TB and I Strike Back

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How could you?

 

Yesterday I spent the morning writing about the unethical behavior of some hunters who have ringed the property with bait at the Wildlife Research Institute in Ely Minnesota with the approval of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

 

This morning I learned that this egregious behavior has already resulted in the death of at least one yearling near the WRI property line. Dr. Lynn Rogers of WRI has spent his entire professional career as a bear biologist studying and advocating for Black bears, while attempting to educate the public about the true nature of these animals. Lynn has incited the rage of hunters and the Minnesota state wildlife agency (DNR) in the process (Currently, his scientific study centers on the effects of diversionary feeding for black bears and people). Black bear hunting is big business and if the truth got out people might be much more reluctant to shoot these shy peace – loving animals.

 

The majority of all black bears that are killed range between 1 -3 years of age. Why anyone would shoot a yearling is beyond my comprehension. Yearlings range from 30 to 100lbs. It’s not as if a bear this size can be displayed as a ‘great’ trophy. Young bears are the most vulnerable prey because they are so inexperienced. Many have not yet learned to fear humans.

 

Emotionally depleted by dishonorable individual and bureaucratic behavior and the knowledge that so many more young bears will be slaughtered during the three – month hunt I take refuge in the memory of happier days spent with one of the young bears on this property by telling his story.

 

TB, short for “Tree Bear,” is a yearling who visited my house all summer. He and his sister, Rosie Marie were left to fend for themselves last May by their mother, when it was time for her to mate (a normal occurrence). At present, although healthy looking, TB does not weigh more than 70 LBS (his little sister is very slight weighing no more than 40 LBS).

 

I believe that all bears are initially wary of humans but have to be taught by people to fear them and TB and his sister are no exception. It took me about 10 days to befriend TB; his natural curiosity and intelligence won out. Soon TB was wandering around the yard while I was outdoors hanging up laundry and leaving muddy paw – prints on my front door. We co-existed here in peace.

 

Some days when company arrived TB would peer around his surrogate white pine tree to see who it was that I was talking to. Like all bears TB loves to play and uses whatever objects he can find to amuse himself. One of his favorites is an old can that he rolls down the hill and then chases into the thick brush. I also provided him with a couple of beach balls that he punctured instantly. TB also loves to lie on his back and twirl sticks around, which brings me to an incident that still makes me laugh.

 

One evening TB was digging grubs out of an old log on the pine needle strewn ground when a large adult bear appeared. TB like all yearlings was afraid of the adult male and scurried up his white pine tree settling in its protective branches, while peering down at the intruder. When the big bear settled down to devour more grubs, TB began to huff and blow at him from what seemed to me to be a precarious perch. He had moved so far out on a pine branch that he was directly overhead the large bear who blatantly ignored TB’s outraged protests!

 

In a few minutes TB decided to break off a few nearby branches, and to my amazement he then began to hurl them one by one down on his nemesis! TB’s aim was terrible and again and again he missed his quarry if that was his intent. Meanwhile the complacent big bear kept combing the ground nonchalantly as if the sticks that were raining down around him were invisible.

 

And then something amazing happened. TB broke off a huge branch and after he secured it in his teeth he dropped it directly down hitting big bear squarely on the head! Ouch, I was sure I heard the thud. At that point the 300 lb adult bear leapt up and disappeared into the forest in a flash! The whole scene was hilarious. I laughed so hard that tears ran down my face.

 

TB took this turn of affairs into his stride and immediately began to descend from his tree. When he reached the ground he sniffed the place where the adult bear had raked the ground, and after finding nothing of interest TB casually meandered off into the woods.

 

This behavior, aside from being amusing, suggests that Black bears may use tools; during my research I observed other bears, using for example, a pail to stand on to reach a hummingbird feeder. Black bears may be one of the most intelligent animals of all. Their brain in relationship to body size is the largest of all mammals.

 

Unfortunately intelligence needs to be coupled with experience, a quality that TB doesn’t yet possess. Even if he did, this knowledge is hardly a guarantee that any Black bear will be safe from human predation because this is the time of year a bear is most vulnerable. All bears need to ingest up to 20,000 calories a day to survive hibernation. Hunters bait bears with unhealthy foods drawing the hungry animals in to be shot.

 

Sadly, TB and his little sister have been absent for two days and I fear that they may have been shot. Every year it seems to get harder for me to accept that hunting season means that so many young bears will be killed before they have had a chance to live out their natural lives.

