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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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Friday, May 11, 2012

Ohio is getting a spike in biodiversity.......Over the past few years, Bobcats have been roaming out of the States southeastern region and are foraging their way north..... In addition, in 2011, 89 confirmed Black Bear sightings have been recorded by Div. of Wildlife officials.......With neighboring Pennsylvania and New York State having healthy populations of Bruins and with some recovering woodland again exisiting in Ohio, the opportunistic and highly intelligent Bear is again calling Ohio home

Lots of black bear sightings in northeast Ohio

Northeast Ohio has become a black bear haven with multiple sightings last year in Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula, and even Cuyahoga counties .In all, throughout Ohio, a reported 152 sightings were logged for 19 counties. Of this figure, 60 were confirmed bear sightings made by officials with the Division of Wildlife. Officials say also that they believe 89 individual bears were responsible for all of the sightings. However, the 152 sightings are a modest decline from 2010's reported sightings of 164 black bears. The record number of black bear sightings was the 165 animals noted in 2003.

Black Bears are Back!

Well before Ohio became a state, most of the land was covered by forest. This forest was perfect habitat for black bears. There were so many black bears living in Ohio then that Native Americans used them as a source of food and skins. The only other large animal that the Indians used more was the white-tailed deer.

But as the land was cleared of trees to make room for farms and cities, black bears slowly disappeared. By about the year 1850 there were no black bears left in Ohio because their habitat had been destroyed.
The goo
d news today is that black bears are back in Ohio! There are about 100 black bears now living in the wild in our state. Some female bears, known as sows, have been seen with cubs, so wildlife biologists know that bears are reproducing and the population is growing. Bears have returned because some forests, their habitat, have grown back.

Black bears are not always black in color. Sometimes their fur may be blond, cinnamon (tan), brown, or a combination of these colors, plus black.
Bears are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and meat. During late summer and fall they may eat constantly — up to 20 hours a day! They do this to put on fat to help them survive their winter hibernation, which may last several months.

All that eating can make a bear very big. Male bears, known as boars, weigh about 300 pounds and females weigh about 150 pounds. A black bear in our neighboring state of Pennsylvania once weighed more than 700 pounds! When standing on their hind legs, black bears are between four and six feet tall.
What should you do if you are lucky enough to see a bear in the wild? First of all, don’t approach it; let it alone and allow it to leave. Bears are usually afraid of people. Black bears are protected by Ohio wildlife laws and injuring or killing one is illegal.


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