The call for grizzly bears in Alberta to be declared a threatened
species is growing ever louder.
A number of wildlife and environmental groups, including the Sierra Club of Canada, Nature Alberta, and Alberta Wilderness Association, have gone through the numbers of grizzly deaths in Alberta last year and say confirmed human-related mortalities are at a critical level.
They say figures from the Sustainable Resource Development ministry show in 2009, 17 of 21 bear deaths were linked to humans.
“These high rates of mortality could have been avoided had the government implemented key aspects of the Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan that it adopted two years ago,” says Carl Morrison of Sierra Club Canada
EDMONTON — Alberta's Endangered Species Conservation Committee has
recommended for the second time in eight years that grizzly bears be
listed as a threatened species, but even that designation -- if
accepted by the Alberta government -- might not stop them from being
hunted, says University of Alberta biologist Mark Boyce.
But the Sierra Club's Carl Morrison says Albertans want action now.
"I think Albertans have been really clear that they want the government to act on recovery and I don't think there is need to delay acting on this recommendation any longer," he said. "It's been eight years. Albertans and grizzly bears can't afford any more delays."
After eight years of research, studies and consultations over the status of the province's grizzly bear population, Alberta appears to be back where it began.
Alberta's Endangered Species Conservation Committee is poised to reiterate its recommendation to the provincial government that grizzlies be listed as a threatened species.
It made the recommendation in 2002 based on estimates there were fewer than 1,000 grizzlies in the province. When the committee meets Friday, it will have a hard number -- 691 grizzlies.... Read more »
The province hasn't listed Alberta's grizzly bear population as threatened or endangered because of the misconception that preserving the species numbers interferes with economic development, the Sierra Club of Canada says.
Club representatives asked the province's standing committee on resources and the environment Monday evening to list the bears as threatened/endangered under the Alberta Wildlife Act.
The government's endangered species conservation committee recommended the bears be listed as threatened under the act in 2002, but that hasn't happened, said the Sierra Club's Dianne Pachal.
The grizzly bear habitat has continued to shrink since then and there hasn't been any noted increase in protected habitat, she said. There are currently about 700 adult bears in the province, while the ideal threshold is 1,000 breeding adult bears, said Sierra Club member Carl Morrison.... Read more »