 

To comfort myself I remember that Lynn is also experiencing the same fear of loss that I am, and knowing this helps me to feel that I am not so alone.

 

The bears thank Lynn for his tireless advocacy and I do too. Someday perhaps the tide will turn for these animals, but until then when it comes to hunting season all we can do is to hope that many bears will be spared.

Black Bear Requiem and Hope for the Future

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Photo credit Lynn Rogers

 

Before I begin this article I want to acknowledge that I am perhaps too biased against bear hunting. I also know as a black bear researcher and bear lover that I am too emotionally attached to these animals to feel any other way.

 

This year’s three plus month bear hunt begins earlier than ever with “youth day” kicking off the season which began August 24 when children in Maine were encouraged to shoot their first bear. The promise of a first kill inculcates in the next generation the rightness of continuing the “tradition” of hunting in a world where many non – human animals are threatened or facing extinction. Sport and trophy hunting, a million dollar enterprise brings in huge amounts of money to the state wildlife agency – the Maine Department of Fish and Wildlife (MDF&W) and other special interest groups like the NRA. Privately owned “bear farms” flourish where one can’t help but kill a bear because all animals are held captive for the slaughter. For some there is the addictive “high” and the sense of “power” that comes with the kill and a snarling bearskin or head to hang on the wall. For others there is meat for the table.

 

Many bears, especially yearlings will be shot (most bears killed are between 1 -3 years old). Mothers have spent the summer teaching their cubs how to forage sometimes traveling 50 miles or more to areas rich in wild foods during this phase of hyperphagia, that is, the brief time during which all bears must eat enough to almost double their weight in order to survive the coming winter hibernation. Cubs are often treed by the mother before she comes to a bait site. Many cubs will die of slow starvation if the mother is shot.

 

Bear feeding frenzy peaks in August and September when the bears need as much as 20,000 calories a day to put on necessary fat. This is the time of year all bears are most vulnerable. Hunters take advantage of the bear’s desperate need for food by placing large unhealthy amounts of sugary food at bait sites as they ready their dogs for the hunt, and prepare their steel snare traps… They have plenty of time because in Maine the hunt will not end until November 30th.

 

This year having spent time in a community that lives peaceably with so many wild bears in Ely Minnesota I am, if possible, having a more difficult time than before attempting to accept a hunting tradition that refuses to acknowledge that it is possible to live with these gentle intelligent animals instead of slaughtering them. I am haunted by the question: how many cubs in Maine will be left to die after their mothers are shot this fall? How many adolescents? The yearly statistics from the Maine Department of Fish and Wildlife Agency indicate that almost as many female bears are shot as males. How many of those females are mothers?

 

I reject the two usual arguments for killing bears: One that hunting is a “tradition” that must be honored, regardless. The second is that bears have to be “managed” or they will take over the state.

 

Hunting was once necessary for survival. This is not the case today. Most hunting occurs because folks like to kill animals for sport – any animal – and bears in particular because they are almost universally feared.

 

When we examine why these intelligent shy animals appear so threatening we discover that there is no scientific basis behind human fear. Only one Black bear in a million kills someone; one is 32,000 times more likely to be murdered by a human.

 

However, individuals do fear bears and our state wildlife agency encourages people to foster that attitude so that folks will buy hunting licenses, shoot bears and bring in revenue. Hunting is economically based. The state agencies also warn the public not to befriend bears because they will become “nuisance animals,” and it is true that bears will visit backyards when hungry. Removing attractants like birdseed and garbage during the spring and summer reduces the number of visiting bears to almost zero. “A fed bear is a dead bear” is a hunter who baits bears to kill them.

 

The second argument is based on the belief that only humans know how to regulate bear populations. Again and again biologists have learned that animals have an ability to regulate their own numbers according to the availability of food resources. Left to their own devices, Black bears would eventually do the same. However, this would take time.

 

Unfortunately it is also true that in Northern Maine the natural foods that bears love – especially the fall beechnut crop which is cyclic to begin with – is disappearing because trees are being harvested too young to produce an abundance of beechnuts. In addition bear territories are disappearing because more and more people are moving to Maine. Black bears are appearing in people’s yards because there is not enough natural food to sustain them.

