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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, December 21, 2012

While California has all kinds of fiscal problems, it stands tall in its prudent and thoughtful wildlife management practices.................With some 25-30,000 Black Bears wandering the state, the dept of fish and Game restricts the annual Bear hunt to 1700 bruins or just about 7% of the population...............A spread and multiply philosophy without the vengeance that other western states incorporate into their carnivore hunting seasons................Interesting that california has some of the least number of human/bear/puma conflicts in the region even though Pumas are off limits to hunters and Bears are just minimally targeted................As the Large Carnivore Lab up at Washington State U. has studied and calculated-------human persecuted carnivore populations tend to have many more inexperienced juveniles in their populations,,,,,,,,,,,,,,just the type animals that take risks that bring them into the sphere of human beings,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,with the result usally being an early death for the animal

2012 Black Bear Hunting Season Closes: More than 1,700 Bears Killed

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) closed the 2012 black bear hunting season on Dec. 18, 2012.

Under regulations adopted by the Fish and Game Commission, the black bear season must be closed when DFG verifies 1,700 bears are taken by hunters or on the last Sunday in December, whichever occurs first. As of today, the DFG has determined the 1,700 limit has been met. Tags yet to be received by DFG will put the total harvest at slightly more than 1,700 bears.

DFG is mailing notices to all bear tag holders, informing them that the season is closed. DFG wardens, biologists and customer service staff will also inform hunters they encounter that the season is closed. Statewide media sources and the California Fish and Game Commission will also be notified.

Calif. Black Bear Range


All bear tags, including unsuccessful tags, must be returned to the DFG Wildlife Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA94299-0002, by Feb.1, 2013. Tags can also be report
on-line by logging into the Automated Data Licensing System. More details can be found here (
Hunters must present their bears to a DFG employee for tag validation immediately after taking the bear. Furthermore, successful hunters must present the skull to a DFG employee within 10 days of taking the bear to collect biological samples. Teeth and hair samples are extracted from the bears to determine the age of the bear and provide DNA information that will give DFG biologists an indication about the overall health of the state's bear population

Black Bear Population Information;California dept. of fish & Game

California's black bear population has increased over the past 25 years. In 1982, the statewide bear population was estimated to be between 10,000 and 15,000. Presently, the statewide black bear population is conservatively estimated to be between 25,000 and 30,000.

Two subspecies of black bear are recognized in California, the northwestern black bear (Ursus americana altifrontalis) and the California black bear (U. a. californiensis). The subspecies are thought to be geographically distinguished by the crest of the Klamath Mountains. Differentiation between distinct black bear "populations" is difficult in California, even at subspecies level, because there are no significant barriers restricting bear movement between occupied habitat. However, differences in vegetation, water availability, and bear density, allow biologists to differentiate three regional "subpopulations" of black bears in California-North Coast/Cascade, Sierra, and Central Western/Southwestern.

The North Coast/Cascade subpopulation occurs north and west of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and includes both the Northwestern and Cascade floristic provinces (Jepson 1993). Roughly half of the statewide black bear population resides in this portion of the state. Previous and ongoing studies indicate that bear densities range from 1.0 to 2.5 bears per square mile (Department of Fish and game 1993, Kellyhouse 1977, Piekielek and Burton 1972). Almost all of the bear habitat in this area is publicly owned or used for timber production. Large wilderness areas are located in each of the National Forests of this region.

The Sierra Nevada subpopulation encompasses the Sierra Floristic province (Jepson 1993) and extends from Plumas County south to Kern County. Black bears inhabit the entire region. Forty percent of the statewide black bear population inhabits the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Bear Populations are less dense in the Sierra with between 0.5 and 1.0 bears per square mile (Grenfell and Brody 1983, Koch 1983, Sitton 1982). Over two-thirds of the bear habitat is administered by the U.S. Forest Service and two large National Parks are located within this region.

The Western/Southwestern subpopulation extends south and east from Santa Cruz County to San Diego County. Prior to 1950, black bears were not believed to inhabit the Central Coast or Transition Ranges (Storer and Tevis 1978, Hall and Kelson 1959 Grinnell et al 1937) where black bears were believed to be excluded or limited by the larger California grizzly bear (Ursus arctos californicus). After the California grizzly bear became extinct around the turn of the century, black bears started to appear in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties (Grinnel et al 1937). The Department of Fish and Game supplemented this natural range expansion by moving black bears into southern California during the early 1930's (Burgduff 1935). The current black bear population in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains is believed to be at least partially descended from this supplemental introduction.

Probably less than 10 percent of the statewide black bear population inhabits the Central Western/Southwestern California bioregion and bears are restricted to the Central Coast and Transverse Mountain Ranges. In the Central Western province, bears were detected by bait stations with decreasing frequency as latitude increased (Schultz 1994). Based on studies of black bears in Chaparral habitats in Arizona (LeCount 1982) and southern California (Stubblefield 1992, Novick 1981, Moss 1972) bear density is probably less than 0.25 bears per square mile.

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