Wildlife


Grizzly Bear Photo

The authors of the Scientific Review of Grizzly Bear Harvest Management System in B.C. found that the Province has a high level of rigour and adequate safeguards in place to ensure the long-term stability of grizzly populations. The report was prepared by a panel of three respected wildlife biologists, one two from the University of Alberta and one from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, all leaders in the field of grizzly bear research and conservation.

The report includes 51 recommendations aimed at enhancing habitat protection, population inventory, access and harvest management, and increasing public consultation. Wildlife staff are updating the grizzly bear harvest management procedure to address some of the recommendations, while others require additional analysis.

Read the full report at: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/wildlife/management-issues/docs/grizzly-bear-harvest-management-2016.pdf

 

The Gorley report has been released after Mr. Al Gorley travelled the Province talking to stakeholders and First Nations. The BC Wildlife Federation was highly involved in the process. The Province is acting on all 21 recommendations in the report. Some of the immediate actions taken include:

  • Reducing the number of limited-entry hunts for moose cows and calves from 1,792 in 2011 to 200 in 2016.
  • Preparing moose management plans for the Peace, Omineca and Cariboo regions.
  • Using existing tools to increase habitat protection.
  • Expanding moose survey work planned for this winter to include calf mortality.

Read More

BC Moose Tracker App Logo

B.C. Moose Tracker is an official Government of British Columbia app that allows hunters to play an important part in moose conservation and management.

The app, available through iTunes, lets users upload information on the number, sex and location of moose they encounter in the wild directly to a province-wide database. The collected data helps monitor moose populations and alert wildlife staff to emerging issues.

The app supports the government’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the provincial moose management strategy through the modernization of licensing, inventory and research methods.

As an added bonus, the app includes a digital version of 2016-2018 Hunting & Trapping Regulations Synopsis.  It’s an indispensable, searchable summary of hunting seasons and regulations throughout B.C. – including interactive maps.

The Province developed B.C. Moose Tracker in consultation with the B.C. Wildlife Federation and with the financial support of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch , iOS 7.0 or later.

Download the app from iTunes

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Cow and calf moose showing signs of tick infestation.

Some of you will have participated in the “citizen science” effort over the last couple of years by using your phone to submit sightings of moose and recording the condition of the moose with respect to signs of ticks.

The study indicates that a large percentage of moose in our area suffer from tick infestations.

Michael Bridger, one of our local government fish and wildlife biologists led the study for the provincial Ministry of Forests, Land, and Natural Resources. He said though the ticks are not always fatal, they can cause severe problems.

CBC Article.

A presentation by Christopher Addison, Director of Resource Management, and Mike Bridger, Regional Wildlife Biologist, presented at the Backcountry Sheep Hunting Seminar.

Topics

  1. Population and Harvest Numbers
  2. Stone’s Sheep Management
  3. How can Hunters Help?
  4. Ageing Sheep

BackCountry_Sheep_Seminar_Bridger

March 19, 2016 Moose Management Open Meeting

 

Peace-Liard Moose Management Pan (PLMMP) – Raychl Lukie is the Project Manager of the PLMMP for FLNRO, but Chris Addison, Director of Resource Operations was at the club to do the presentation.

Peace-Liard Moose Management Plan Scope

The PLMMP process started because there was a need to rethink moose management, which had been mostly lacking in recent times in the Peace-Liard. This fact, a request from Treaty 8 to talk about moose management, and the existence of a Wildlife Collaborative Management Agreement with several first nations got the process started. The initial process deliberately involved only government and First Nations with the exclusion of other stakeholders.

Chris Addison estimates that the annual moose harvest in the region is about 4000 and is split about equally between licensed hunters and First Nations. There is an estimate of 50,000 moose across the region, so a harvest of 4,000 is not seen as an issue. Most of the First Nations harvest occurs outside of the season set by the hunting regulations for licensed hunters. The tracking and reporting of First Nations harvest was brought up in the discussions, but there is no agreement to do that. We indicated that is was time for First Nations, Government and other stakeholders to be at the table at the same time. Chris Addison committed to approaching First Nations about that and suggested that an event at the club might be a good way to start things off.

