Urban Wildlife Series Highlight 1: WildSafeBC
Welcome to the first highlight post of our CWHC Urban Wildlife series! Today we write about WildSafeBC!
Delivered by the BC Conservation Foundation, the WildSafeBC program evolved out of a need to build on the province’s Bear Aware program to address human conflict with many species of wildlife in addition to bears.
The program’s motto is “keeping wildlife wild and communities safe“. One of their main foci is on community outreach and education, some of which is carried out via community coordinators stationed in the communities themselves. The coordinators work with the public to promote safety and address issues that could be causing issues with wildlife in the area. Activities carried out by the coordinators may include patrolling residential areas during certain times to monitor and inform people about bear activity in the area, teaching people how to construct effective barriers to keep wildlife away from attractants, and tagging garbage bins to educate people about proper waste storage.
In addition to their community outreach and education components, WildSafeBC also has a huge amount of information on their website that anyone can take advantage of! From bears, to rattlesnakes, to cougars, the website provides species-specific information on how to handle encounters and minimize the risk of conflict at home, work, and in recreation.
Another major component of their website is the Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP). This is a fantastic resource that allows users to report and receive information on wildlife sightings or encounters. There is an interactive map that is updated every 24 hours, showing the location, date and time of encounter, as well as information on the species, the nature of the encounter, and any attractants involved. Users can sign up to receive email alerts for specific areas. The information on the WARP webpage can also be provided in any language supported by Google Translate.
So when you ask, “What can I do about wildlife-human conflict?”, the answer is: Be educated! By educating yourself using resources like these, and taking steps toward reducing the likelihood of negative wildlife encounters in your area, you help protect the health and safety of not only yourself, your family, and your pets, but also the wildlife you share your environment with.
To learn more about the WildSafeBC program, visit their website: https://wildsafebc.com/
Submitted by CWHC National Office