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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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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The last written record of a Black Bears being hunted in downtown Manhattan, New York is from an entry in the 1916 edition of VALENTINE'S MANUAL OF OLD NEW YORK which cites an account of bear hunting on Pearl Street in 1678, 50 years after the Dutch founded a Fur Trading Colony in what was to become New York City...................The WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY'S(WCS)Eric Sanderson researched what the original Manahattan Island looked like in the 16th century and determined that Black Bears, Wolves, Pumas, Bobcats, Beavers, Rattlesnakes were quite common................The dead Black Bear Cub discovered in Central Park this past Monday is a mystery, likely killed by a car,,,,,,,,,,likely dumped in the Park by the driver that hit the bear, somewhere in the suburbs outside the city



Manhattan in 1500AD and in 2014

Black Bears are showing up in Suburbs across 
the USA but do require wooded retreats and have
 not shown an ability to take up residence in the
 concrete jungle of cities

Bear Cub Found Dead in Central Park Was Hit by a Car, Investigators Say

The mystery of the bear cub found dead on Monday in Central Park is one step closer to being solved: It was revealed on Tuesday that she died after being hit by a car.
The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation announced that the results of a necropsy showed that the cause of death was “blunt force injuries consistent with a motor vehicle collision.”
But apart from the bear’s age and weight — six months, 44 pounds — the cause of death was almost all anyone seemed to know, and almost all anyone was willing to say.
The initial details of the case were clear: A woman was walking her dog in Central Park when she noticed the dead bear cub, which was lying under some bushes, partially concealed by an abandoned bicycle. The Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad began looking into the bear’s death, and the cub was taken to Albany for analysis by the state conservation department’s wildlife health unit.
But so many questions remain unanswered: How did the bear end up in Central Park? Was there foul play involved? Did she die in the park, or was she dumped there?
After revealing the results of the necropsy, Lori Severino, a spokeswoman for the Environmental Conservation Department, said that the agency still did not know where the bear had come from, only that it was “likely not the park.”
And others involved in the investigation had little to add.
All the Police Department would say was that the bear’s death was being examined by the Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad.
The usually forthcoming American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said only that it would be providing the police with “forensic support,” declining to explain what that entailed.
The Central Park Conservancy, which runs Central Park and provided preliminary information on Monday, had nothing to add on Tuesday. And a spokesman for the Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the Bronx Zoo, said it was no longer involved and did not wish to comment.
So the search for answers widened.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which has been dealing with a surging black bear population, had nothing to say.
Calls were made to a retired Bronx homicide commander, Vernon Gerberth. “It wouldn’t be a police matter,” he said, “unless the bear was killed by a person, or if somebody was keeping it as a pet and brought it to the park. People are crazy.”
Dr. Lana Ciarniello, a bear expert in Canada, said that most bear experts in the United States were attending a conference in Greece and would be hard to reach for comment.
She could not make the trip, so she was able to offer her thoughts on the mystery.
She guessed that someone killed the bear and took it to Central Park. It was highly unlikely that a bear cub would travel across the concrete jungle.
“Bears are not going to go through a city,” Dr. Ciarniello said. “If it’s not continuous green space from wherever it came from to Central Park, it seems unlikely that the bear got lost and wandered there.”
She also said that the bear’s gender might have some relevance: “From a biological standpoint, it’s highly unusual for a female bear cub to be so far from her mother. Mother bears make male bear cubs disperse far from her home range to prevent inbreeding, so it would be less unusual if this were a male bear cub.”
While there was a bear foot found on a lawn in Queens in 2011, bears have not regularly been seen in New York City for decades.
An entry in the 1916 edition of Valentine’s Manual of Old New York contains an account of bear hunting on Pearl Street from 1678.
Written documentation of the history of New York City began with the first European visit to the area by Giovanni da Verrazzano, in command of the French ship La Dauphine, when he visited the region in 1524. It is believed he sailed into Upper New York Bay, where he encountered native Lenape, returned through The Narrows, where he anchored the night of April 17, and then left to continue his voyage. He named the area of present-day New York City Nouvelle-Angoulême (New Angoulême) in honor of Francis I, King of France and Count of Angoulême.

European settlement began on September 3, 1609, when the Englishman Henry Hudson, in the employ of the Dutch East India Company, sailed the Half Moon through The Narrows into Upper New York Bay. Like Christopher Columbus, Hudson was looking for a westerly passage to Asia. He never found one, but he did take note of the abundant beaver population. Beaver pelts were in fashion in Europe, fueling a lucrative business. Hudson's report on the regional beaver population served as the impetus for the founding of Dutch trading colonies in the New World, among them New Amsterdam, which would become New York City.

 The beaver's importance in New York City's history is reflected by its use on the city's official sea

 lEuropean settlement began with the founding of a Dutch fur trading post in Lower Manhattan, later called New Amsterdam (Nieuw Amsterdam) in the southern tip of Manhattan in 1624-1625

Mannahatta had 55 different ecological communities, including terrestrial communities (like forests and grasslands), wetland, pond and stream communities, and estuarine communities in the surrounding waters.©WCS

Mannahatta’s Abundant Wildlife

If the physical landscape sets the stage, and the ecological communities are the setting in which the play is acted, the ecological actors are the species. Through a long process of compiling historical and modern sources and consulting with scientists from many disciplines, we developed a species list for Manhattan. We can not be certain of exactly what species were once on the island, so we describe different species by their probability of occurance: likely, probable, possible and remotely possible.

 In total, our research leads us to conclude that just over 1000 species of plants and vertebrate animals (24 species of mammals, 233 birds, 32 reptiles and amphibians, 85 fish, and 627 species of plants, and unknown numbers of fungi, lichens, mosses, insects, shellfish and other invertebrates) once occurred on Mannahatta.

 These likely wildlife included wolves, black bears, mountain lions, beavers, passenger pigeons, heath hens, timber rattlesnakes, tree frogs, bog turtles and over 30 species of orchids and 70 species of trees.

We expect but don’t know yet that the biological abundance of Welikia Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island will be greater than Manhattan’s.  We use similar techniques as for Mannahatta, but tailor them to these other four boroughs, producing borough specific species lists for the entire city.

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