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Coyotes-Wolves-Cougars.blogspot.com

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, August 11, 2013

"The Jane Goodall" of Canada, Grizzly Bear Naturalist Charlie Russell makes a passionate case against taking the remaining 700 Grizzlies persisting in Alberta off of the "Threatened Species List" so that the Province can institute a hunting season.................He is in favor of removing cattle killing bears from the region but dead set against a full out hunt to remove 10, 20, 30% of the population..........Russell states: "It should be done by professionals," he suggests. "I think that the average hunter wouldn't have any idea what the right bear to kill".............. "It needs to be done precisely because there are so few bears"............. "To zero in on that bear that is creating the problem is a tricky thing to do and it has to be done with someone with a lot of skill"............. It's an idea that's gaining support from ranchers such as Tony Bruder, who has been dealing with grizzly bears on his property near Twin Butte since 1997....................Bruder says: "We both agree there are a lot of good bears out there that aren't causing trouble and, if we had a better way to deal with the bad bears, everybody's life would be a lot easier"................Former Banff National Park Superintendent Keven Van Tighem sums up the Alberta Griz debate this way:----- "It's just such a crowded world"............. "We can't simply keep on trying to keep bears and humans separate because the bears are the ones that are going to lose".............. "So we need to live closer to them, and that's really what Charlie's experiences have given us some clues about".......... "It's clear southern Alberta landowners are finding ways to live with bears — through strategies such as removing attractants like animal carcasses, installing bear-proof doors on grain bins and putting electric fencing around livestock pens".........................."We have to set aside the idea that they(Griz) are dangerous" ..............."As soon as you set aside the idea that they are unpredictable it opens your mind to the idea that there are things we can do to minimize risk and optimize coexistence"

Grizzly bear expert says ranchers

 must share the land

Charlie Russell opposes hunt

 of threatened species


calgaryherald.com 
Grizzly bear expert says ranchers must share the land

Charlie Russell, a Canadian naturalist, has studied the relationship between humans and grizzly bears for many years. He is pictured here at his home near Waterton Lakes National Park.


WATERTON VALLEY — There was a time when a bear
would join Charlie Russell as he sat on the deck of the
beloved Hawk's Nest, his family's rustic log cabin with a breathtaking view of lush green prairie and the Rockies
 in the distance.They would just sit there and look at the
expansive countryside."This is what's possible if you
 don't have a terrible fear," says Russell, an Alberta
 naturalist who has been dubbed the Jane Goodall of
 Canada.

The moniker came after he spent 12 years on the
Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, studying the behaviour
 of bears.Since then, he has maintained that grizzly bears
 — often characterized as dangerous — are not actually
 aggressive and can even form relationships with humans
 when treated with respect.

Russell, 71, has now dedicated his life to teaching
 others
 what he's learned.His lessons are perhaps no more
valuable than in his own backyard, where conflicts
 between landowners and grizzly bears have
 increased
 as the population grows and bears have started
 to make
 their way back to their native prairies. "It wasn't too
long ago that we insisted that bears live in the
 mountain and not come out into our land," Russell
 says during a wide-ranging interview at the Hawk's
 Nest. "That has changed with the new generation
 of ranchers. "They are trying to be more tolerant
 of bears."

It certainly hasn't been easy as some ranchers
 lose livestock to the predators, prompting some
 to call for a return of the grizzly bear hunt for
 problem bears.

There are fewer than 700 grizzly bears in Alberta,
 which led the province to declare the species
threatened and develop a recovery plan in 2008.
Both conservationists and the province say it's too
 soon to reconsider a hunt, noting there are steps
 required as part of the plan before it's even considered.

Russell believes grizzly bears should continue to be
 listed as a threatened species in the province."We
aren't doing very well at getting along with them,"
he says. "The idea is to get them off (the threatened
 species list) so they can justify a hunt. I am so down
on hunting ... and I was raised a hunter by a very
 famous hunter."Russell's father, Andy, was a
world-renowned conservationist, outfitter, author
and filmmaker who died in 2005.

