nor do bears care what ethnicity provides illegal non-natural, mismanaged/unprotected attractants.
    Education in the form of Community outreach components for elementary and middle school student engagement. COS message regarding responsible ‘attractant management’ for respectful (legal) coexistence, Community safety and betterment for all (see ‘Recycling’ model).

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    [-] Karen

    I would like to see a commitment to building more overpassses for animals to cross busy highways.
    There’s still a need for more information about not attracting wildlife into people’s yards. Fines should be given for luring wildlife by not using correct waste disposal or carelessness .
    I would like to stop all hunting of animals. I feel sick and disgusted when I see or read about someone bragging about an animal head on their wall.

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    [-] Andrea

    Make it easier for people to store trash if they don’t have a garage/shed, like neighborhood bear proof trash cans. Increase penalties for feeding/approaching wildlife, especially in National Parks like Jasper and Banff. I like Lee’s comment regarding terminology “human-wildlife coexistence” vs conflict.

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    [-] Bruce

    Encourage individual and community prevention and mitigation of human-wildlife conflicts by providing incentives and disincentives.

    in the past 10 years, Greater Victoria is becoming overrun with deer in our residential areas. Some residential homes now have 5-10 deer daily, many with ticks.

    People are beginning to ignore municipal bylaws that limit front fence height and are putting up 6 ft to 8 ft fences and gates to keep the deer out. This is growing exponentially over the past several months.

    The deer issue has been analyzed for over 25 years. Vancouver island is about 95% rural which is a great location for deer. They should not be in our cities. 5-10 years ago they were not on our streets. Now they are starting to become herds on some properties. There are 10s if not hundreds of studies/reports/recommendations.

    This is just wrong. It is very very bad for wildlife-human interaction and needs the province to actually step up and work with the municipalities that have been continually expressing concern.

    More and more deer, humans and pets are getting hurt. The province and the regional districts need to Step-up.

    We need deer control now. Follow Oak Bay’s lead. There is new tech that provides $100 trackers for deer. Mark them all and get them either removed or contraceptives (UVic – 5 year version). Step up.

    Step-up

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    [-] Bruce

    We need deer management in our cities. We need deer tracking ($100/deer), and deer contraceptives or deer relocation.

    There are now herds of 5-10 deer (some with ticks – perhaps disease) on some properties in the middle of dense residential housing areas. This is just wrong.

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