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November 06, 2013

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Study shows grizzly bear population at risk

BC grizzly bears are being over hunted, putting the future of the population at risk, say the authors of a new study released today in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

Researchers from the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University and Raincoast Conservation Foundation show in their report that there are serious shortfalls with the management of the grizzly bear hunt in BC.

Researchers found large discrepancies between the upper limit to kills set by the provincial government and the number of grizzly bears killed.

“In half of BC’s remaining grizzly populations, our audit detected overkills, and almost all were associated with excessive trophy hunting,” says Dr. Chris Darimont, UVic geography professor, Raincoast science director and the study’s co-author. “The pattern of overkills we documented surprised and alarmed us, especially for female grizzly bears, which are the reproductive powerhouses of populations.”

BC represents one of the last strongholds for grizzly bears, which have lost about half of their historical range in North America since European colonization.

The report, Confronting Uncertainty in Wildlife Management: Performance of Grizzly Bear Management, is co-authored by Kyle Artelle (lead) and Sean Anderson, SFU PhD students; SFU professors Dr. John Reynolds and Dr. Andrew Cooper, and Dr. Paul Paquet, Raincoast senior scientist and adjunct UVic geography professor.

The report is available at PLOS ONE http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0078041

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  Media Contacts:

Dr. Chris Darimont (UVic Geography) at 250-853-3287 (office); 250-589-7873 (cell); darimont@uvic.ca; or Twitter: @ChrisDarimont
Dr. Paul Paquet (UVic Geography) at 306-376-2015 or ppaquet@baudoux.ca
Anne MacLaurin (UVic Social Sciences Communications) at 250-217-4259 (cell) or sosccomm@uvic.ca


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