Michael Proctor

Trans-border Grizzly Bear Project
We have been researching conservation issues and implementing a comprehensive program to improve inter-mountain connectivity by reducing human bear conflicts (HBC) for over a decade in the trans-border region of southern Canada and NW USA across several small fragmented threatened grizzly bear populations. We found HBC significantly contributed to their threatened status by causing population declines, fragmentation, and decreased habitat effectiveness. Monitoring has found clear evidence that our efforts to reduce HBCs have resulted in reduced mortality, increased connectivity, and improved habitat effectiveness resulting in increased reproduction and survival and improved conservation status. Our program includes strategic private land purchases to reduce human densities in wildlife corridors, efforts to secure bear attractants where human settlement and agriculture exists, and non-lethal management of conflict bears and more. Attractant management includes cost-share electric fencing and other techniques, bear resistant garbage containers, and deadstock containment. We teach bear safety courses and bear spray training to increase tolerance and give people tools to avoid dangerous encounters with bears. We radio collared and used non-lethal management on potential conflict bears and have a ~85% success rate on females. We identified the most important backcountry foraging habitats for protection with motorized access controls to reduce conflicts and mortality and provide habitat security to reproductive females. The composite effects of working across these arenas has resulted in a significant reduction in human-caused mortality and increased connectivity, habitat effectiveness, and reproduction resulting in an improved conservations status of several now-recovering threatened populations. We discuss links to private, public, and protected lands in relation to the larger landscape from Yellowstone Ecosystem to the Yukon.

My Speakers Sessions

Tuesday, December 4