2016 has been a busy year for the Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative. It saw several public events to discuss grizzly conservation strategies, an increase in our outreach and public education efforts and a strengthening of our relationship with local First Nations. We have been very heartened to see the broad support for grizzly bear recovery across Southwest BC.
If you had been travelling through what is now the American West 300 years ago, you would have had to share the land with thousands of grizzly bears. At one time the area was home to over 50 000 bears, with a range that extended all the way into Northern Mexico. Now there are around 2000 grizzly bears in the lower 48 states, occupying around 3% of their original range.
While we may think of the grizzly bear as an iconic BC species, it’s found around the world. In fact it has the third largest natural distribution of any mammal (after wolves and humans). Grizzly bears (or brown bears as they’re called outside North America) are found across Russia, Northeast Asia, Europe and the Middle East.