The population target ratios for moose are 30 bulls/100 cows and 30 calves/100 cows.

First nations generally support predator management (especially wolves).

Main Components of the PLMMP

  • Determine and population objective for moose by game management zones
  • Habitat Management – there has been some maintenance and protection recently, but no focus on increasing suitable habitat. The goal is to also do the later.
  • Moose Health Assessment – monitoring for winter ticks, other diseases, or conditions that might be association with industrial activity.
  • Tracking moose movement and habitat use.
  • Tracking interactions with caribou and predators
  • Inventory, including investigating links to cumulative effects
  • Predator Management

A question was asked if there was sufficient funding and staffing at this time to make all this happen and the answer was NO.

Timeline:

  • April/May 2016 – Draft PLMMP
  • May – consultation
  • July – revised draft
  • August – final draft
  • September – plan approval and implementation
Town Hall Meeting

A Large Crowd Hears the BCWF’s Jesse Zeman Speak on Provincial Fish and Wildlife Issues

A crowd of around 300 gun club members and interested public attended our public meeting on local issues including threatened access related to potential transfer of land titles to First Nations as part of a compensation package for Site C. Other issues that were discussed were lack of transparency in government, land disturbances in the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area, and moose management. Jesse Zeman of the BC Wildlife Federation also provided a overview of fish and wildlife issues at the provincial level.

Pat Pimm, our local MLA from the North Peace was in attendance and fielded questions from the crowd and pledged that government was responding to the issues by guarantying access to the backcountry, being more transparent, and developing a provincial moose enhancement strategy. Pat indicated that he has had multiple meetings within government bringing forth our and his concerns. He also said that Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Rustad was working on a stakeholder consultation strategy that would be area based and everyone including ranchers would be involved.

Mike Bernier, Minister of Education, from Dawson Creek, Katrine Conroy, NDP MLA from Kooetany-West, and Karen Goodings and Brad Sperling from the Peace River Regional District were also in attendance.

Check back for further updates.

Related Information:

Backgrounder

Google Map showing land earmarked by government for First Nations considerations.

Letter to Ministers Thomson and Rustad on the Peace Moberly Tract Regulation Proposal

Crown land quietly offered to First Nations in return for Site C dam site – Mark Hume Globe and Mail

Rod and Gun Club fears Site C land transfers could cut off backcountry access – Jonny Wakefield Alaska Highway News

North Peace Rod and Gun Club to hold forum on governmental hunting regulations – CJDC TV

Bennett admits ‘legitimate criticisms’ of Site C land transfers – Jonny Wakefield Alaska Highway News

Rod & Gun Club to host public forum at Pomeroy hotel – Montana Cummings Energetic City dot CA

North Peace Rod and Gun Club host public forum – Hugh Smith CJDC TV

Gerry Paille’s Presentation Slides

Jesse Zeman’s Presentation Slides

 

 

When: Saturday, March 19, 2016 1:00 PM

Where: North Peace Rod and Gun Club Charlie Lake

Presenter: Chris Addison, Director Resource Operations, FLNRO

The BC Government, along with local First Nations, has been working on a regional moose management plan. Chris Addison will give us an update on the process and outcomes to date.

Update: There is now a mobile app available for submitting surveys — read on.

The BC Wildlife Health Program is looking for help from wildlife professionals and the public with observations of hair loss caused by “Winter Ticks” on moose throughout the province.  The Moose Winter Tick Surveillance Program wants to collect observations to monitor the number of animals with hair loss and the amount of hair loss on each animal to estimate winter tick prevalence and distribution.  This program will occur on an annual basis.  Winter ticks are a significant parasite for moose populations and can contribute to moose declines in parts of their range, including BC. So, it is an important health factor to monitor, particularly with climate change and alterations to moose habitat.  The findings of the surveillance program will contribute to the Provincial Moose Research Program, which was initiated in 2013 to investigate factors influencing moose populations in BC.  This is the second year of the program; last year we received 361 reports of moose from across the province.

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The Peace area public wildlife count will take place on January 30 or 31, 2016

If you have an interest in wildlife, we are looking for volunteers to collect data on trends in population size and location of deer, elk and moose. The information will be used to help inform management decisions. There are prizes for participation.

More information.

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