 

There is one biologist whose studies indicate that there may be a partial solution to this problem. Dr. Lynn Rogers is a bear biologist who has researched Black bears for more than 50 years. During his long and outstanding career he worked as a state biologist for the Department of Natural Resources in Minnesota using both classic wildlife methodology (which involves sedating and collaring bears and mapping their movements by plane and by placing pins on a map) and later, developing his own “trust based” research methods. The latter allowed him to learn about Black bear behavior – what bears eat, their social structure, vocalizations, the problems they face in the forest, knowledge that cannot be acquired without actually observing individual bears in their natural habitat over an extensive period of time. No state agencies including the MDNR authorize actual bear behavior studies as far as I know.

 

At one point Dr. Rogers became deeply concerned because so many “nuisance” bears were being shot in a nearby campground near his research center. He began an eight year study for the Forest Service to answer the question of whether diversionary feeding, that is placing wild foods in the forest on a regular basis, would keep bears out of trouble. The results were astonishing. With supplementary feeding bear complaints in the area campground were reduced 88 percent.

 

During that same period Lynn began walking with bears into the forest. Not all bears would tolerate his presence but some did; these bears learned to ignore him after he had given them some treats (nuts). Within one year of following them Lynn said he learned more about Black bear behavior than he had during his entire career.

 

In 1996 after Lynn retired from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources he became one of the residents of Eagle’s Nest Township where people had been hand – feeding bears since 1961. Lynn began a study that focuses on diversionary feeding ‘habituated’ Black bears in this area. He learned that the bears visited the residents who fed the bears and they left those folks that didn’t want a bear to visit their homes alone.

 

In almost 60 years of hand feeding bears there has never been a black bear attack. With supplementary food stations set up in the forest Lynn also discovered that as long as the natural foods were abundant these habituated bears rarely visited these stations because they also preferred the diversity of foods found in the forest. However, during years of natural food shortage these feeding stations helped keep the bears healthy and reduced bear complaints 80 percent.

 

The conclusions are inescapable: It is possible to co -exist peacefully with bears if people choose to so. Equally important is the fact that diversionary or supplementary feeding works to keep bears out of people’s yards especially in times of food scarcity. A fed bear is a healthy bear.

 

In Maine, supplementary feeding might help reduce bear complaints especially in Northern Maine if we chose to implement it, but if this method was adopted by the MDF&W less revenue would come into the state and hunters would have less reason to kill bears, and that is not what hunters, special interest groups like the NRA, and the Maine State Fish and Wildlife agency want.

 

Although I am biased, I am not suggesting that hunting bears in Maine be totally eliminated. It may well be that some hunting has occur to deal with the current bear starvation scenario in Northern Maine. But is it really necessary to hunt bears throughout the rest of the state? For those of us who know and love these iconic wild animals this is an important question.

 

My hope is that Dr. Lynn Roger’s groundbreaking trust based research along with his tireless efforts to educate people about the true nature of bears may one day infiltrate the minds of the general public changing current attitudes towards these animals once and for all.

 

Let’s hope this shift will occur before the Black bear becomes endangered in Maine, one of the few states in which a healthy population still exists.

She’s a Lover of Bears

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She’s a Lover of Bears.

A poet, a dreamer,

enamored by beaded eyes

black and brown fur,

rotund bellies.

Heartrending cries.

Grunts, moans and huffs –

She’s a Lover of Bears.

 

She knows that

a Universal Language

is spoken by bears.

Each nuance

and gesture deepens

a story that she

longs to share…

She’s a Lover of Bears.

 

She slides

into a secret dimension –

slips through the veil into

thick green forest

where Bears

make their living,

make love,

dig dens,

have cubs,

sleep deeply and well,

live out their

days

in relational

Peace.

She’s a Lover of Bears.

 

(If bears ruled the world

there would be no wars.

No wonder

She’s a Lover

of Bears!)

 

She dreams of them

in between the cracks

of the anguish

she feels

over the haunting

that overcomes

her each fall –

Too many will die

to become a rug

on the wall –

A snarling trophy

for

those

who must kill

for the high,

to feel

their own

life blood pulsing.

 

She yearns for

the sight of raggedy coats,

sleek new coats,

fur dipped in cool waters,

acorned – hazelnut fat bears,

each facial expression

so ancient with knowing…

 

She’s a Lover of Bears

who enter her heart

to be received

like a prayer.

She wants to climb

into those arms

to be held like a child,

Loved like a woman.

 

She’s a Lover of Bears.

