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

Oil tanker ban to be reviewed by committee

Indigenous groups for and against Bill C-48 travel to Ottawa to influence the Senate’s decision

Nuslhiixwta – A Place of Treasures – celebrates new name

After months of thought and deliberation, Healthy Beginnings now has a new name.

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

‘Naive approach’ to China at fault in Meng mess: Scheer

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called on the Trudeau government to “unequivocally denounce any type of repercussions to Canadians on foreign soil.”

Omar Khadr ‘a model of compliance,’ wants changes to bail conditions: lawyer

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr is back in court today to seek changes to bail conditions.

B.C. businesses evacuated due to emailed bomb threat, also received in U.S.

Penticton and Comox Valley businesses evacuated Thursday morning

B.C. man linked to human remains probe gets absolute discharge on unrelated mischief count

Curtis Sagmoen was in Vernon Law Courts Dec. 13 for a mischief trial

Supreme Court upholds Canada’s right to reargue facts in assisted-dying case

Julia Lamb and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association are spearheading a challenge of the law

B.C. company facing several charges in 2017 chicken abuse case

CFIA investigation leads to 38 charges against Elite Farm Services and Ontario-based Sofina Foods

Woman forcibly confined, sexually assaulted between Creston and Cranbrook

The suspect forced the woman into her vehicle before driving along Highway 3

‘I thought I was dead as soon as I saw the gun’

Keremeos gas station attendant tells story about man with gun coming to store

Most Read