There are many agencies that are working to track sightings and interactions with different types of urban wildlife but it’s not as easy as it seems.
Professor Adam Ford said the system for reporting wildlife sightings is usually not a scientific approach but rather a law enforcement or public safety approach and that those two worlds have not meshed. Ford said the scientific community is working to fix this so that the data is more streamline.
“The other part is, how can we transform the system of reporting these events so that we can do better monitoring and management of urban wildlife.” – Adam Ford, Assistant Professor of Biology at UBC Okanagan
Provincial Coordinator for WildSafeBC, Vanessa Isnardy, agreed that the tracking is not consistent enough to see it as scientifically rigorous. Isnardy said they do get reports but it’s usually when property is damaged, if pets or livestock are killed or if someone is injured by an animal. She said smaller interactions or sightings aren’t reported enough.
“…these are a small subset of human-wildlife interactions. As raccoons are not classified as dangerous wildlife, reports of conflict are even harder to gauge.” – Vanessa Isnardy, Provincial Coordinator for WildSafeBC