 

8/10 /19

 

Working notes:

 

I recently attended a Black Bear Course at the Wildlife Research Institute in Ely Minnesota. Although I have been enamored by, and have studied Black bears for 20 years nothing prepared me for this total immersion into the bear experience.

To visit with so many wild bears in a place where humans choose to co-exist with bears was a revelation. I have never felt such peace. For the most part these shy intelligent animals are allowed to live out their lives on their own terms (except for the fall hunting season that lasts six weeks, during which time any of these animals can be shot).

I was literally catapulted into another dimension, a timeless world in which only the bears, the Founder of the Wildlife Research Center, bear biologist Lynn Rogers, others and I existed.

Lynn’s groundbreaking trust based research challenges every fear based person and state wildlife agency’s “killer bear” concept in concrete ways, proving that bears and humans can co –exist peaceably.

Lynn thoughtfully answered so many of my questions and, of course, generated hundreds more. Although we have corresponded for about 15 years I had never met my mentor and friend until last week.

Returning to Maine I am confronted by the reality that our Maine bears are being lured to bait sites as I write these words. A three – month long hunting season will begin before the end of this month.

As a ‘Lover of Bears’ I feel this grief on a visceral level, but this year it has been tempered by this extraordinary experience that is open to anyone who wants to learn about these amazing animals.

Please visit WWW. Bear.org for information on courses, Lynn’s extensive research papers, daily updates, and to learn about the North American Bear Center.

Dr. Lynn Rogers, Black Bear Biologist: A Biographical Portrait

 

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Dr. Lynn Rogers with cubs – photo lifted from daily updates on WRI’s site (Same with Shadow below)

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Shadow, the oldest 31 year old Matriarch of the clan that Dr Rogers has been studying. She and her offspring are wild bears that live in Eagle Township, a place where wild bears and humans exist without conflict in Ely, Minnesota.

 

Dedication: To an academic mentor and friend who taught me how to trust what I observed in the field with black bears. The extensive body of his academic work not only educated me but gave me a context for what I saw and experienced, helped me to believe in myself and reinforced my intuitive sense that the bears would teach me everything I needed to know about what they wanted/needed if I simply paid attention to their behavior and gave them the respect they thrive on.

 

Last November 13th was the 50th anniversary of Dr. Lynn Rogers black bear research, and for the first time ever Lynn began to talk about himself on his daily updates from the Wildlife Research Center in Ely Minnesota. Characteristically, we learned about his personal and professional life through the lens of his naming bears after the people that helped him along the way! Dr. Rogers has a profound quality of deep humility equal to that of Primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall who was also his mentor, and pioneered the trust based research that Lynn eventually adopted as his own.

 

Lynn is 78 years old and was adopted by loving parents who supported his love for animals and his development as a naturalist. This foundation eventually led to his becoming a bear biologist and a scientist of great acclaim.

 

As a young man Lynn was selected by the Research Director for the Michigan Department of Conservation from dozens of undergraduate applicants for one of the two 1967 summer internships at Cusino Research Station while he was still an undergraduate at Michigan State University. He was left in charge of capturing bears while the director was on vacation. Dr. Erickson then accepted him as a graduate student at the University of Minnesota even though Lynn had another year of undergraduate work to complete. To make that happen Dr. Erickson held open a paid Ph.D. position for over a year. In that capacity Lynn would conduct the first field study of black bears ever done in Minnesota. To give him more experience Dr. Erickson arranged that Lynn be the first intern to return to the Cusino Research Station for a second summer. That fall Lynn discovered that he was enrolled in the prestigious new Department of Ecology and Behavioral Biology that was designed to train students for research. His graduate research was completely funded.

 

During the fall of 1968 to the spring of 1971 Lynn discovered that the black bear population had been severely decimated. Bears had been managed as varmints with bounties being paid to kill them in any way at any time. Excessive public fear prevented legislators from adding these misunderstood animals to Minnesota’s protected list. Residents demanded the right to shoot bears on sight – commonly gut shooting them so they would die elsewhere. Lynn began lecturing across Minnesota and using the many media opportunities that came with his bear study to change attitudes and to pave the way for new legislation. Lynn was able to introduce and pass the necessary legislation in 1971. He and Dr. Anderson dedicated themselves to educating the public – Dr. Anderson through the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Lynn through giving professional talks and writing extensively.

