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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Just Posted

Gabriel Klein’s sentencing delayed until September

Man convicted of killing Abbotsford high school student Letisha Reimer was set for June

Abbotsford Quilters’ Guild recognized for support of young-parent program

Group a recipient of Partnership Award from B.C. Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association

New book details 1893 murder in Abbotsford and 2 trials that followed

Farmer John Marshall was found dead on his Sumas Prairie property

Abbotsford Police Department’s public service counter reopens

Some modified protocols in place for the public due to COVID-19

VIDEO: Abbotsford Time Lapse 2020

YouTube user posts video showing time lapse of several Abbotsford locations

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

B.C. man with Alberta plates gets car keyed and aggressive note

Some out-of-province people are finding hostile reception due to COVID-19 worries

B.C. drive-in theatre appeals COVID-19 concession rules, 50-car limit

With 50 cars and the removal of concession sales, drive-in owner says theatre might have to close

COVID-19: B.C. grants aim to stabilize sexual assault recovery programs

$10 million fund not yet ready to take applications

B.C. mom’s drug-pricing petition on behalf of son garners thousands of signatures

Petition geared to gaining access to new medicines drew support of Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl

‘Paralyzed by fear’: B.C. woman details anxiety, grief at Italian relief hospital

Sheila Vicic spent two months in Italy as the country grappled with COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

CAMH survey looks at binge-drinking, financial anxiety during COVID

Alcohol may be used as a coping mechanism for those whose careers may have been sidelined due to the pandemic

Most Read