Hungry Grizzly Bears

The front page of the Bozeman, Montana paper today is an article entitled, Watch out for bears-they’re hungry.

This is a truism. I do not think you can blame the current human deaths by grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park on the loss (major bear food in the Yellowstone area) of whitebark pine nuts, but that loss will bring bears into the low country, more so then now, in search of subtitute foods at a time of the year when bears increase caloric need level is increased and these bears will get into trouble and become management deaths.

The other thing I noticed that was just begining to show up here and is now really important…is the use of wolf kills by grizzly bears. I am seeing that more commonly now. My first thought is that is a good subsitute food for the loss of pines by global warming with increasing pine mortality by pine beetles, but wolves do not want to share their kills with a mortal enemy…the grizzly so the wolves will kill the young of the slow reproducing grizzly…I have seen this.

This has not happened in places were both species coexsist but I do not see bears coexsisting with wolves in Yellowstone and I am not sure if there is enough time for that coexsistance to happen.

There are many pressures now on bears and I am not sure that a meagher 500 or so bears down can hold up for long to changes in their way of being grizzly bears. My guess is we are going to see.


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