Bear Activity Report

Living with Wildlife - Watch the Movie

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Bear Activity: July 20 to July 26


(Banff National Park East Gate to Bow Valley Provincial Park)

For the period: July 20 to July 26, 2018

Welcome to the weekly bear report!


You should continue to expect to see bears in many areas of the Bow Valley and K-Country, especially in areas with high densities of buffaloberries. There are numerous black and grizzly bears feeding on berries throughout the valley so please be prepared and on the lookout for bears while you recreate, as many berry bushes are found along trails. Bears are so focused on eating that they may not be as aware of people. When bears are surprised they can respond defensively as they may feel threatened. Try to avoid surprising bears that are busy feeding by remembering to make lots of noise, be aware of your surroundings (look and listen for signs of wildlife), travel in groups, keep your dog on a leash and respect warnings and closures. Remember to carry bear spray in an easily accessible location and know how to use it.

Bikers should be especially loud when travelling quickly and in areas where their sight-lines are limited. A reminder that bears can be encountered on popular and well travelled trails, and bear spray should be carried while using these trails! Check out this recent article about a mountain biker colliding with a black bear at the Canmore Nordic Centre last weekend! Luckily neither the mountain biker or bear were hurt in this incident, and it serves as a great reminder that bears can be encountered anywhere, anytime!

Photo courtesy of Jamin Mulvey

Photo courtesy of Jamin Mulvey

If you must stop on roadways to view wildlife, take your picture from a distance and move on. Do not linger at the location and never exit your vehicle to take a picture. This recent video and accompanying article illustrate what can happen if you exit your vehicle to take pictures of wildlife. Never feed wildlife or encourage wildlife to come closer to you or your vehicle.

Please be aware of a Bear Warning for the south side of the Bow River in Canmore (see maps below), from Stewart Creek all the way up to and including the Canmore Nordic Centre due to numerous bears feeding on berries.

CanmoreWarning2018_20180718 CNCWarning2018_20180718

A great proactive positive step that you can take is to remove attractants such as berries and fruit from your yard. These berries and fruit attract bears and other wildlife into the residential areas, putting wildlife and people at risk. The photo below can be used to help identify buffaloberries.

Shepherdia canadensis more commonly known as Buffaloberry

Shepherdia canadensis, more commonly known as Buffaloberry

If you have not already done so, please read the Human-Wildlife Coexistence (HWC) Technical Report and share your feedback and comments via email to: [email protected]

The Human-Wildlife Coexistence (HWC) Technical Report was created to provide recommendations to reduce conflict between wildlife and humans in the Bow Valley. Feedback received will help inform the implementation of the recommendations!

Current Warnings and Closures

-Bear Closure - Tom Snow Trail from Mountain Road to Moose Loop due to bears feeding on a carcass.

-Bear Closure - Centennial Ridge Trail from Ribbon Creek Trailhead to the summit of Mount Allan and Coal Mine Trail due to a black bear that bluff charged hikers and grizzly and black bears that are frequenting the area to feed on buffaloberries.

-Bear Closure - The trail leading south from Mt Kidd F loop is closed from the loop to where it meets hwy 40 due to bears feeding in the area.

-Bear Warning - North End of Highway 40, Wasootch, Baldy Pass, Barrier Dam, Barrier Boat Launch, Barrier Lake Information Center, Widow Maker, Canoe Meadows, Lusk Creek, Stoney Creek Group Camp – and surrounding areas due to a grizzly bear feeding on buffaloberries in these areas.

-Bear Warning - South side of the Bow River in Canmore, including Quarry Lake Day Use, Peaks of Grassi, Canmore Nordic Centre and area trails due to numerous bears feeding on berries. Click here to view the map of the affected area.

-Bear Warning – Facility Zone in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park as grizzly bears with cubs have been frequenting campgrounds, day use areas, trailheads and trails.

-Bear Warning – Heart Creek Day Use Area, Heart Creek Trail and surrounding area due to black bears in the area feeding on berries.

-Bear Warning – Canyon Campground due to multiple bears frequenting the area.

-Bear Closure – Rawson Lake Trail and Sarrail Ridge due to multiple grizzly bears feeding in the area.

-Bear Closure - Chester Lake Trail and Day Use Area due to a grizzly bear and cub frequenting the area. The High Rockies Trail remains open during the closure. No parking available at Chester Day Use Area.

-Bear Warning - Grassi Lakes Day Use Area Trails due to numerous black bears seen feeding on natural vegetation in close proximity to the trails.

-Bear Warning – Canmore Nordic Center Provincial Park due to numerous black bears seen feeding on natural vegetation.

-Bear Warning - Sandy McNabb Campground due to a black bear frequenting the campground.

Here is a list of some additional Annual Closures in Kananaskis Country. Note that most of these annual closures ended on June 15.

*Bears are not only found in closure and warning areas. You should always remain alert while walking, hiking, running and biking, and remember that bears can be encountered anytime, anywhere!

A complete list of all warnings and closures are available here for anyone visiting Kananaskis Country and Alberta Parks.

A complete list of all warnings and closures are available here for Banff National Park.

For more information on areas in the Bow Valley frequented by bears at this time of year visit our human-bear conflict summary map.

The information above is based upon a compilation of bear information provided by government agencies and unconfirmed sightings reported by the public over the last week. It is not intended to be used as a real time, complete record of where bears are in the valley.

And Now some Paws-itive News

The film Living with Wildlife, made by local filmmaker Leanne Allison, showcases the innovative programs (including WildSmart) that exist in the Bow Valley in order for people and wildlife to coexist. In the past year, the film has won several awards and has been featured in film festivals all across the world!

Living with Wildlife was selected for the Banff Mountain Film Festival last fall, where festival organizers from all over the world go to find films for their festivals. Since being shown at the Banff Mountain Film Festival, the film has toured with the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, won the environmental award at the Wasatch Mountain Film Festival in Park City, Utah, played in Slovenia, won a UESCO award at the Trento Mountain Film Festival in Italy, is currently touring Europe with the Trento Festival, and has been translated into Italian, Chinese and Korean. In September, filmmaker Leanne Allison will be headed to the Ulju Mountain Film Festival in South Korea to show the film.

If you have not yet seen the film, you can watch it on our website. The film can also be seen on vimeo at:

LivingWithWildlife_filmposter_jan30-2018_b (1)


Important Note:

Please do not use the comment box to report sightings of wildlife.

Report any sightings of a bear, cougar, wolf or any aggressive wildlife in Kananaskis or the Bow Valley to Kananaskis Emergency Services 403.591.7755

For current postings of Bear Warnings, Wildlife Warnings and Closures please visit the following page:
Kananaskis Country - Advisories and Public Safety

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