Salmon Decline Affects Grizzly Bears

Salmon escapement at Owikeno Lake dropped too low, during a five year study, to sustain the watershed's grizzly bear population.

The number of individual bears identified near the lake on British Columbia's central coast fell dramatically from 63 in 1998 to only 10 during 1999.

At the same time, the amount of salmon available for bear food declined by over one-third.

During a much larger salmon run in 2002, resident grizzlies remained in the area and more moved in from other watersheds.


J. Boulanger, S. Himmer and C. Swan. 2004. Monitoring of grizzly bear population trends and demography using DNA mark-recapture methods in the Owikeno Lake area of British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 82(8): 1267-1277.

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