Y2Y supports education programs and tools that assist PEOPLE to SHARE SPACE with WILDLIFE.
(Watch video to see one example of how Y2Y is working with its partners to successfully help people live with wildlife.)
Although humans and wildlife can and have had positive interactions, many do not. The high density of roads, railways and human communities increase these interactions, which sadly often translate into negative consequences for wildlife, especially bears.In two separate studies of bear mortality, one in Banff National Park and the other in the state of Montana, human-related causes were responsible for 86 to 91 per cent of all bear deaths. These causes included illegal or accidental shooting, death by motor vehicles, and habituation to people through attractants such as backyard fruit trees, improperly stored garbage and bird feeders.
Facilitating positive interactions between humans and wildlife is important throughout the Yellowstone to Yukon region, but it is especially true in the central and southern thirds of the region—from Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming to the Peace River Break in British Columbia (B.C.)—where the population density is greater.
Under the right conditions, wildlife and humans can live in close proximity without conflict, and in most cases without even seeing each other. Various tools and programs have made a measurable impact on a community’s ability to live with wildlife.
- Fencing with wildlife-crossing structures and signage have reduced wildlife collisions in Banff National Park by 80 per cent.
- Landowner education programs, which teach communities, farmers and ranchers about reducing wildlife attractants, and which help property owners install tools like electric fencing and bear-proof grain storage bins, have significantly reduced interactions and grizzly mortality.
- Community education programs provide hikers and hunters with training in carrying and using bear spray, and they teach hunters to distinguish between black and grizzly bears in the field.
As the population increases throughout the Yellowstone to Yukon region, and as species such as grizzly bears and wolves expand their ranges, these tools will be increasingly important for the safety of both wildlife and people.
WHAT Y2Y IS DOING
Through our various contracts and grants, Y2Y supports projects that help raise awareness about harmonious co-existence and programs that facilitate it. Here is a sampling a past projects Y2Y has supported:
- reduces wildlife-human conflicts by working with residents to reduce wildlife attractants from their home. (Wyoming) Wild Neighborhoods
- Wildlife-Friendly Fencing helps modify existing fences that act as a barrier to wildlife movement in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. (Wyoming)
- People and Carnivores helps communities and ranchers install tools such as dead-stock bins, bear-proof garbage bins and bear-poles to reduce human-wildlife conflict. (Montana)
- Keystone Conservation works with communities to support livestock management to reduce conflicts with carnivores and nurture the health of habitat. (Montana)
- Waterton Biosphere Reserve Association supports co-existence of large carnivores, ranchers and farmers. (Alberta)
GOALS & CURRENT PROJECTS
Y2Y is supporting the following projects to help enhance co-existence.
Yahk to Yaak: Y2Y supports Defenders of Wildlife’s Living with Wildlife program, which aims to reduce human-bear conflicts and grizzly bear mortality rates in the Yahk to Yaak region of the Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor.
Southern Alberta Grizzly Research: Y2Y’s Sarah Baker Memorial Fund is supporting the research of Andrea Morehouse to monitor southern Alberta’s grizzly bear population, and to understand both the rates of conflict as well as how those bears respond to proactive conflict mitigation measures.
Partner Grants: Efforts to reduce human-wildlife conflict in the central and southern thirds of the Yellowstone to Yukon region are supported through our partner grants.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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GET THE LATEST: Co-existence News
"Highway 20 is the first major road that animals encounter as they roam west out of Yellowstone and a critical region for continental wildlife connectivity," says Y2Y's Kim Trotter.
Featuring a diverse mix of wild habitat and human settlement, the Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor is integral to the Y2Y vision.
Fifteen years ago, Y2Y co-founder Harvey Locke identified one Canadian highway as a significant barrier to the Yellowstone to Yukon vision – Highway 3.
A plan to restore caribou habitat is a promising first step towards the development of a restoration economy in Alberta, says Y2Y.
This month Y2Y is screening the nationally acclaimed PBS NOVA documentary “Wild Ways: Corridors of Life” at two locations in Idaho.