Visitor Counter

hitwebcounter web counter
Visitors Since Blog Created in March 2010

Click Below to:

Add Blog to Favorites

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

Subscribe via email to get updates

Enter your email address:

Receive New Posting Alerts

(A Maximum of One Alert Per Day)

Friday, July 17, 2015

U. of Florida, U. of Tennessee and the Florida Fish and Wildlife folks are conducting the largest Black Bear Study ever conducted in the USA to determine the population count of the Bruins in the Sunshine State.........All well and good but of course the purpose of the study is to come up with a "harvest" KILL level that the FWCC can utilize for their annual bruin hunt that will commence for the first time in decades this coming Fall..........The idealist in me truly wonders if a Biophilia phenomena will ever seep into us human animals so as for us not to see other creatures as simply there for our pleasure or purpose,,,,,,,,,,,,, be it a hunt, a zoo, a circus et al.

Hey Yogi, Florida project tracks black bears with doughnuts

A bag of doughnuts hangs from a tree. More doughnuts and some corn are placed on the ground. Bear magnet scent, that smells like raspberry doughnuts, is hung to let the bears know there are treats nearby.
The bear goodie pen is all part of a study of Florida black bears — deemed the largest study of black bears in the nation.
Bear Study (3)
“The goal is abundance and density,” said Jake Humm, a graduate student at theUniversity of Tennessee who is leading Florida Black Bear Project. The study is a partnership with the university and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
When the study is complete, bears will be sampled in an area of more than eight million acres.
“This is the largest black bear study conducted in the United States,” Humm said.
This year scientists are studying bears on 13 parcels of land in Collier County including Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and adjacent property, along with areas in Apalachicola and Eglin AFB. Last year’s study areas included Ocala, Osceola and St. Johns. Humm said the largest bear populations are in Ocala, Apalachicola and Big Cypress.
The Florida black bear was listed as a threatened species in 1974. It was taken off that list in 2012. As part of the delisting process, a Black Bear Management Plan was developed and approved by the Commission in 2012. The study is part of a management plan. Results will help FWC manage black bears in the future.
The idea is to get a look at the numbers of bears, where they live and where they travel. To do this they are taking fur samples. Hundreds of wire pens are set up in the wilderness. Each pen has two rows of wire with little barb tufts. As the bears climb in and out to get the doughnuts and corn, a bit of fur gets snagged on the barb. Humm collects the fur, and places it in little labeled envelopes. The envelopes will be sent to Wildlife Genetics International in Canada for analysis.
“It’s much less invasive than live captures and much more cost efficient,” Humm said. “There are no (capture) traps, no invasive procedures and no drugs. The bear eats the doughnuts and goes on its way and we rebait the traps.”
There are about 130 sites in the Big Cypress area. Most of the doughnuts in the traps were donated by Crispy Cream with some additional ones from Dunkin Donuts. Each trap is checked once a week. Many of the areas can only be reached by ATV or on foot through the thick brush and mucky terrain.
The six week study began the third week in June and will end July 29. It will help FWC with its management plan to make sure the black bear maintains a viable population.
Walter McCown, Bear Research, Fish & Wildlife Research Institute, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, said there are about 450 snares in the three locations throughout Florida.
“We surveyed about 5.5 million acres in 2014 and we will far surpass that this year,” he explained. “The results of this carefully planned systematic survey are important for sound black bear management in Florida.”
McCown said the typical home range for black bears varies by area, gender, season, and food availability. The annual home ranges of bears in Southwest Florida were estimated in 1990-1992 at 74,871 acres for males and 14,085 acres for females. In that study, bears moved great distances to find palmetto berries. In a normal berry year, home ranges are usually lower. In Ocala National Forest, males use 23,302 acres in a typical year and females 5,060 acres.
The new study will give a more current look at the home ranges along with bear populations and density. Humm said he enjoys the research because it is making a difference in helping bear populations of the future. But there is one drawback.
“After two years of doing this I have no interest in jelly doughnuts anymore,” Humm said. “I stick to chocolate ones now.”

No comments: