LIVING WITH WILDLIFE: BEARS, COUGARS & COYOTES
Squamish is both a seaside and a mountain community. We are surrounded by the Coast Range Mountains, have an extensive estuary and are situated within the floodplains of five major river systems. Clear cut blocks in conjunction with fields, wetlands, estuaries, marine beach habitat, salmon bearing streams and copious fruit bearing trees all provide seasonal food for wildlife. Simply put, Squamish is situated in prime wildlife country.
Bear Smart Community
The District of Squamish initiated the Bear Aware/Bear Smart Program in 2004 in response to a high number of human-bear conflicts where 27 bears were destroyed. The objective of the Bear Aware Program is to reduce human-bear conflicts within communities through education, co-operation, and innovation. In 2013, the Bear Aware Program was replaced with what is now, the WildSafeBC Program. WildSafeBC concentrates efforts on reducing conflicts between humans and wildlife with the overall goal of keeping wildlife wild and communities safe.
On September 25th 2010, the District of Squamish was the second community in BC to receive Bear Smart Accreditation from the Ministry of Environment.
Wildlife frequently feed alongside the highway or roadways. They will often cross these roadways in pursuit of food sources, motorists and cyclists should be alert at all times and anticipate wildlife. Never stop to view, photograph or feed wildlife. Slowing or stopping to view wildlife on the side of the road creates a hazard for other drivers and habituates wildlife to human presence. It is important for the safety of all, to keep wildlife wary of humans and vehicles.
Please report injured wildlife or wildlife sightings and/or encounters to the BC Conservation Officer Service 24/ hotline at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP).
The District of Squamish in partnership with the BC Conservation Officer Service provides wildlife email alerts when there is an increase in the potential for public safety concerns. Sign up for wildlife alerts.