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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

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

While there is some disagreemet among scientists about why Grizzly and Polar Bears are increasingly coming together, hybridizing to create "Grolar Bears",,,,,, the bottom line is that the last time this occurred was hundreds of thousands of years ago when the planet was signifcantly warmer.............We learned last week that Griz and Polar Bears are distinct species, both the offspring of a common ancestor...............It seems evidient to me that our fossil fuel buring society is responsible for the hybridizing,,,,,,,,,,,,,,a good,,,,, or bad,,,,or benign outcome for the two bear species?????

A polar bear? A grizzly? No it's a grolar bear, a pizzly

Hunters from the village of Ulukhaktok, N.W.T. knew there was something different about the polar bear they were stalking but couldn't put their finger on it.It was far more aggressive than anything they were used to. They even called off the dog for fear the large white mammal would kill it.

On closer inspection after it was shot and killed, it turned out not to be an ordinary polar bear but one that was a cross between a polar bear and a grizzly, unofficial known as "grolar bear" and "pizzly.""The first hybrid we had ever seen around here a few years ago was pretty nasty. They (hunters) usually stalk the polar bear using a dog but this bear was so aggressive they couldn't use a dog on them. It was too dangerous," Robert Kuptana, who lives in the western Arctic hamlet of about 400 people on Victoria Island, told the Toronto StarFriday.

Over the years as grizzly bears have wandered further north following the Caribou herd, the hybrid variety has become more common, the 69-year-old Kuptana said, adding that just 10 days ago, a hunter from the village, Pat Ekpakohak, and his two grandchildren killed three of them.
"One is pure white, one is partly dark and the other is fairly dark brown and the top part is white," said Kuptana, who took a picture of the skins. Polar bear and grizzly habitat overlaps in the western Canadian Arctic around the Beaufort Sea. Grizzlies are known to occasionally to go out on the ice in the spring to feed on seals killed by polar bears, according to the Canadian Wildlife Service.

A DNA test conducted by the Wildlife Genetics International in British Columbia on a bear shot and killed by an American hunter in 2006 confirmed it was a hybrid, making it the first documented case in the wild.Ian Stirling, a research scientist and polar bear expert with the Canadian Wildlife Service in Edmonton, said in an interview with National Geographic that the hybrid was "definitely not" a sign of climate change.

Andrew Derocher, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta, is in Ulukhaktok, where he is doing polar bear research and saw the skins from the three hybrids.
He told the Star, "It seems to me they are getting a lot more common, at least in this part of the

"I think the story here . . . is that the number of grizzly bears on Victoria Island has increased quite markedly over the last 20 years. And part of that might be related to changing environmental conditions up here. It's a bit warmer and it's quite clear the grizzly bears are well-established here now and, of course, there is a healthy population of polar bears around," he said.

David Paetkau, president of Wildlife Genetics International, based in Nelson. B.C., told the Star it was a "quirky" development that can't be totally explained and that he was only interested in talking about substantive work that his firm does.

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