A recently published study is raising the possibility that grizzly bears are establishing a foothold in extreme northwestern Ontario.
In his published report Novel range overlap of three ursids in the Canadian subarctic, Douglas Clark of the University of Saskatchewan and his co-authors have proven polar bears, black bears, and grizzly bears are inhabiting the same area. This is the first peer reviewed scientific paper to come to this conclusion.
By using remote cameras in Manitoba’s Wapusk National Park, which borders Hudson Bay, researchers recorded images of all three bear species between 2011 and 2017, although not all at the same time. The report states there is growing evidence that grizzly bears are undergoing a substantial range increase in northern Canada.
It’s roughly 200 kilometres as the crow flies from Wapusk National Park’s southern border to the Manitoba-Ontario border.
“The possibility of grizzlies in Ontario came from an old management plan I read for Polar Bear Provincial Park mentioning an unsubstantiated report of a grizzly shot on the north coast of the province in the 1980s,” Clark said.
“Second, after I saw a grizzly in Wapusk in 1998, locals told me about other sightings in the region, and one person mentioned a bear shot out of Shamattawa, not too far from the border. So to be very clear, I have no data or firsthand reports of grizzlies in Ontario, but given what we are seeing in northern Manitoba, I think it is a distinct possibility.”
Heads up – Hunting is being allowed again on certain parts of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority property. For more information, visit www.abca.on.ca.