Record number of grizzly bears were killed in British Columbia last year. By Mark Hume. The Globe and Mail.

Usually about 300 grizzlies are taken. In 2007 it was 430. Is this sustainable?

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Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

8 Responses to Record number of grizzly bears were killed in British Columbia last year

  1. avatar vicki says:

    While I find that number high, I am astonished at how people cry “bear” here, with less than a thousand in the GYE. Yet, they have 17000 in BC. And there is an outcry over @430. It really makes you see the lack of a scientific basis for the bear hysteria here.

  2. avatar Linda Hunter says:

    Vicki I don’t think anyone had found a good way to count bears yet. In Alaska the number is supposed to be around 30,000 bears. One area I know well was supposed to have 780 bears by an extrapolated count. Some student scientists watched a salmon feeding area where the bears for that area congregated for 24 hours for two summer seasons and counted a total of about 60 different bears. Accounting for some error on both parts, it is still a huge difference. If you extrapolate that difference statewide, there could be a huge error in the count. A number of animals killed can be really serious if the population estimates are off, and so far, the way to count bears is by guess and by golly in whatever habitat they might use.

  3. avatar Ryan says:

    I fail to see a problem here, by population estimates roughly 2.5 % of the population was harvested if that. I would bet that there are way more than 17000 bears in BC anyways. Its truly hard to comprehend how big BC is..

  4. avatar Ryan says:

    Linda,

    There are much better ways to count bears than watching 1 feeding stream. Not all bears in AK gravitate towards salmon and or 1 specific location. In 1 drainiage on the kenai peninsula I saw 19 different bears in a 3 day time span, over a summer of fishing there I would venture to say that I saw 30 different bears. Now the population estimates for the whole peninsula is less than 400 bears which is a huge underestimate IMHO as I have seen over a 100 in the many years I have been there. In the inhabitated areas of the Peninsula (less a 15% total land area) there are over 20 problem bears killed a year with no decrease in population and no hunting season.

  5. BC is huge and it’s great, but the number of grizzlies needs more than an a seat-of-pants guess if you are going to set a proper hunting season

  6. avatar Ryan says:

    Ralph,
    How would you propose doing the population survey in a cost efficient method?

    Also please send me an email I have another issue you should be looking into.

  7. avatar Linda Hunter says:

    Ryan you don’t know the area I was refering to. Have you ever followed one bear around for a few days in the summer? It is sort of like following women around a shoppiing mall. . they all go by the chocolate store at least once. And it is just because there is no fool proof way to count bears that it is important to realize that it is possible that there are not enough bears to sustain what seems like on the surface a small killing rate. Your 30 bears may be the only bears as it is just an assumption on your part that 30 bears you see mean there are more.

  8. avatar Dennis says:

    Regardless of the actual population (which is most likely less then stated) people really need to remember that hunting only accounts for part of bear deaths. Besides hunting hundreds of bears die every year from poaching, accidents, as problem bears, diseases, etc.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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