Visitor Counter

hitwebcounter web counter
Visitors Since Blog Created in March 2010

Click Below to:

Add Blog to Favorites

Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

Subscribe via email to get updates

Enter your email address:

Receive New Posting Alerts

(A Maximum of One Alert Per Day)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Glimpsing a bear in Connecticut was once unlikely because bears were extirpated from the state by the mid-1800s..... Since then, bears have made a comeback......... Their return is due, in part, to the regrowth of forestland throughout the region following the abandonment of farms during the late 1800s............... Beginning in the 1980s, the DEP Wildlife Division had evidence of a resident black bear population............. Since then, annual sighting reports have increased dramatically with wildlife officials estimating that there are roughly 500 bears currently calling the "nutmeg state" home

Black Bear Season: CT Sightings and What You Should Know
Nine black bears have been spotted in Newtown in the past year. Here are some tips to keep you safe when out in the woods.

In the past year, Connecticut residents have reported nearly 2,500 black bear sightings in state. In Newtown, the DEEP website notes nine sightings since April 29, 2011. The number of sightings may increase this year as bears come out of hibernation and their population growth continues to increase, stated the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) in a press release.

The DEEP reminds residents to take steps to reduce contact and conflicts with black bears. "These steps become increasingly important as bears emerge from winter hibernation looking for food and because the state's bear population is growing," the press release detailed.

The growing population is estimated by the DEEP at about 500 bears.

Glimpsing a bear in Connecticut was once unlikely because bears were extirpated from the state by the mid-1800s. Since then, bears have made a comeback. Their return is due, in part, to the regrowth of forestland throughout the region following the abandonment of farms during the late 1800s. Beginning in the 1980s, the DEP Wildlife Division had evidence of a resident black bear population. Since then, annual sighting reports have increased dramatically, indicating a rapid increase in the bear population. With the number of bears increasing in the state, it is important for residents to learn the facts about black bears and how to coexist with them.

So far this spring, the DEEP said they have already received several reports of bears traveling through populated areas and coming into contact with humans and domestic animals. "When bears emerge from their winter dens, natural foods are scarce and, as a result, bears are often attracted to human-provided foods found near homes."

Susan Frechette, DEEP Deputy Commissioner stated, "Most conflicts occur when bears are attracted close to homes by food sources that are easy for them to access, such as bird seed, garbage, and residue on grills. This can lead to more serious problems, including habituated bears that have lost their fear of humans."

Household garbage should be stored in closed garages or sheds, states the DEEP or in cases where that can not be done, trash receptacles should be cleaned with ammonia to discourage pilfering by bears and other animals. Other items that can attract bears include pet and livestock foods, sweet or fatty food scraps in compost piles, and fruit-bearing trees.

Although uncommon, the DEEP states that bears may attack and kill livestock, such as sheep, goats, pigs, and fowl. "They also can destroy unprotected beehives. One of the best precautions for these problems is well-maintained electric fencing. Other recommendations for livestock growers include moving animals into sheds or barns at night, keeping feed contained, keeping animals as distant from forested areas as possible, and using guard dogs."

Tips to Avoid Problems With Black Bears:
  1. NEVER feed bears.
  2. Take down, clean, and put away birdfeeders by late March. Store the feeders until late fall. Clean up spilled seed from the ground.
  3. Store garbage in secure, airtight containers inside a garage or storage area. Double bagging and adding ammonia to cans and bags will reduce odors that attract bears. Periodically clean garbage cans with ammonia to reduce residual odor. Garbage for pickup should be put outside the morning of collection and not the night before.
  4. Avoid leaving pet food outdoors at night.
  5. Keep barbecue grills clean. Store grills inside a garage or shed.
  6. Avoid placing meat scraps or sweet foods in compost piles.
  7. Protect beehives, livestock, and berry bushes from bears with electric fencing.
  8. Supervise dogs at all times when outside. Keep dogs on a leash when walking and hiking. A roaming dog might be perceived as a threat to a bear or its cubs.
If you encounter a bear while hiking, the DEEP recommends that you make your presence known by yelling or making other loud noises. "Usually, a bear will move from an area once it detects humans. If a bear does not retreat, slowly leave the area and find an alternate hiking route."

Though the bear population continues to swell and be of concern to some residents, prevention and tolerance are necessary for coexisting with bears in Connecticut, states the DEEP. "It is important to remember that although black bears regularly travel near houses, they are rarely aggressive toward humans and can usually be frightened away by making loud noises, throwing sticks, or spraying with a garden hose."

In the rare instance when a bear appears to be aggressive toward people, residents should contact the DEEP Wildlife Division's Sessions Woods office at 860-675-8130

No comments: