The Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP) shows wildlife encounters in Victoria, B.C. (Google Maps/warp.wildsafebc.com)

Bear from Fort St. James accidentally reported in Victoria

Location of bear highlights perks and challenges of interactive wildlife website

A bear that appeared to be visiting Victoria from Fort St. James highlights both the perks and challenges of an interactive website that plots wildlife encounters in B.C.

A browse through the Victoria-area using the Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP), found expected results – a plethora of deer and the occasional bear and cougar – and the surprise guest from northern B.C.

The service, provided by WildSafeBC, uses daily data from the Conservation Officer Service as well as self-reported sightings by the public, to show on a map where wildlife is interacting with people.

ALSO READ: New app to help B.C.’s wildlife warriors

“That’s the challenge that we have. A spelling mistake can cause an error in the data and we can’t verify each individual sighting,” said Frank Ritcey, senior provincial WildSafeBC coordinator. “But the real value in this service is seeing trends over time. We can see if there is an increase in wildlife encounters in certain areas over the years, or find areas where garbage as an attractant is a big problem.”

Garbage is the number one attractant cited in reports to the Conservation Officer Service hotline.

RELATED: Greater Victoria not out of the woods when it comes to bear safety

The site allows the public to search an area based on time frame, species, encounter type and more. They can also sign up to get alerts whenever bears, cougars or other wildlife are seen in their area.

By clicking on the animal icons on the map, users can see if there was a suspected attractant involved in the reported sightings – whether that be garbage, livestock, pets or otherwise.

The resource is also rich with information on wildlife and provides suggestions on how to live in harmony with different species.

RELATED: Dog walker injured by bear at Matheson Lake in Metchosin

So far over 750,000 alerts have been sent out to the 1,000 users who have registered and chosen to receive alerts, according to Ritcey. The site does not require people to register, with Ritcey estimating the total users since its inception in 2012 to be around 10,000.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

The Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP) shows the surprise visitor from Fort St. James. (Google Maps/warp.wildsafebc.com)

Just Posted

Stolen truck involved in fatal collision on Highway 16

Wednesday’s two-vehicle crash killed one man, 23, and injured two others

Local company Northern Homecraft wins big at Northern B.C. awards

Vanderhoof company won in two categories for homes built in Fort St. James area

Column: the 4-H way of life

Local 4-H member Jacinta Meir on what being a member means to her

2018 marks 100 years since the end of World War I

Quesnel legion’s historian Doug Carey documents some of the atrocities of WWI

Conifex announces a temporary curtailment in operations at Fort St. James mill

Between 180 and 200 people will be affected by the curtailment for at least four weeks

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

If the extra official sees an illegal blow that has not already been flagged, they will advise the head referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

Feds respond to sexual assault investigation at B.C. naval base

Report of Oct. 5 sexual assault on Vancouver Island base taken over by Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

Most Read