How will bear population be affected by the current situation? I don't think bear population will be affected at all by this, but possibly reduced bear death by vehicular accident. Poachers will still go out because the law means nothing to them anyway. In the last decade especially I've really had a chance to study grizzly behaviour and it truly is fascinating watching them. Grizzlies simply don't care about humans and their activities, such as coal mine activity, people going by on quads or cars or even hikers going by. Grizzlies will do what they please. And grizzlies like all other wildlife are thriving in Jasper and the eastern slopes. Grizzlies are being spotted east of Edson, which is remarkable. I know that the the Foothills grizzly Project people would completely disagree with me, but for those guys to get to fly around in helicopters and shoot grizzlies with tranquillizers they have to paint a picture of doom and gloom, that's how they get to keep their jobs. If they say that the grizzly population is sound, there goes their funding. I was talking last year to a wildlife biologist that works for the local coal mine south of Hinton and she told me that there are ten grizzlies, ten cougars, two wolf packs with one pack having fourteen wolves and the other has nine, hundreds of elk and sheep and deer all living harmoniously on the mine property. Moose has a very strong population as well. Everywhere I hike in either Jasper, western BC and the eastern slopes of the Rockies, you are guaranteed to see bear, wolf and moose tracks. I went on a hike in MT. Robson PP three days ago where I would have had to wallow through waist deep snow if not for the moose that made wonderful tracks for me.
Thanks to the pine beetle our forests are slowly returning to stasis. We just need some forest fires to clear out the damage created by forest mismanagement and maybe within a few decades our forests will be the way that they should be and the wildlife won't need to walk highways and cutlines to get to where they want to go.
As far as wildlife entering towns, yes there is much more deer and elk within the townsite and JPL where I work. There always has been, but there is more than normal for sure. Last year a young grizzly was put down in Jasper and one grizzly was put down in Hinton. The picture of the grizzly below was one that bluff charged me while I was walking down a logging road a couple of years ago. Last year that same bear and his sister ended up in town and he had to be put down and the sister was relocated. That kind of stuff has been going on forever. The moose picture I took while hiking up at Rock lake last week and the lynx was taken last year.
So, wildlife populations are doing well and whether the COVID situation has any effects, I doubt that it will. Just my two cents.