A Port Moody resident is facing a $230 fine for leaving tuna, hot dogs and pet food on their property in violation of the BC Wildlife Act.
Those attractants can draw animals including bears and coyotes into residential areas, increasing the likelihood of conflict, noted a statement from the B.C. Conservation Officer Service. The fine was announced amid reports of increasing coyote encounters in Port Moody.
Between May 2 and May 9, the Wildlife Alert Reporting Program has received reports of one moose and three coyotes in the area east of Glenayre Drive and north of Clarke Road, one coyote which was judged to be “aggressive.”
Coquitlam/Port Coquitlam bear sightings
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Conservation officers have also received multiple sightings of bears in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam, some of which were categorized as “food conditioned” animals in search of garbage.
In Coquitlam, failure to secure garbage can result in a $500 fine.
It’s important to report wildlife sightings, emphasized Tri-Cities Bear Aware Community Group member Judy Taylor-Atkinson.
Reports of bear sightings can lead to increased scrutiny from bylaw departments and the improved management of attractants like garbage and fruit trees. When the system works, it leads to better outcomes for both humans and bears, Taylor-Atkinson said during an interview with the Dispatch earlier this spring.
“We’re beginning to see that the data is proving that the feedback loop works and that we are recording less bear-human interactions,” Taylor-Atkinson explained. “The foundation is the sightings being reported, even if you think that they don’t need to be reported or that they don’t indicate anything . . . it actually has relevance.”
The reporting tool is increasingly important as climate change makes the behaviour of bears harder to predict, Taylor-Atkinson said.
“There’s so many anomalies that it’s going to take a while to try to figure out how it’s affecting migratory patterns,” Taylor-Atkinson, noting both berry crops and salmon returns are being disrupted by climate change.
Sightings of bears in residential areas can be reported through this online form.
Aggressive or threatening bears can be reported by calling 1 877 952-7277.
Related: ‘Life and death decisions’ Animal rights organization calls for measures to protect young bears