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Grizzlies encroaching into new territories

Grizzly bears are showing up on Vancouver Island, a development one conservation scientist calls alarming.

University of Victoria professor Chris Darimont says while there are historical remains of grizzlies on Vancouver Island, they are typically found on the BC mainland.

He says the fact they’re moving and colonizing coastal islands should be a concern, not because of the grizzlies themselves, but because of what’s making them move.

There are two hypotheses; one is that populations are healthy to the point where grizzlies are expanding their territory, though the more likely one is that food scarcity is forcing them into new locations.

Darimont is also a director at the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

He says he and a graduate student have been studying grizzly movement on the Central Coast for several years now.

While people might be concerned about encroaching grizzly populations, Darimont says common techniques to reduce bear attractants also apply for grizzlies.

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