Bear Activity Report

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Wildlife Activity Report: March 2011

WILDLIFE ACTIVITY FOR THE BOW VALLEY
(Banff National Park to Bow Valley Provincial Park)
The following summary is based upon wildlife information provided by government agencies and unconfirmed sightings reported by the public. It is not intended to be used as a real time, complete record of where wildlife is in the valley.
WILDLIFE CAN BE ENCOUNTERED ANYWHERE, ANYTIME!
Be aware of your surroundings, know how to reduce the likelihood of encounters, and be prepared should an encounter take place. Always use caution by paying attention to signs of wildlife activity such as scats, tracks, and diggings. Make lots of noise while recreating.  Hike, ski and snowshoe in groups when possible; carry pepper spray; and obey closures.

Education Tidbit

In early February, SRD completed an aerial survey of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep in Kananaskis Country and sheep range as far north as the Red Deer River. These surveys are conducted every 3-4 years weather and budgets permitting. Traditional sheep winter ranges are surveyed each time and sheep are counted and classified according to age groupings and sex. This winter, 1082 sheep were counted which is the highest number ever counted since these surveys were instituted in the 1970s. Sheep numbers were up on some winter ranges and down on others. Fluctuations in numbers is typical and could be due to any number of reasons but overall, bighorn numbers appear to be doing well in this part of the province. In the Bow Valley, an additional ground survey will be conducted in the spring along Highway 1A. It is much easier to see sheep on their winter ranges along the side of the highway than it is to spot them from a helicopter. This makes it much easier to count and classify animals.

Wildlife Activity

There have been several sightings of coyotes in the Cougar Creek residential area (near Elizabeth Rummel, Grizzly Crescent, Silvertip Crescent).  Please ensure dog food, garbage, recycling and other wildlife attractants are removed from your property.  Food scraps left out for birds and rabbits are also an attractant for coyotes.

There was one cougar sighting in southeast Canmore in February.  A local wildlife tracker recently found cougar tracks in the Three Sisters and Wind Valley areas.   He noted that when the weather is cold and snow deep, ungulates prefer south-facing, wind blown slopes.   Wind Ridge and Pigeon Mountain offer these advantages and have traditionally been great places for them in the past. The slopes along the north side of the Bow Valley, Mt Lady McDonald and Grotto Mountain are typically used by wintering ungulates and as a result receive increased use by carnivores. Golf courses in the valley also provide good foraging areas and afford a level of predation protection due to human presence.

Skoki, a collared wolf who frequents Banff National Park, has been spending a significant amount of time in the Kananaskis Valley, but has yet to make an appearance in the Bow Valley.

Important Notes

If you encounter an animal (elk, deer, wolf, cougar etc) on the trail or close to you, leave the area. This will prevent the animal from getting used to people. If the animal does approach you, increase your distance. If it persists, try and appear large and speak firmly to the animal. Pick up a large stick if one is handy. Prepare your bear spray and discharge it in the animal’s face if necessary.

Wildlife Cautions/ Closures

Please report all incidents of aggressive coyotes as well as cougar or other unusual wildlife sightings to 403-591-7755. For current postings of Wildlife Warnings and Closures please visit tpr.alberta.ca/parks/kananaskis/trailreport.aspx

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Important Note:

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

Report all bear sightings to
Kananaskis Dispatch
403-591-7755

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






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