CO-EXISTING WITH WILDLIFE - TIPS TO MAKE YOUR YARD LESS ATTRACTIVE TO WILDLIFE
Garbage (accounts for 60% of calls regarding bears *)
- Store garbage in a secure building until collection day or consider purchasing a bear-resistant household container.
- Ensure bins are tightly closed.
- Regularly wash all recycling items and clean the bins that contain garbage or recycling.
- Do not leave garbage in the back of a truck, even if it has a canopy.
- If you cannot store garbage securely, freeze smelly items and add to the bin only on the morning of collection.
* 60% of the calls to the COS regarding black bears, when an attractant was noted, was garbage for the period of 2014-2017.
Pets and Pet Food
- Feed pets indoors.
- If pets are fed outside, ensure all food is cleaned up.
- Store pet food in a secure location or in a bear-resistant bin.
- The key to a healthy compost is ensuring equal amounts of brown and green materials.
- Layer your greens, such as kitchen scraps and fresh grass clippings with no more than 10 cm of browns, such as dried leaves, grasses, shredded newspaper and cardboard.
- Do not add fish, meat, fat, oils, un-rinsed eggshells or any cooked food.
- Add oxygen by turning regularly.
- Avoid overloading the compost in fruit season - freeze material and add gradually.
- Avoid adding cereals or grains.
- Clean barbeques after use by burning off the grill entirely.
- Remove and clean the grease trap after every use.
- Cover and/or store indoors (do not take propane tank indoors).
- Pick fruit and allow it to ripen indoors or pick daily as it ripens. Do not allow windfall to accumulate on the ground.
- If you do not want the fruit, prune the tree vigorously to prevent blossoms or spray spring blossoms with a garden hose to knock them off.
- If you would like to make the fruit available to others, contact a local fruit exchange program or food bank.
- Consider using electric fencing to protect your fruit trees.
- If you no longer want to manage your tree, consider replacement with a native, non-fruit bearing variety.
- Please note that birdseed is a very good source of calories for bears and other wildlife. A kilogram of sunflower seeds has approximately 8,000 calories – about 20 times the caloric reward a bear would get from grazing the same weight of wild clover.
- Use bird feeders only in the winter when bears are hibernating and natural bird food is limited.
- If you feed birds in bear season, consider the following steps to minimize your contribution to human-bear conflicts:
- Take bird feeders in at night
- Keep the ground underneath the feeders clean and free of bird seed
- Fill your feeders regularly with just a small amount of feed - this will decrease the reward a bear would receive if it does get to your feeder.
- Berries should be picked as they ripen.
- Consider replacing your bushes with native, non-fruiting varieties if you do not want the fruit.
- Consider using electric fencing to protect your berry bushes.
For more tips on creating a WildSafe yard, please visit the WildSafe BC website
Black Bear Brochure
Section 33.1 of the BC Wildlife Act states:
Attracting dangerous wildlife
33.1 (1)A person must not
(a)intentionally feed or attempt to feed dangerous wildlife, or
(b)provide, leave or place an attractant in, on or about any land or premises with the intent of attracting dangerous wildlife.
(2)A person must not leave or place an attractant in, on or about any land or premises where there are or where there are likely to be people, in a manner in which the attractant could
(a)attract dangerous wildlife to the land or premises, and
(b)be accessible to dangerous wildlife.
(3)Subject to subsections (5) and (6), a person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) commits an offence.
(4)If an offence under this section continues for more than one day, separate fines, each not exceeding the maximum fine for that offence, may be imposed for each day the offence continues.
(5)A person does not contravene subsection (1) (b) or (2) by providing, leaving or placing an attractant in, on or about any land or premises for the purposes of hunting or trapping wildlife in accordance with all other applicable provisions of this Act and the regulations.
(6)A person does not contravene subsection (2)
(a)by conducting a farm operation, as defined in section 1 of the Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act, if the person
(i)conducts the farm operation on, in or over land anywhere in British Columbia, and
(ii)meets the requirements set out in section 2 (2) (a) and (c) of that Act, or
(b)by operating a facility for the disposal of waste, that is operated in accordance with the Environmental Management Act by a municipality, as defined in section 1 (1) of that Act.
(7)For the purposes of this section, "leave", in relation to a person who is an owner, tenant or occupant of land or premises, includes to fail to remove an attractant from or to allow an attractant to remain in, on or about that land or those premises.