Charlie Russell, who is also an author, suggests
 there are options to control problem bears. "It has
 to be a way without hunting them — to eliminate the
 bear that starts killing cattle," he says. "If we let them
 do that, then they teach their cubs and pretty soon
cattle and sheep are pretty easy for a bear to kill,
especially sheep."They're like popcorn and everybody
 wants to eat popcorn."



Russell, who ranched in the area for 18 years, says it's
likely five or six bears killing livestock."If ranching and
 grazing in this area is really important — and it seems
 to be to everybody — then these bears that make a
habit of killing cattle should be removed because it
gives the whole species a bad name if they are allowed
 to continue," he says. "There's lots of bears who don't
 feed on cattle, but every bear is a cattle killer as far as
 ranchers are concerned."

He acknowledges it's not an easy solution.
"It should be done by professionals," he suggests. "I
 think that the average hunter wouldn't have any idea
what the right bear to kill. It needs to be done precisely
 because there are so few bears.
"To zero in on that bear that is creating the problem is
a tricky thing to do and it has to be done with someone
 with a lot of skill." It's an idea that's gaining support from
 ranchers such as Tony Bruder, who has been dealing
 with grizzly bears on his property near Twin Butte since
 1997.

"Our views aren't really that different," Bruder says,
admitting they didn't always see eye to eye. "I don't
think he likes problem bears around his place any
more than I like problem bears around my place.
"We both agree there are a lot of good bears out
 there that aren't causing trouble and, if we had a
better way to deal with the bad bears, everybody's
 life would be a lot easier."

But Bruder still thinks there's room for a hunt in
southwestern Alberta.
"I believe there's enough bears to maintain a hunt,"
 he says, referring to information from the province
showing the population has increased.
Hair samples collected from both public and private
 land suggest there were at least 122 grizzly bears
 in the area in 2012 — up from 51 recorded on
 public lands a year earlier.

Russell says that just because the population has
 grown, it doesn't mean there will be more problems.
"Too many people think they are going to be overrun
by bears, but it doesn't really happen," he says,
noting they'll sometimes congregate in one area
 because of a food source, then spread out again.

Grizzlies scent marking tree











Russell says it's time for people — particularly hunters —
 to stop depicting bears as dangerous animals. "Grizzly
bears want to get along with us," he says. "We need to
 understand them. We can't keep telling lies. The lies
 that we tell about them are that they are ferocious
animals. These are lies. I say that so profoundly because
 I spent my life exploring these ideas.

"It makes it very hard to live in bear country if you are all
 afraid of bears and bears are afraid of us."

It's a sentiment supported by Kevin Van Tighem, who just
 released a book called Bears: Without Fear. "He's got a
really important body of insights into bears that need to
 inform how we coexist with them in the future," says the
 former superintendent of Banff National Park. "It's just
 such a crowded world. "We can't simply keep on trying
to keep bears and humans separate, because the bears
are the ones that are going to lose. So we need to live
closer to them, and that's really what Charlie's experiences
 have given us some clues about."  Van Tighem says it's
 clear southern Alberta landowners are finding ways to
 live with bears — through strategies such as removing
attractants like animal carcasses, installing bear-proof
 doors on grain bins and putting electric fencing around
 livestock pens.

"There will always be a friction point ... this is a large,
 food-obsessed, carnivorous animal," says Van Tighem.
 "But as soon as you set aside the idea that they are
dangerous and as soon as you set aside the idea that
they are unpredictable ... it opens your mind to the idea
 that there are things we can do to minimize risk and
 optimize coexistence."

Even Russell has had to find a way to mitigate any
 problems after the bear who sat on his porch walked
 into his cabin one day."It was my mistake. I left the
 door open," he says, noting the bear got into some
 bird seed.Concerned the bear would keep coming
back for more food, Russell put up an electric wire."
That bear, he got shocked a couple of times and quit
 coming up on the porch, which was kind of sad,"
he says.
"That incident proved that just because a bear
 gets into some food inside a house, it doesn't
 mean he's going to go on being a nuisance forever."
  

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