Bear Activity Report

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Bear Activity: July 7 to July 13

Pre or Post berry season scat


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

For the period: July 7 to July 13 2017

Welcome to the weekly bear report!


There continue to be reports of bears in and around Canmore, especially in areas with high densities of buffaloberries (Shepherdia canadensis). With these berries now ripe on bushes, bears are settling into one of their main hobbies for the summer: eating. Be extra bear aware while travelling through these areas.

Grizzly bear eating buffaloberries. Photo: Pat Kamenenka

Grizzly bear eating buffaloberries. Photo by: Pat Kamenka

If you have berries or other fruit in your yard, consider removing the bushes or trees. This will help encourage any bears that wander into your yard not to linger, but instead to move onto more natural, berry filled areas. Not all buffaloberry bushes produce fruit, so just removing the female bushes (the ones with fruit) should eliminate the attractant from your yard.

Buffaloberry bush

Buffaloberry bush

Be extra aware of your surroundings while out biking close to berry bushes. Bikes are especially fast and quiet, making it easy for cyclists to surprise foraging bears. Be especially loud and call out frequently while biking in areas with berry bushes, while coming over the crest in a hill, while travelling by running water and anytime you’re moving quickly. Let the bear know that you’re coming! Also carry bear spray somewhere easily accessible and know how to use it!

While there has been a lot of focus on the bears it is important to remember to give space to other wildlife in the valley. This week a woman was charged by an elk inside town. It is important to remember that these are wild animals and they need space, ideally at least 3 bus lengths (30m) for elk.

Warnings and Closures

-Bear Warning: Canmore Nordic Centre. Multiple grizzly bear sightings on and near trails.

-Bear Warning: Grassi Lakes Day Use Area and Trails. Multiple grizzly bear and black bear sightings on and near the trails.

-There are numerous warnings in Kananaskis Country and Banff National Park, please see the links below

Additional bear warnings and closures are available here for anyone visiting Kananaskis Country and Alberta Parks.

Additional 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 the 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

Ewww, bear sign! This might be a bit of an icky topic but it’s interesting what bear scat can tell us about what Bow Valley bears are doing. Did you know bears can eat 100,000 berries a day? We didn’t either, until an unfortunate researcher spent a whole summer picking his way through a whole lot of bear scat counting the number of berries consumed. Pre-berry season scat looks a lot like this:

Pre or Post berry season scat

Pre or Post berry season scat

Berry season scat changes dramatically to look more like this:

Berry season scat

Berry season scat

More...berry season scat

More…berry season scat

So if you see something that looks suspiciously like jam while out on the trails, be sure to be extra loud, keep your dog on a leash, have your bear spray somewhere easily accessible, or consider hiking somewhere else as there is likely a bear in the area having a feast.

Anyone who hasn’t had a chance to check out the new Living with Wildlife video, here it is!


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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