Sometime early April 2020, a black bear woke from hibernation on Cortes Island and wandered down from Green Mountain into Larsen’s Meadow, feeding on a bounty of spring food to appease a mighty appetite.
While we have witnessed the increasing presence of black bears on Cortes during the fall months over the last few years, we have not been as aware of their possible year-round presence.
In a recent phone call to Sergeant Mike Newton, North Vancouver Island Conservation Officer Service (COS) responsible for Cortes Island, Mike said, “Cortes Island IS black bear country.” Together we discussed the Cortes community’s exemplary work, to date, towards reducing conflict with our local population of wild wolves and so inspired, we drafted a bear primer modeled on our wolf primer. Five points of critical information to bring us onto the “bear smart” page, in the good company of the rest of the province of British Columbia! Shelley Marshall, BC’s senior wildlife biologist, cast her professional eye to the primer, contributing valuable edits.
We ask the Cortes community to make itself familiar with this new bear primer, which is now posted throughout the community at public bulletin boards; a copy of which is attached below for everyone’s reference. Thank you.
Wildsafe BC is a provincial organization mandated to educate the BC public on wildlife coexistence; their mantra is, “Keeping wildlife wild and communities safe.” COMPREHENSIVE information on black bears can be found on their website at www.wildsafebc.com/black-bear/
, which complements our bear primer by providing the necessary detail to explain the who, what, where, when, why and how of the 5 points of critical information summarized into actions in the primer.
The new bear primer will also be posted on the Friends of Cortes Island Society (FOCI) website www.friendsofcortes.org
, where updates wrt local information and possible future workshops in wildlife coexistence will be posted.
Thanks to this spring bear, the day dedicated to “bear smarts” at our Cortes Island Wildlife Conference (originally scheduled May 8,9,10 2020; rescheduled spring 2021) has proceeded… right on schedule!!!
Please continue to report routine sightings of black bear and wolves to FOCI at 250 935 0087 or friendsofcortesgmail.com. FOCI is engaged in research to identify wildlife corridors across the Cortes Island landscape, to enhance wildlife coexistence.
Encounters of concern are to be reported directly to the COS at 1 877 952 RAPP (7277).