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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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Monday, April 10, 2017

An ever increasing human population getting into more and more conflicts with Black Bears prompted Colorado Parks and Wildlife to begin studying the habits of the state's bears 6 years ago......Bears are declining in Colorado as their habitat is infringed upon............Key findings include---the remaining decreased bear population are adapting to urban expansion,,,,,,,,,Bears who eat garbage do not become addicted,,,,,,,,,,,,,,They utilize human food when natural foodstuffs are hard to come by, but gravitate to natural berries and acorns whenever they are available.............Warming temperatures have bears hibernating less and up and around people more..............And as most readers of this blog are so aware---"“There’s shrinking safe space for these wild bears to be in Colorado as well as across North America"..............It is noteworthy that the Colorado Wildlife folks estimate that there are 17,000 bearsin the state based on collection of hair-snag samples and extrapolations"............ "And in the same breath, they’ve said the estimate isn’t reliable and don’t really know whether the bear population is increasing or decreasing".............."So why then has Colorado allowed increased hunting, issuing 17,000 bear-hunting licenses in 2014, up from 10,000 in 1997?"

A 6-year study of Colorado bears is

 upending assumptions about their

 encounters with humans

Researchers began their study in response to rising numbers

 of human-bear conflicts and the changing climate

April 2, 2017 

DURANGO – Curled up in a den on an
 acorn-rich hillside, a hibernating bear
 and her three fuzzy cubs face 
increasingly perilous conditions.
People in homes 200 yards below 
constantly tempt them with food — 
this 180-pound sow knows well
 how to navigate garbage-scented
 urban smorgasbords in late summe
 if acorns and berries vanish. But 
state policy requires extermination 
of bears repeatedly caught eating
 garbage. Record numbers are dying.
 And the dozing bears also feel 
warmer temperatures near their rocky
 den that shorten hibernation.
Now, near the top of the hill, a Colorado
 Parks and Wildlife research team with
 a tranquilizer dart on a 6-foot jab pole
 is creeping toward them.
This den visit is one of the last in a 
six-year study of black bears in 
Colorado that challenges core 
assumptions state wildlife managers
 have relied on for decades. Rising 
conflicts with people motivated the 
CPW study, which will be published 
this year. Seldom have scientists
 tracked and monitored so many
 bears so closely, even analyzing 
fur to verify what bears ate.
Black bear in a den

Colorado Parks & Wildlife researcher Heather ...
Colorado Parks & Wildlife researcher David ...

Colorado Parks and Wildlife researchers plan their hike up Raider Ridge to a bear den.
Colorado Parks & Wildlife researcher David ...
Colorado Parks and Wildlife researcher Heather Johnson works on taking weight, measurements and vital signs on a sow black bear
Colorado Parks and Wildlife researcher Lyle Willmarth works on taking measurements on a sow black bear.
Colorado Parks & Wildlife researcher Lyle ...
Colorado Parks and Wildlife researcher Heather Johnson

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