Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

July 12, 2007 15:16 ET

Scientific Report Supports O.F.A.H. Bear Warnings

Attention: Environment Editor, News Editor, Science Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor ONTARIO/BEARS--(Marketwire - July 12, 2007) - The publication of a major new study on the management of black bears by scientists on in both Canada and the U.S., has demonstrated that the elimination of hunting seasons as part of black bear management, like the cancellation of the spring season in Ontario several years ago, will result in significant increases in both the bear population and risk of human/bear conflicts. The release of the report, 'Going into the 21st Century: a perspective on trends and controversies in the management of the American black bear' by Hank Hristienko, Manitoba Conservation, and John E. McDonald Jr., U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, comes at a time when bear incidents across Ontario are on the rise, with several recent close encounters that call into question the success of the bear wise management strategy."The report clearly shows that where hunting seasons are reduced, bear populations outstrip the authorities to manage the population in other ways", said Dr. Terry Quinney, O.F.A.H. Provincial Manager of Fish & Wildlife. "The authors demonstrated that treating the symptoms of human-bear conflicts will meet with limited success if populations are allowed to increase. By reducing the density of bears in the spring, agencies that use this tactic of their bear management program are taking the necessary steps to reduce the density and distribution of bears before peak season where problems occur".Recent bear incidents in many parts of Ontario have underlined the growing problem. In the Parry Sound region alone there have been 694 occurrences to date, compared to 251 by the same time last year, while in the Timmins area reports of bear sightings have quadrupled this spring, with 178 sightings being reported this year, compared with 40 at the same time in 2006. Many resort owners are blaming the dramatic increase on the cancellation of the spring bear hunt in 1999."As noted in the report by Hristienko and McDonald, the management of black bears requires a twofold approach. An integrated management regime that includes hunting to regulate the density and distribution of bears and removes individual nuisance bears, should be pursued along with an aggressive education program that informs the public about what can be done to deter bears from associating people and dwellings with food. Unfortunately, the provincial government insists that doing only step two will suffice, which has been clearly proven not to be the case", said Dr. Quinney.The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, with almost 82,000 members and 655 member clubs across the province, is the largest non-profit conservation based organization in Ontario. /For further information: Dr. Terry Quinney Greg Farrant
Provincial Manager of Government Relations
Fish & Wildlife Services & Communications
(705) 748-6324 ext. 242 (705) 748-6324
(705) 875-0274 cell/ IN: ENVIRONMENT, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Robert J. Pye, Communications Coordinator, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
    Primary Phone: 705-748-6324 ext. 267
    E-mail: robert_pye@ofah.org