Shelley Jodoin-Chouinard asks if the proliferation of lawns in Edmonton has anything to do with the absence of bears in the city.
Listen first, then read more below.
To get a sense for why bears capture our imagination so much, we went up to Saddle Lake First Nation to visit Stewart Steinhauer. He’s carved many stone bears, including the Sweetgrass Bear at the University of Alberta and a sculpture now being installed at MacEwan University.
Anja Sorensen, a Wildlife Biologist at fRI Research in Hinton, helped us get a baseline for how big the historical range of grizzlies has been in Alberta compared to today. She also told us about their hair snag studies and grizzly scat app (down for renovations until the fall), which allows anyone in the field to collect scat samples and help measure the grizzly population in the province.
Nissa Petterson, a Conservation Specialist with the Alberta Wilderness Association, spoke to us about the surprising historic size of the grizzly population in Alberta.
- The Once and Future World by J.B. MacKinnon
- “A Grizzly Challenge: Ensuring a Future for Alberta’s Threatened Grizzlies” – Jeff Gailus (One source for historical grizzly bear numbers in Alberta)
- “Geographic distribution of American black bears in North America” – Brian K. Scheick, Walter McCown. Ursus, 25(1):24-33 (2014).
- “The past and present status of the plains and boreal forest grizzly bear in Alberta” – Pia L Nielsen. Canadian Wildlife Service (Unpublished) (1975)
- “Status of the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) in Alberta: update 2010” – Government of Alberta, Alberta Conservation Association (2010)
- “Fish and Wildlife officials euthanize black bear in St. Albert” – CBC News, May 11, 2019