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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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Thursday, October 10, 2013

By the 1960s, North Carolina's once-thriving black bear population was a fraction of it's Colonial levels........They were completely gone from the Coastal Piedmont due to unregulated hunting, habitat decimated from intensive logging in the early 20th century and the chestnut tree blight of the 1930s and '40s.............Today the Tar Heel State has at least 11,000 bruins roaming over 10 million acres versus the the 4000 bears in the early 70's that occupied just 2.5 million acres............Let's do the same thing with Pumas and Wolves in N.C. over the next 40 years---Get them back in the woods and fields where they can help the bears keep the forests alive and well and not denuded by an out-of-control Deer population

North Carolina Wildlife Commission
North Carolina Black Bears

Population & Occupied Range Expansion

Black bears thrived throughout all of North Carolina in

 pre-colonial times. Nevertheless, like mountain lions 

and wolves, black bears were persecuted by early

 settlers and populations suffered from detrimental

 habitat changes.

By the early 1900's, black bears were restricted to the 
most remote mountains and coastal swamps. Unlike
cougars and wolves that never recovered in North
 Carolina, black bear populations and range have
 expanded over the last 30 years.
Historic Black Bear DistributionCurrent Black Bear Distribution
The expansion in bear populations and range is due
 to changing human attitudes about bears, better laws
 and enforcement of laws, better management by wildlife
 agencies, the adaptable nature of bears and the ability
 of bears to peacefully coexist with people in most
  • 1971—About 4,000 bears occupied approximately
  •  2.5 million acres
  • 2008—About 11,000 bears lived on almost
  •  10 million acres 

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