A series of bear sightings and other activity in the Laburnum-Jones roads area and around the Qualicum Beach airport, have prompted the town to ask residents to be bear aware.
There have been 15 reports of bear activity in the town since April 1, many of which involve bears getting into household garbage and going after bird feeders. The town is asking people to control or remove these easy sources of food.
“Our goal is to reduce the occurrence of human-wildlife conflict in Qualicum Beach in order to increase public safety,” said Mark Brown.
“To help achieve this we are doing our part and asking that residents and visitors continue to practice bear smart behaviour,” continued Brown, the town’s chief administrative officer.
To help reduce the problem of human-bear conflicts, the town has commissioned a Bear Hazard Assessment Report that looks at habitat use by bears particular to the area, human causes of negative interactions with bears, high conflict areas within the community, and what is required for change.
This report is being completed with assistance from students in the Vancouver Island University’s Resource Management Officer Technology Program. Findings from the report will be shared with the community when received by council.
In addition, staff will be posting signage at local trail heads and parks where bear activity has been noted and a public education display will be posted in the Town Hall lobby illustrating practical actions that residents can take to minimize bear encounters on their property.
Bear Smart Community Program consultant Crystal McMillan, author of the Qualicum Beach Bear Hazard Assessment, notes that bear attractants such as bird feeders play a large role in the majority of recent Qualicum Beach incidents.