 

The DNR officials asked Lynn to write new bear –hunting regulations, which he did. In the spring of 1971 Lynn reduced the seasonal slaughter from 52 weeks to 6, made bear hunting more humane, prohibited shooting bears in dens and set the bear population on the road to recovery. The bear population quadrupled over the next two decades.

 

In 1974, Lynn expanded his study with grants from Washington based organizations. The National Rifle Association (NRA) gave him more money than they had ever given to any research project and also provided Lynn with an expensive night vision scope.

 

During that same year an academic paper Lynn wrote won a prestigious award from the society of Mammalogists. When this paper was shown to Harvard professor E.O. Wilson he was writing a book, and when it was published it recognized Lynn’s study as one of the top four animal studies ever done in the world – alongside Jane Goodall’s study of Chimpanzees.

 

More funding came his way without solicitation. The Washington Office of the U.S. Forest Service took note and began considering a USFS research position for Lynn. Others made similar recommendations. At this point Lynn was still a graduate student who had acquired high –priced help! In this proposed research position Lynn would continue his bear study as a long term United States Forest Service (USFS) project while designing similar innovative studies for other species. Lynn was able to secure funding from Senator Hubert Humphrey and the job became reality it 1976. Lynn was ranked number one in his field and began work in August of that year.

 

The research scientist position at the USFS was exactly what Lynn needed. The Position Description stated: Supervision is characterized by a degree of confidence in and reliance on the researcher’s productivity, competence, and judgment that there is an unusual level of support of his recommendations and his most novel and as yet seemingly fruitless investigations; the supervisory relationship fully reflects recognition of the incumbent as a top technical authority in his field in the agency and as a distinguished and brilliant scientist. The Incumbent’s technical judgment and conclusions are considered authoritative…

 

In Lynn’s own words he tells us that “throughout my research I’ve continually tried new things – always with an eye towards kinder, gentler research methods. As part of that I adapted Jane Goodall’s trust- based research methods to bears in the mid – 1980’s. By combining her methods with modern technology, advances in our understanding of black bear behavior, ecology and habitual requirements came quickly.”

 

As a result Lynn received the 1988 USFS Quality Research Award. To educate he shared his findings with the public through popular articles, lectures, the internet, field courses, and TV documentaries. For the scientific world he senior authored more peer – reviewed scientific papers on black bears than anyone to this day. A worldwide survey of bear biologists conducted by the International Bear Association ranked two of those papers among the top five contributions to the scientific understanding of black bears.

 

With the attention his trust -based study was getting for its advances (by this time Lynn was collaring bears without needing to sedate them) USFS Associate Chief George Leonard arrived to experience what Lynn was doing in the field. Together, they accompanied a mother and cubs, using a field computer to record what they did, how many bites the family took of each food, and the habitats the bears used.

 

At the time the USFS was caught up in a nationwide controversy over clear cutting. These bears were showing the benefits of clear cutting for bears – increased berry production meant more natural food. The overall data showed the advantages for the many other species that also benefit from wild berries. George Leonard learned how safe it was to accompany habituated bears in the forest and gave the study his full support. He protected Lynn’s study by having the DNR close his study area to bear hunting, making it safer for the bears and for the nearly 200 citizen scientists that the USFS would soon authorize to accompany Lynn and his study bears. As a result data flowed in revealing more and more about how a forest could be managed not only for lumber but for wildlife.

 

The data also showed the ecological value of unique oak stands in Palisade Valley. Lynn presented that data to the DNR and The Nature Conservancy for action. The Nature Conservancy took the lead by purchasing the valley and donating it to the state of Minnesota eventually protecting the area for posterity by adding it Tettegouche State Park in 1992.

 

USFS biologists saw the data the bears were revealing. Dr. Allen Boss top biologist for USFS region 9 (the 23 northeastern states) described the importance to ecosystem management writing: ” In short, this is the foundation of what ecosystem management is all about. This is the kernel of the New Perspectives message and is at the heart of the effort to conserve biological diversity and Threatened and Endangered Species recovery.”

 

During the white pine controversy many people supported his work. Part of Lynn’s study with the US Forest Service was about obtaining ecological bear data that could help ecosystem management. The bears Lynn was radio tracking and walking with showed them the value of big scattered white pines. The pines hadn’t received much attention because they had no food value to bears, but the bears revealed another aspect of the importance of these trees. Mothers with cubs passed up thousands of other big trees to make 90 percent of their day beds at the bases of these refuge trees that cubs could climb safely and quickly. When Lynn passed on this information he was supplied with data on the importance of these trees to bald eagles, ospreys, and other wildlife. Another important paper was written: Supercanopy, White Pine, and Wildlife.

