The Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP) shows wildlife encounters in Victoria, B.C. (Google Maps/warp.wildsafebc.com)

Bear from Fort St. James accidentally reported in Victoria

Location of bear highlights perks and challenges of interactive wildlife website

A bear that appeared to be visiting Victoria from Fort St. James highlights both the perks and challenges of an interactive website that plots wildlife encounters in B.C.

A browse through the Victoria-area using the Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP), found expected results – a plethora of deer and the occasional bear and cougar – and the surprise guest from northern B.C.

The service, provided by WildSafeBC, uses daily data from the Conservation Officer Service as well as self-reported sightings by the public, to show on a map where wildlife is interacting with people.

ALSO READ: New app to help B.C.’s wildlife warriors

“That’s the challenge that we have. A spelling mistake can cause an error in the data and we can’t verify each individual sighting,” said Frank Ritcey, senior provincial WildSafeBC coordinator. “But the real value in this service is seeing trends over time. We can see if there is an increase in wildlife encounters in certain areas over the years, or find areas where garbage as an attractant is a big problem.”

Garbage is the number one attractant cited in reports to the Conservation Officer Service hotline.

RELATED: Greater Victoria not out of the woods when it comes to bear safety

The site allows the public to search an area based on time frame, species, encounter type and more. They can also sign up to get alerts whenever bears, cougars or other wildlife are seen in their area.

By clicking on the animal icons on the map, users can see if there was a suspected attractant involved in the reported sightings – whether that be garbage, livestock, pets or otherwise.

The resource is also rich with information on wildlife and provides suggestions on how to live in harmony with different species.

RELATED: Dog walker injured by bear at Matheson Lake in Metchosin

So far over 750,000 alerts have been sent out to the 1,000 users who have registered and chosen to receive alerts, according to Ritcey. The site does not require people to register, with Ritcey estimating the total users since its inception in 2012 to be around 10,000.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

The Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP) shows the surprise visitor from Fort St. James. (Google Maps/warp.wildsafebc.com)

Just Posted

Surrey hunter fined $10,000 after shooting a bull moose and leaving it to die

The man was convicted for three Wildlife Act offences after shooting a bull moose not in season

Tonight’s Surrey RCMP Classic final: Cloverdale and South Surrey school teams to battle

Elsewhere, Holy Cross boys team aims to win another BC Catholics championship on home court

Surrey RCMP asks for public’s help in finding missing 14-year-old

Police say Ali Al-Shai was last seen on Jan. 16

Province to pass $1.25-million repair bill for South Surrey overpass on to ICBC

152 Street overpass was struck by overheight truck on Dec. 4, 2017

Ex-Mountie who investigated ‘Surrey six’ murders gets conditional sentence

Derek Brassington pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

VIDEO: Giants wrap southern swing with 6-4 win in Spokane

The Lower Mainland-based hockey team defeated the Chiefs Friday night.

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Most Read