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WildSmart is a program of the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley and relies entirely on donations and sponsors.
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Report any sightings of bears, cougars or wolves
403.591.7755 (Local)

For all public safety
emergencies call 9-1-1


Living with Wildlife

Is your garden a buffet for wildlife?

The Living with Wildlife column is published monthly in the Rocky Mountain Outlook to create awareness of living with wildlife challenges. We also work with local newspapers, radio and television stations to promote wildlife safety issues through the media on a weekly basis.

Is your yard on Canmore’s greatest places to dine list for elk, deer and bears? Do guests comment that your house is the only one on the block with a herd of elk on the front lawn and a black bear in the backyard licking the barbeque? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you need to WildSmart your yard this spring!

WildSmart Community Program is asking you to get rid of the wildlife attractants in your yard to help keep our community safe for people and wildlife. “Our education programs this year will focus on proactive education to help reduce human/wildlife conflicts in our community. We are asking residents to review our Top 10 list of Backyard Attractants and consider some of the alternatives listed.” says Education Program Director Kim Titchener.

By removing outdoor attractants such as bird seed, outdoor composts and pet food you can help keep bears out of our yards and out of trouble. Bears that eat bird seed or garbage left outside will keep coming back for more. Bears that get into these common attractants often cause damage to property and in some cases cause injury to people. The end result is always the same: a fed bear is a dead bear.

Elk and deer are also attracted to the lush vegetation in our community and are especially attracted to the buffet of plants and shrubs we plant in our yards. They also hang out in town to avoid predators such as bears, cougars and wolves. These predators have been known to follow elk and deer into town, which inadvertently gets them into trouble with humans. While stalking a deer on a trail near your home, a cougar might catch sight of an unattended dog or cat.

Local hardware stores have been encouraged to post a list of ‘Top 10 Backyard Attractants and Alternatives’ for homeowners who want to help keep wildlife out of their yards. By following precautions in WildSmart’s Top 10 list, you can help keep our neighborhoods safe for people and help keep wildlife in the wild! Click on the following links for more information:
Top 10 list of common backyard attractants
List of recommended plant species for landscaping
List of berry and fruit plants to avoid

Thank you to our sponsors whose generosity has made WildSmart a reality.

Residents are encouraged to report any sightings of bear, cougar or aggressive elk to 403-591-7755.
For all public safety emergencies call 9-1-1.


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