As Ciernello highlighted, its easier for bears to forage in urban communities where food is more easily accessible than in the wild; however, this ease of access is only one of the reasons that these carnivores are venturing out of their natural hunting grounds. This proved to be the case at the heels of what Ciernello described as a natural food source shortage.
“Overall, we have seen a decline in salmon stocks throughout all of our systems. And we know that is concerning. With global warming, it gets difficult for the fish because the water temperature is quite warm. On a system wide level on B.C.’s coast, we have definitely seen an overall decline in salmon stocks and that is concerning for sure.” – Lana Ciarnello, Independent Research Scientist at Aklak Wildlife Consulting
Ciernello said she’s seen a salmon failure in Knight Inlet on B.C.’s coast which has impacted grizzly bears native to the area. She said this decline is dangerous for bears living on the coast who are heavily reliant on salmon for their diet. According to Ciernello, salmon bears do not have as diverse of a diet as interior bears, and need a high-fat diet to gain weight before they hibernate.