A new report says the province isn’t doing enough to protect Alberta’s declining grizzly bear population.
Wilderness groups say the government isn’t living up to its promise to guard the animals.
Five Alberta grizzlies died this week.
A sow in Mountain View was shot and badly injured so it had to be euthanized leaving her three cubs orphaned.
Another bear was killed on the train tracks in Banff National Park.
Two bears are dead from suspected poisoning, and another was killed by a hunter.
“The five deaths this week does not bode well for 2010 as a year of recovery for the grizzly bear,” said grizzly bear researcher Jeff Gailus.
In a report released Friday, a coalition of wilderness groups claims grizzlies in Alberta are in decline and the Alberta government is dragging its heels protecting them.
“Alberta’s grizzly bears are threatened, even if the government hasn’t listed them as such. The reality is we have 760 grizzly bears in the province, that qualifies them for threatened status,” commented Sarah Elmeligi with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.
The report was compiled using research done by the Alberta government.
Wilderness advocates are now calling on the province to act on the research it has paid for.
“They haven’t done anything really on the grounds they’ve done the science, they’ve designated stuff on maps, it’s time for the government to start implementing what they are committed to doing,” said Gailus.
Bear advocates assert the province has shrunk the area set aside for grizzly recovery and they maintain there are too many roads into the back country, carving up bear habitat and bringing people in contact with the animals.
“Particularly with the proliferation of motorized recreation the higher the chance of human grizzly interaction and the higher the chances that grizzly bears will be killed,” added Gailus.
The province says it is reviewing the report but it already questions the assertion that there are too many roads in Alberta’s back country.
A full copy of the report can be seen by clicking here.