Wildlife Awareness

Garbage is the number one wildlife attractant in residential areas.

We're incredibly fortunate to share our beautiful natural environment with a variety of wildlife. The North Shore is home to many different species – including cougars, coyotes, skunks, raccoons, and rodents – and we all need to work to protect them. The best way to do that is by managing attractants.

Managing Attractants

Wildlife have a keen sense of smell. If you manage or remove attractants on your property you'll greatly reduce the chance of attracting wildlife. Take the following actions.

  • Place your items at the curb between 5:30 and 7:30am on your collection day
  • Keep your garbage and Green Can clean – wash them regularly with a mild detergent or a water and vinegar solution
  • Store bins indoors or in a secure enclosure – the Solid Waste Management Service Bylaw 6920 requires that they be safely stored so they're not accessible by wildlife or rodents
  • Freeze smelly food scraps like chicken and fish (wrapped in newspaper) until your collection day
  • Clean barbeques and drip trays regularly
  • Remove bird feeders between April and November, and when feeders are in place remove spilled bird seed 
  • Feed pets indoors
  • Pick fruit as it ripens, and remove fallen fruit
  • Compost responsibly – watch a video on how to compost in bear country
  • To block rodents, prune shrubs away from buildings, keep grass short, and remove vegetation where they can hide; block access points to your building with 1/4 inch mesh or steel wool

Bear Awareness

The North Shore mountains are prime black bear habitat, and from spring until late fall many bears move down into urban neighbourhoods in search of food. Most bear activity is in the upper portions of the Districts of North and West Vancouver, but occasionally bears do move down into the City through our forested ravines.

The City is a member of the North Shore Black Bear Network (NSBBN), which is a partnership of the three North Shore municipalities, other communities in the Lower Mainland, the North Shore Black Bear Society (a non-profit Society of North Shore volunteers), and the Conservation Officers Service. The Network provides an opportunity for sharing ideas about how to prevent and reduce human-bear encounters in our communities.

Learn more about Reducing Human-Bear Conflict in Bear Country (PDF).

If You Encounter a Bear

Usually bears are just passing through looking for food, and if the bear finds no food source it will move on. Keep away and give the bear lots of space. If possible, take your pets and children indoors.

  • Stay calm
  • Stand still – do not run
  • Speak calmly
  • Slowly back away

If you see a bear in your neighbourhood, report the sighting to the North Shore Bear Hotline at 604-990-BEAR (2327).

If the bear is threatening, persistent, or aggressive call a Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277, or the RCMP at 911.

More Information

Get more information on bears through one of the following organizations.

Rodent Awareness

Rodents are a common pest, and they can pose a health and safety risk. Residents are required to manage attractants under the Rodent Control Bylaw, 1988, No. 5899, including removing potential shelter and food.

Rodenticide Use

The use of anticoagulant rodenticides is not permitted by the public due to its impact on other wildlife - see the Provincial Integrated Pest Management Act.

Bait traps use poison designed to attract rodents. When bait traps are used, they can harm other wildlife such as owls, eagles, hawks, raccoons, and even cats and dogs who consume the bait or the poisoned rodents.

Alternatives to Rodenticides

In addition to reducing attractants, consider using one of the following rodenticide alternatives:

  • Mechanical traps, including live capture, electronic or bucket traps
  • Coyote or other predator urine or scent
  • Ultrasonic pest repellers
  • Owl perches and nesting boxes
  • Rodent exclusion company instead of an exterminator

More Information

Get more information on rodents and rodenticides through one of the following organizations.

Wildlife Resources

For questions or concerns about wildlife in the City, please contact the following agencies:

Coyotes / Cougars / Wildlife Violations
Ministry of Environment 24-hour wildlife line | 1-800-663-9453

Aggressive Coyotes
Provincial Conservation Officer | 1-877-952-7277

Pest Control (skunks, raccoons)
AAA Wildlife | 604-685-6888 or 604-988-8024

Vancouver Coastal Health Authority | 604-983-6700

Dead Crows / Ravens / Jays
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority | 604-983-6700

In January 2023 the Province of BC prohibited the sale and use of rodenticides by the public to protect owls and other wildlife. Learn more.
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