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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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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Something has to be done about the increasing number of Bears being killed by cars and trains in Canada's National Parks................16 Black Bears have been struck down, twice the historical yearly average...........Snows were heavy across Canada last Winter which could have kept Bears in lower valleys where human density is higher than in higher elevation terrain

Parks Canada worried after two more bears killed on park roads

By Larissa Barlow

Two more black bears were killed on the road over the weekend, bringing the total deaths in area national parks this summer to 16 — twice as many as the yearly average.
A bear was killed on Saturday in Banff on Highway 93 North, just south of the Silverhorn overflow campground, and on Sunday, a bear was killed in Yoho near the Spiral Tunnels.
Of the 16 black bears killed in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay this year, 12 were struck by vehicles while the others were hit by trains."We're now more than twice the yearly average," said Parks Canada communications officer Omar McDadi. "It's higher than normal, and we're concerned about that, and we're working really hard to minimize these collisions with wildlife."

McDadi said human-wildlife conflict specialists and bear guardians have been working hard to monitor wildlife and educate visitors about proper bear viewing etiquette. Parks Canada is also ramping up signage to alert motorists to the presence of bears in certain areas, and has installed electro mats at highway junctions where there's a break in the wildlife fence. The mats deliver a mild shock to animals to keep them from going on the highway.Parks is also looking at the possibility of extending the bear guardian program into Kootenay National Park to give bears that added level of protection."That's just in the initial planning stages, but we are taking this really seriously and our number one priority right now is to stop these collisions from happening," McDadi said.

Parks is also continuing to work with the RCMP to curb speeding on roadways in the parks, though it's unclear if these latest two deaths were the result of drivers going too fast. "It's really tough to characterize that because in most cases these are hit and run situations. It's very rare that people stop and call in and say they've struck and killed a bear. It's even tough to say what time of day these things are happening," McDadi said.

While difficult to pinpoint why there have been so many black bear deaths this year, McDadi said the winter's record breaking snowfall may have forced many bears to remain in low valley bottoms in search for food longer than before.
Anecdotally, human-wildlife conflict specialists have noticed more black bears in the parks this year and that could indicate a spike in population, though nothing has been confirmed. "We're doing everything we can to reduce mortality and we're also asking visitors and residents to help by driving vigilantly and by observing speed limits and refraining from feeding wildlife," he said.
"That could potential add many years to an animal's life."

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