Protecting Grizzlies by Learning More About Huckleberries

Project Year: 2016-2017

View Provincial Database Record

Grizzly Bear

Project Lead

Birchdale Ecological


Columbia Region

West Kootenay

Project Type

Habitat-Based Actions

FWCP Contribution


Action Plan Alignment

Upland and Dryland Action Plan

Project ID


Predicting Grizzly Bear Food: Huckleberries

This project will use extensive GPS telemetry location data for 60 Grizzly Bears to identify, understand, and predict the presence of their most important regional food resource, huckleberries. Understanding ecological characteristics of major food resources, particularly for threatened species, is critical.

The results will help inform two important management actions:

  1. develop maps of important huckleberry patches for integration into land-use or timber harvest decisions and potential access management plans, and
  2. develop recommendations of post-timber harvest protocols that would foster huckleberry production, for potential berry supply management where the results suggest they might work.

The benefits will be in the immediate identification of huckleberry patches that are important for Grizzly Bears (several large important patches have already been identified that could benefit from some level of protection) and the final predictive map will identify important huckleberry patches across the study area and beyond. This will provide optimal opportunities for access management or some other form of protection, so female Grizzly Bears may use these patches with minimal disturbance. These huckleberry patch maps will also inform other levels of land-use decisions including, recreation, back-country cabins, lodges, or other activities. The ultimate value is to the “reproductive engine,” adult females. They will gain by the virtue of having a suite of important huckleberry patches where they can meet their reproductive needs with minimal disturbance.

View more about this project on the provincial database