October 24, 2017
Vancouver, BC -- The Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Recovery Initiative applauds the newly released report from the BC Auditor General’s Office on grizzly bear management in BC, as it accurately highlights the most significant threats facing the province’s grizzly bears. Coast to Cascades has long advocated for recovery planning for BC’s most at-risk grizzlies, and fully supports the Auditor General’s recommendation to work on recovering threatened populations of grizzlies.
“We welcome the recommendations from this report, and we are also encouraged by the province’s response to the recommendations and their stated commitment to improving grizzly bear habitat” says Johnny Mikes, Coast to Cascades Field Director.
“However, time is of the essence for some populations. The province needs to prioritize developing and implementing recovery actions for the most at-risk populations immediately, or we risk losing them from the landscape,” he adds.
As confirmed in the Auditor General’s report, the greatest threat to grizzly bear populations is habitat degradation caused by human activities, including an ever-expanding network of resource roads. Last year, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared three of the six grizzly bear populations in southwest BC as critically endangered, out of only eleven populations in the world to receive that status.
“Strong and immediate measures to reduce incidental mortality, increase connectivity between populations, and safeguard important habitat for grizzlies must be integral components in the province’s approach to recovery,” says Mikes. “We look forward to working with the province, First Nations and other stakeholders to ensure these are prioritized to help the most at-risk populations in a timely manner.”
The Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative was formed in 2013 to help ensure the survival of threatened grizzly bear populations in southwest BC where recovery to self-sustaining numbers is supported by a broad range of local governments, First Nations and non-profit organizations.
- 30 -
Johnny Mikes, Field Director
Take action to help protect the grizzlies of southwest BC.