Human-wildlife conflict

grizzly eating garbage on the highway

Environment Yukon wants to minimize human-wildlife conflicts in order to protect human health and safety, maintain biodiversity and reduce property damage. While prevention is always the best approach, a more forceful response is sometimes needed if a significant risk to human health or property is present.

All Yukoners can and should play a role in reducing the potential for Human-Wildlife conflict.

Below is information about prevention measures for everyone as well as the actions Environment Yukon may take in the event of a serious incident. Environment Yukon strives to provide a consistent management response to human-wildlife conflict.

What is Human-wildlife conflict?

Human-Wildlife Conflict is any interaction between wildlife and humans which causes harm, whether it’s to the human, the wild animal, or property. (Property includes buildings, equipment and camps, livestock and pets, but does not include crops fields or fences.)

Some examples of human-wildlife conflict that occur in the Yukon include:

While prevention is the best way to avoid human-wildlife conflict, we recognize that sometimes incidents are unavoidable. The Wildlife Act does allow you to kill wildlife in self-defense and, in some cases, in defense of property. Killing of wildlife for these reasons seldom happens in Yukon, however.

Garbage, Beaver in Cage, Fox in Cage

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Preventing human-wildlife conflict

Most human-wildlife conflict incidents are caused by human behavior, such as poor handling of attractants. If an animal succeeds in getting an easy meal from some improperly stored garbage or food, it is almost certain to return or seek the same food source elsewhere.

Animals that are human or food conditioned or habituated can be dangerous.

Yukon’s small population shares a vast land base with a wealth of wildlife. We are each responsible for conducting our lives and business in a way that minimizes impacts on local wildlife.

The Yukon government undertakes a wide range of actions designed to prevent human-wildlife conflict, including:

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Environment Yukon's approach

Yukon Conservation Officers follow a detailed operational directive when responding to conflicts between humans and wildlife. The operational directive is based on the following principles:

Principles for preventing human-wildlife conflict:

Principles for responding to human-wildlife conflict:

These principles were reviewed and affirmed by a working group comprising representatives from government, environmental organizations, and those industry sectors whose main activity increases exposure to human-wildlife conflict.

conservation officers installing electric fences and road signs

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Additional resources


Contact Conservation Officer Services
Phone (Whitehorse): 867-667-8005
Toll-free (in Yukon, NWT, Nunavut):
1-800-661-0408 ext. 8005
T.I.P.P. Line: 1-800-661-0525

Fax: 867-393-6206

Email: coservices@gov.yk.ca
Address: Box 2703 (V-18) Whitehorse, Yukon Canada Y1A 2C6

District Conservation Officers


Whitehorse 667-8005
Dawson 993-5492
Watson Lake 536-3210
Haines Junction 634-2247
Mayo 996-2202
Carmacks 863-2411
Old Crow 966-3040
Ross River 969-2202
Faro 994-2862
Teslin 390-2685