Wildlife consultants say the demise of a mom grizzly bear and her two cubs — together with a uncommon blond-headed grizzly — in Banff Nationwide Park is a serious loss to the inhabitants.
Parks Canada has mentioned that an grownup bear was struck and killed Sept. three by a Canadian Pacific Railway practice on a rail line by way of the Alberta park.
“She was about 10 years previous and had been identified to Parks Canada,” Dwight Bourdin, useful resource conservation supervisor with the company’s Lake Louise, Yoho and Kootenay area unit, mentioned in an interview this week.
The bear, generally known as No. 143, spent most of her time within the backcountry of Banff and the adjoining Yoho and Kootenay nationwide parks in British Columbia, Bourdin mentioned.
She was noticed earlier this summer season with two cubs, together with the one with a blond head and brown physique. However Bourdin mentioned neither cub has been noticed since earlier than the mom bear was killed.
“One has not been seen since early June and one was not seen since Aug. 15,” mentioned Bourdin. “Each are believed to have perished previous to this incident.
“We have searched the world totally. We proceed to watch the positioning. We’ve CP that can report any sightings.
“However we really feel that the cubs didn’t survive.”
Parks Canada estimates on its web site that there are 65 grizzly bears in Banff Nationwide Park.
Bourdin mentioned the 2 cubs, that are believed to be No. 143’s second set as a mom, had been possible killed by a big male grizzly or one other predator within the park. It isn’t identified whether or not her cubs from 2018 survived, he mentioned.
The portion of the monitor the place the mom bear’s demise occurred is between Fort Junction and Lake Louise and between the Bow River and a steep embankment.
“There have been no grain spills on web site and no carcasses on web site that might have drawn her to that location,” mentioned Bourdin. “We imagine she was utilizing it as a journey route.”
Officers mentioned an investigation confirmed there have been additionally robust winds and flowing water on the location so the bear could not have heard the practice.
Colleen Cassady St. Clair, a professor of organic sciences on the College of Alberta, led a five-year analysis undertaking in Banff Nationwide Park to search out out why so many grizzly bears had been dying on the tracks.
It famous that no less than 17 bears died between 2000 and 2017.
Cassady St. Clair mentioned the placement of the most recent demise holds most of the similar traits that she and her staff discovered pose a danger to bears.
“Mortalities occurred prior to now extra incessantly the place trains had been travelling quicker, the place the monitor was near water … and the place there was a curvature within the monitor,” she mentioned.
“It is enticing for bears to journey on the tracks beneath these circumstances … and it is laborious to get off of the monitor shortly.”
A paper revealed the day earlier than the bear strike by considered one of her staff members, Jonathan Backs, confirmed a warning system with flashing lights and bells might assist scale back animal deaths as a result of they’d be alerted to oncoming trains and get off the tracks earlier.
Cassady St. Clair mentioned the demise of No. 143, one of many bears within the analysis research, is disappointing.
“She’s precisely the type of bear that everybody desires to maintain within the inhabitants,” she mentioned. “She was a well-behaved backcountry bear, a younger mom.
“It’s a large loss for the inhabitants.”
Bourdin mentioned it is “undoubtedly regarding” to lose a feminine bear, however that is why Parks Canada continues to do mitigation work across the tracks to forestall extra deaths.
“The analysis confirmed there was no single resolution, no silver bullet, to the conditions there,” he mentioned. “I believe it is a matter of continuous to study, persevering with to do prescribed fireplace and habitat enhancements for the species.”
An announcement from CP did not deal with the demise, however mentioned it continues to work with Banff Nationwide Park to attempt to scale back the variety of grizzly deaths alongside the tracks.