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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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Monday, November 5, 2012

When Black Bears have access to an abundant acorn crop in the Eastern USA, they tend to have a bumper crop of cubs the following Spring.................However, if those cubs encounter food shortages in their first year on the planet, their mortality rate soars as they enter their first winter hibernation period.........That is exactly what the Black Bear population of the Adironadack State Park in New York State is facing this year...........Mother Bears tending as many as 4 cubs(the more usual birth pattern is 2 cubs every several years) ran into drought conditions this past Spring and Summer which severely reduced the supply of berries and other foodstuffs that the cubs eat...........It will be interesting to see how many of the bears survive the coming winter.................Nature's way of checks and balances, always at play in the wild

Wildlife biologist explains upswing in bear cub encounters

For the last two months, though, he’s dealt with one bear issue after another, focusing mainly on small cubs that have been wandering parking lots, school fields and back yards since late September.
“It’s been six weeks of constant bear calls,” he said Monday

Ed Reed, a senior wildlife biologist with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, said a number of factors have contributed to the high number of bear cubs being visible in populated areas this fall. Female bears, known as sows, had more cubs than usual last spring because they were very healthy in light of a bumper crop of natural food in the woods in 2011, Reed said. Some sows had three or four cubs when they normally have one or two.“All of the sows were healthy and they had a lot of cubs,” he said.

So those additional cubs have had to fight for food this year during dry conditions where natural food crops like berries and beech nuts were way down.  Cubs often stay with their mothers through their first year and find dens with them during their first winter, but as many as half do leave her side and head out on their own when less than a year old, Reed said.

With a lack of food this year, though, many will have a tough time making it through the winter.
The rise in bear sightings in more populated areas has been noticed around the state as well.
“It’s a region-wide issue and other regions have been dealing with it too,” Reed said.

Adirondack black bears typically start looking for winter dens by mid-November, Reed said. Even young cubs can generally find dens on their own and survive winter provided they are healthy enough and have enough fat reserves to make it through a several-month hibernation.

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