23 Jun 2009, 11:49am
Latest Wildlife News
by admin

Human-bear conflicts eased by wet weather in Sierra

Tahoe Daily Tribune, June 22, 2009 [here]

Wet weather in June has spurred a bumper crop of berries and other vegetation favored by bears, leading to a considerable decrease in human-bear conflicts in the Sierra, wildlife biologists said.

The recession also is playing a role in fewer bear encounters in the Lake Tahoe area, experts said, because fewer people staying at vacation rentals means less garbage to lure bruins to populated areas.

“The calls are down considerably,” said Carl Lackey, a biologist and bear expert with the Nevada Department of Wildlife. “Definitely, this wet spring is just awesome for bears as well as all the other wildlife out there.”

Jason Holley, a bear biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game, agreed.

“We had one of the wettest springs on record, really. It was pretty sensational,” he said.

Unusual conditions brought thunderstorms through most of the month, including eight straight days of rain May 30 through June 6. In Reno, it’s been one of the wettest Junes since records started back in 1870.

The moisture has nourished natural vegetation that bears depend upon — manzanita berries, chokeberries, wild roses, forbs and grasses, while boosting populations of the insects, squirrels and other critters bears like to snack upon, Lackey said.

Holley agreed that conditions should help avoid a major problem with human-bear conflicts.

“I don’t expect a lot of the true wildland bears to have to search so far for food,” Holley said. “The chances of them coming across people and our food is reduced.”

Similar wet weather in May 2008 helped keep last summer a mild one for bear problems in the Tahoe-Reno area. So far, Lackey said, he’s had to capture about six or seven problem bears, fewer than this time last year.

That wasn’t the case in 2007, when serious drought conditions caused a record problem with bears in Nevada, California and other Western states.

In the Reno-Tahoe area that year, wildlife and law enforcement officers responded to hundreds of calls, including potentially dangerous situations where bears broke into occupied homes in search of food. In Nevada alone, 157 bears were captured, some repeatedly. … [more]

23 Jun 2009, 3:38pm
by Tallac

The Tahoe Daily Tribune at least tries to be balanced, in a psychotic way.

Articles in the Trib about Man Made Global Warming and drought will doom the Sierra and its forest habitats are common.

Now we hear that record rainfall will keep the bear population from bothering us humans.

So which is it?

But to include a recession with less tourists visiting, leaving less available trash behind and thus interaction, seems to be a thought of an imaginative journalist and not based in reality.

Bears are opportunists, with no degrees in economics or journalism. As commented in the TDT: “Some one better tell the bears.”

They’re still doing what they always do and I can live with it, even when they play and then raid portions of my garden.

Racoons are another story. But then I’d be labeled a specieist.

23 Jun 2009, 4:04pm
by Mike

Journalists can’t do math or science. That’s why they became journalists. But damned if they don’t come up with kooky theories all the time, as if they had a clue about climatology, animal behavior, or population dynamics.

Let’s take the most science-challenged individuals in our society and make them the purveyors of science. Oh whoops, we already did.



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