Today we’re discussing the magic of living with wildlife in Episode #8 of our podcast.
We’re covering a whole bunch of issues within this very interesting subject, so strap yourself in for the ride!
– Tourists interacting with wildlife
– The incredible Grizzly moment
– UK doesn’t have that – space is obviously an issue
– How can people and wildlife live side by side
– Bear jams
– Spending time with wildlife photographers
– How different the UK feels about wildlife compared to the Bow Valley
How does the Bow Valley in Canada handle the situation:
Bear-proof garbage systems
National park fencing particularly along highways
Calling out when trail running or biking, even hiking
Dogs on leash
There is most definitely more to learn on this topic as we haven’t figured it all out yet as evidenced by the numerous issues still facing wildlife-human interaction within the Bow Valley and around the world in general.
Rewilding is an option – what it means
Wolves into Yellowstone, Bison to Banff NP, Elk across the US
(We will discuss rewilding specifically in more detail in a future episode so stay tuned)
QUOTE: The most popular argument against rewilding parts of nature is that it inhibits development in that area; a false dichotomy has been created between people and wildlife. If we allow the return of wild animals, especially the larger animals such as wolves and bears, then human existence must be constrained. Proponents of development have fabricated the fantasy both that development is the ultimate goal of humanity, and also that nature must be controlled (read: removed) in order to meet the needs of the shareholders. – George Monbiot
Ranchers and farmers are crucial to ensuring the longevity of these amazing species!
This is also an area where we stand to learn an incredible amount from first nations people
They’ve raised livestock and lived among wildlife for centuries/millennia
No need to reinvent the wheel
Options for everyday people:
If you see a bear/wild animal, and want a photo, stop for as short a time as possible, snap a photo and move on. Appreciate the moment for the incredible experience it is, and don’t get out of your vehicle or try to coerce anything more from the animal. It’s wild, let it stay wild.
If you have a backyard or balcony at home, consider putting up bird houses, plant more native trees and shrubs, leave dead branches if possible as wildlife love them
Add bird bath, pond etc
Try to get your neighbours involved as larger spaces are more effective
Don’t feed wild animals, if you pack it in, pack it out
Living With Wildlife: A Case Study in the Bow Valley, Alberta, Canada
The town of Banff, located within Banff National Park (Canada’s first National Park, and the world’s third National Park) is often looked at as a long-term experiment in living with wildlife. Located within the Bow Valley, Banff attracts millions of tourists each year as well as being home to numerous species of wildlife including bears, elk, wolves, cougars and recently, bison. Nestled in the heart of the mountains, and located in the middle of numerous wildlife corridors, the Bow Valley is a hotspot of human and wildlife activity, all competing for the same physical space in nature. Although the history of human interaction with wildlife in the area, at times, has been controversial, newer policies and marketing campaigns have gained the attention of wildlife advocates worldwide and are starting to be implemented in countries around the globe.