The town of Squamish in British Columbia, our neighbor to the north, has the highest number of conflicts between humans and cougars of any town in British Columbia. That doesn’t mean that people are threatened by cougars. It means that cougars are reported coming too close to where people live and recreate or where they keep their livestock and pets. Squamish already has a very active Bear Aware Program, which they are now expanding to included cougars and other wildlife.
On Friday, June 22, Meg Toom wrote in the The Chief, the Squamish home-town newspaper, “Those statistics highlight the importance of expanding our awareness to include additional wildlife such as cougars. By reducing the availability of attractants for cougars, we can create a safer community for both humans and wildlife.”
“If we leave attractants (i.e. pet food or bird seed) accessible outdoors, we could be attracting small rodents to feed, which attract small domestic pets which, in turn, attract larger predators like coyotes and cougars. We all need to think of the food chain that we create within our own backyards.”
The Grizzly Bear Outreach Project endorses these steps for reducing human/cougar conflicts. Cougars are present throughout many parts of Washington State where conflicts with cougars occur most often in areas where subdivisions have been spreading out into former prime cougar habitat. GBOP has also expanded educational outreach efforts to include information on cougar awareness and tips for co-existing with cougars. Click here to go to our Cougar Page
for more information on the adaptable and secretive cougar.