How to Report a Sighting
Records of grizzly bear sightings help us better understand and conserve BC grizzly bears. We need your eyes in the field! On your outings, did you see a grizzly bear or grizzly bear sign (track, scat, scratchings) in the North Cascades, near the Garibaldi-Pitt River, Clear Range, or Stein-Nahatlatch Valleys and Texas Creek? If so, use the hotline; let researchers know. See more about Grizzly Bear Tracks.
Have you seen a grizzly bear? Report your sighting!
Use the hotline:
Because grizzly bears are extremely rare in southwestern BC, every grizzly bear observation is important. So is quick reporting. Observations made while you are recreating are vital for monitoring this important keystone species.
How to Tell the Difference
Grizzly bears have a prominent shoulder hump (black bears, none), short rounded ears (black bears, tall ears), and dished face profile (black bear, straight profile). Color and size can be misleading. Learning basic bear ID before you get outside helps you recognize the foremost differences between grizzly bears and their black bear cousins. Also, remember that in these areas, black bears are much more common than grizzly bears, by a factor of 1000 to 1.
Document Your Report
- If you come across grizzly bear tracks, be careful not to disturb them.
- Photograph the track alongside a small ruler or an object, like a Swiss-army blade, of known dimensions.
- Protect the tracks by covering them with light branches or other material and/or a bucket or tarp weighed down at the corners. (Rain, wind, sun, or snow can quickly destroy tracks, leaving biologists nothing to see on their follow-up visit.)
- Record the specific location (a handheld GPS or a GPS on an iPhone are ideal) so that a biologist can return to verify them.
- If you see rare wildlife, such as wolverines, please consider reporting these sightings.
Information You Should Provide
- Please be as specific as possible about the time and location of the observation.
- What exactly did you see (e.g., a single bear, a family group, a grizzly bear plant dig)?
- What made you think that what you saw was a grizzly bear and not a black bear?
- Very important: Let us know if you took photographs or measurements. If so, email them to us.
- At the hotline, 1-855-GO-GRIZZ, please record your full name, phone number, and email address so we can contact you again.
BC Poaching Hotline: Report a Poacher/Polluter (RAPP)
If you have information pertaining to an illegal wildlife related activity in BC, particularly that related to grizzly bears, please call the RAPP line and give as much detailed information as possible specific to the event.
Thank you for reporting your grizzly bear sightings!
Do you know how to prevent unwanted interactions with bears? Check out the Get Bear Smart Society for more information.