A new survey of grizzly bear numbers in Alberta’s central Rocky Mountains suggests their population has doubled since the last count.
There are now about 88 grizzlies in the vast stretch of summits and foothills between the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 11, about 200 kilometres north.
That’s up from 42 bears in 2005, the last time the bears were counted.
Biologist Gordon Stenhouse, who led the survey, says forestry has created a younger, more open forest that offers the animals plenty to eat.
He also says human-caused mortality has decreased, especially since the grizzly hunt ended in 2006.
The survey also found about 62 grizzlies in the Swan Hills area, northwest of Edmonton.
It’s the first time those bears were counted and Stenhouse says it’s higher than expected.