Revelstoke Bear Aware has a brand-new Google Earth Map to document and view local bear sightings.
Bear Aware Coordinator Janette Vickers said in a statement released Friday that the map is the fruit of work by Ron Larsen and Jeff Bolingbroke at Parks Canada to create a Google Earth Map to view bear sightings on the Revelstoke Bear Aware website, www.revelstokebearaware.org.
The map is an interactive tool for residents to view bear sightings and associated bear attractants in our community. Currently, the map includes reported bear sightings for 2009, 2010 and our first bear sighting of 2011, which was made on April 23.
Residents are asked to report bear sightings to the Provincial RAPP Line (Conservation Officer Service) and many residents also report bear sightings to Bear Aware. When reporting a bear sighting, residents are asked to provide specific information including the location of the bear, if it is a black bear or a grizzly bear, a description bears activities, and any noted bear attractants such as garbage, fruit, livestock, birdseed, or compost.
Bear Aware documents bears sightings and associated bear attractants and then updates this information on the Google Earth Map. The reported bear sightings also add to our knowledge base, which allows Revelstoke Bear Aware to direct public education initiatives. By reporting bear activity, attractants that bring bears into our community can be identified and removed.
If bear attractants are removed early it can prevent bears from becoming habituated, food conditioned and decreases the potential of a public safety hazard.
With warmer weather and spring upon us, bears have left their dens to begin their search for food. Now is the time to be proactive in removing bear attractants in our community.
Bear attractants that need to be managed include:
- Garbage: Store garbage in a secure place between garbage pick-ups and do not put garbage out the night before garbage day.
- Fruit: Although fruit is not a concern at this time, it is a good time to think about pruning fruit trees. Prune to reduce fruit this season, or to make fruit more accessible for picking.
- Livestock: Store livestock feed indoors and consider electric fencing.
- Compost: For many people, compost has been sitting throughout the winter. It is time to turn it over and prevent smells.
- Birdfeeders: There is now plenty of natural food available for birds and it is time to bring birdfeeders in until next winter.
- BBQ grills: After using a BBQ, burn off any excess food that remains on the grill.
- Pet food: Bring food dishes inside and store pet food indoors.
Contact Bear Aware at 250-837-8624 or email@example.com. To learn more about becoming a Bear Smart Community, for more information on how to manage bear attractants, and to view the new Google Earth Map, visit www.revelstokebearaware.org. To report bear sightings or problem bears please call the RAPP Line at 1-877-7277.