Grizzly bear populations near Vancouver, B.C.

Recent observation of a grizzly in the Pitt River, a reason for hope-

One look at the forested, very scenic, and deep mountains around busy Vancouver, British Columbia and you would think the woods might be full of grizzly bears. It isn’t true, especially close to Vancouver.  The Garibaldi-Pitt grizzly bear population unit (GBPU) and the North Cascades GBPU are the most depleted (number of bears compared to available habitat).  The farther you get from Vancouver (with the exception of the busy Okanagan area) the more grizzly there are compared to what the country could support.

Not surprisingly the country where the big bears do best is generally the north half of the Province, but with healthy populations extending down the Coast Range as long as they don’t get within a couple hundred miles of Vancouver or within about a hundred miles of the U.S. border. One nice exception here is the Flathead GBPU, just north of America’s Glacier National Park and west of Canada’s Waterton National Park. Here they are at about 70% of the habitat’s population capacity.

With these facts in mind, the appearance the appearance of a well fed adult grizzly, feasting on salmon in the upper Pitt River about 12 miles north of Pitt Lake and not far from Vancouver is good news. Story in the Vancouver Sun. The surprising return of the Pitt River grizzly.   By Jeff Gailus.

2008 on  B.C. grizzly population data (official B. C. government)





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  1. CodyCoyote Avatar

    By contrast, the number of grizzlies in the Canadian Rockies province of Alberta has always seemed quite low to me , given the immense size of the territory and seemingly good habitat available. Check out the maps. Yet there are way more grizzly in Yellowstone than Alberta presently. Whereas BC on the west side of the Continental Divide has , what , maybe 10,000 grizzly ?

    Meanwhile, Vancouver Island has the densest population of Cougars anywhere, even more than Wyoming. Talk about an ” land population”.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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