 

Nearly all of Minnesota’s white pines had been harvested over the past century. Only 2 percent had grown back. The scattered remaining mature pines were the few that had been spared in the last century and they were doing well but now they were being cut. In fact Minnesota’s two national forests prescribed harvesting most of the remaining white pines and replacing them with red pine and spruce that grow faster and bring in more money. The plan was contrary to ecosystem management, which Lynn was studying. He recommended that the forestry agencies reverse direction and begin to manage the public’s white pines sustainably and conduct more research to improve regeneration. Both the USFS and the Minnesota DNR eventually adopted Lynn’s recommendations and the Governor provided 1.2 million dollars for the regeneration research. This change didn’t occur without a struggle but Lynn was supported by members of the Sierra Club and a legal defense fund was formed with the help of most of Lynn’s co workers.

 

In February 1996 Lynn introduced a legislative bill to preserve the white pines and an article was written about Lynn entitled “Keeper of the Pines.” The effort was a success and today both the DNR and the USFS leave most of the white pines standing, including those in areas where all other trees are cut. On April 15th 1996, the Minnesota Wilderness and Parks Coalition named Lynn “Minnesota’s Environmental Hero for crusading to preserve and regenerate Minnesota’s depleted white pine forests.

 

Today Lynn lives and works in Ely Minnesota where the Wildlife Research Institute is located. The North American Bear Center, an ever expanding educational facility dedicated to public education is nearby and there are four wonderful Ambassador bears that cannot be returned to the wild who also live there in very large natural enclosures. Lynn, of course, heads both these organizations because research and education about the misunderstood black bear is still his top priority (Website: www.bearstudy.org ).

 

Shadow is the matriarch of all the wild bears that Lynn has been studying for all these years. She is the mother of the largest clan ever documented. Amazingly she has retained her reproductive ability longer than any female black bear on record – wild or captive. Her huge clan includes 108 litters (276 cubs) sired by wild male bears who have also been documented whenever possible (many young males are shot). A most exciting development is that Shadow, this 31 year old wild bear, was seen in the wild with a male on June 19th 2017 during the mating season. Shadow is presently keeping everyone in suspense (including me!) to see if she has a cub with her when she emerges from her den in the spring.

 

More on WRI and NABC:

 

WRI is conducting the longest and most detailed black bear study and the largest educational outreach program ever done for black bears. Research focuses on improving coexistence between people and bears in an increasingly urbanized environment.  WRI provides the information to over a hundred million people each year through TV, radio, books, magazines, museum exhibits, black bear courses, and the Internet.  It created the content for the North American Bear Center’s new Visitor Center, which opened near Ely, Minnesota, on May 5, 2007.  WRI works with government agencies to improve bear management.  WRI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supported by course fees, lecture fees, memberships, donors, merchandise sales, and dedicated volunteers. Please check out the North American Bear Center’s award-winning website at http://www.bear.org.

The mission of the non-profit North American Bear Center is to advance the long-term survival of bears worldwide by replacing misconceptions with scientific facts about bears, their role in ecosystems, and their relations with humans.

There is a huge need for accurate information about bears worldwide.

Bears have been unfairly demonized for centuries.  Exaggerated perceptions of danger historically led to eradication campaigns using bounties, poison, trapping, and shooting.  All eight bear species around the world are now listed as vulnerable, threatened or endangered in all or portions of their ranges.  Remote habitats that once insured isolation and protection are now being occupied by people, and the attitudes of these people will determine the future of those populations.

The Bear Center is dedicated to replacing misconceptions with facts worldwide.  It is also working to conserve bear habitat, stop poaching for bear body parts, rehabilitate injured and orphaned bears back to the wild, and implement methods to reduce conflict between humans and bears.

Journalist Charles Kuralt, owner of the local Ely Minnesota radio station gives Lynn a weekly program called “The Bear Facts.”

Postscript: All the information presented in this essay comes directly from Lynn’s daily updates and from WRI and NABC. I have plagiarized happily and without guilt!

I conclude urging anyone who has the slightest interest in bears to visit the sites cited above. Lynn’s academic papers are available to peruse along with tons of facts, and wonderful bear videos for people of all ages.