Archive for August, 2011

Heading South

August 31, 2011

Today was a migration day. Birds responded to a coldfront that invaded our area. I saw a flock of Sandhill Cranes, twof flocks of Canada Geese a wave of Macgillvaries Warblers and 3 Golden Eagles; all flying between Bozeman and Livingstone, Montana and all flying high and South.
Matt

Another Hiker Is Killed By A Grizzly In Yellowstone National Park

August 30, 2011

All these years I can claim “luck of the Irish” when it comes to mauling or death by a grizzly bear.

Now is not the time to play armchair hiker to th man who was just killed by a grizzly in Yellowstone National Park along the Mary’s Mountain trail…Just an add-on-over the years I have broken the rules, every one of them, for bear country ettiqutte.

I wouuld never hike a trail like Mary’s Mountain Trail, one of many trails, alone. I always carried bear spray, since the day it was available. I used submissevness whenever I ran into a grizzly. I never did anything to excite a grizzly…I tried real hard to avoid a grizzly; more so as I got older and more experianced with grizzlies.

It sounds like this hiker broke some bear country ettiquette rules and the hiker was in the wrong place at the wrong time on a known grizzly bear thoroughfare.
Matt

Photoperiod And A Changing Climate

August 29, 2011

This is an often overlooked aspect of the biology of a plant or animal that means activity in a day or season…or the amount of light there is in a day or a season.

Scientists refer to this as photoperizm or photoperiodicity. Birds are heavily reliant on this and it is used by mammals also.

Photoperiod may tell birds wnen to migrate, when to breed, food availability and so on. Photoperiod will tell mammals, like bears, when to hibernate, or when your body needs more noureshment and extend its feeding by going into a state of hyperphagia.

This photoperiodizm is one of the first things to be negativley impacted by global climate change…a little known process that is already happening.
Matt

photoperiod will tell

The Wlldrose Prairie

August 27, 2011

I just saw my cousin and she is from a place called the Wildrose Prairie of eastern Washington; a place I have known and loved since 1967.

I first was working their on a dairy farm bucking bails and putting muscle on my skinny teen frame.
I fished every morning on a stream that ran threw the farm bottomlands and their I caught my first Brook Char, Rainbow and Brown Trout.

I had many other firsts their like first Western Tanager, first California Quail and my first coyote and badger.

It was a wonderland for a teenager with naturalist proclivities…It did not hurt that my cousin’s family was nice.
Matt

Out of control, catastrophic wildfires could be raging now

August 25, 2011

It is late in the summer, Hurricane Irene is about to rage on Eastern shores…but here in the rocky mountain west it is hot, windy and dry and because of the warming climate caused pine beetle killed trees the fires can rage out of control.

Of the ten raging now out of control seems to be a real possibilty…on now, into the future.
Matt

Fatal attack in White Mountains grim reminder of danger from black bears Fatal attack in White Mountains grim reminder of danger from black bears

August 24, 2011

Statically more persons are killed by black bears than brown bears, including the grizzly bear…
Matt
By Anna Consie
Cronkite News

Living with black bears:- Attacks typically occur on people out alone; travel in groups.

– Keep garbage in a secure location; use a bear container if camping.

– Hang bird feeders at least 10 feet above the ground and away from buildings.

– Keep barbecue grills clean, remove fallen fruit and keep pet food indoors.

– If a bear is nearby, yell or make loud noises such as banging pots and pans or playing loud music.

– If you encounter a bear, make yourself look as large as possible and slowly back away. Don’t run.

– If you are attacked, fight back.
PHOENIX – The fatal black bear attack on a woman in Pinetop this summer is a sobering reminder that development is bringing people closer to a creature that’s shy by nature but a predator at heart.

“We’re expanding into wildlife habitat that they’ve held for eons,” said Bruce Sitko, a spokesman for the Arizona Game and Fish Department‘s Pinetop regional office.

Lana Hollingsworth, 61, died in June from an attack near the Pinetop Country Club. The large, adult male black bear repeatedly mauled her while she was out walking her dog late at night.

However, black bear attacks are rare, and fatalities are extremely uncommon, experts say. The only other documented fatal bear attack in Arizona occurred in the late 1800s, and it involved a grizzly, a type of bear no longer found in the state.

Across the U.S., fatalities from bears are equally rare, with three deaths in 2010, said Tad Theimer, an associate professor of biology at Northern Arizona University. By comparison, 32 people died last year from dog attacks.

But as Arizona cities and towns, such as Pinetop-Lakeside, continue to expand into black bear territory, encounters between people and bears are likely to increase, making it important to be aware that they are out there, experts say.

“Generally bears don’t bother people, but they can,” said Don Swann, a biologist at Saguaro National Park near Tucson.

Ranging from the Mogollon Rim to southeastern Arizona’s tall, isolated mountains known as sky islands, approximately 2,500 to 3,000 bears live in Arizona, according to Game and Fish.

With large territories, bears travel between forest and desert areas, including lower elevations surrounding Tucson, Swann said.

Black bears are most common in the White Mountains.

The Game and Fish office in Pinetop received around 300 calls last year about sightings of and damage by bears. As a result, officials relocated about 20 female and young male bears, Sitko said.

Females and male bears under 3 years old are sedated, tagged and released at neutral locations, while adult males are destroyed immediately, he said. Eighty percent of the bears that are relocated typically return and are then destroyed.

In the Pinetop region, approximately 10 to 12 bears were destroyed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department in 2010, Sitko said. So far this year, 11 have been destroyed.

It’s a policy designed to minimize contact and harm, but the fault doesn’t lie solely with the bears, he said.

“It’s people that are causing the problem,” Sitko said.

Lured by garbage, bears displaced by drought or territory encroachment can turn to residential areas to find food. And once they get a taste, they keep coming back.

Sitko estimates that Pinetop-Lakeside households leaving garbage bins or other rotting food outside have a 70 percent chance of being visited by a bear. Keeping the garbage bin inside reduces the likelihood of a visit to almost zero, he said.

In an effort to reduce the food attractants and inform residents, the communities of Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside as well as Navajo County passed ordinances this year making it unlawful to leave food or garbage in unsecured areas. Gila, Maricopa and Pima counties have similar measures in place.

Nearly all black bear attacks are by aggressive, predatory males, and reducing the possibility of running into one is critical, NAU’s Theimer said.

“Bears were attacking people because they thought they were prey,” he said, adding that it’s more likely to happen because bears are feeding on garbage near residential areas.

Sitko said that while black bears can be highly aggressive, there have been only seven recorded attacks in Arizona in the past 20 years.

The key, he said, is keeping bears from associating people with food.

“Bears are as individualistic as people; some can be more mellow and some highly aggressive,” Theimer said.

Belgrade bear cub to be returned to wild By Andy Malby

August 20, 2011

Not to be an armchair bear manager…but this seems like a death sentance for tis yearling…I guess we will see? I am curious about bears in my area.
Matt
A yearling black bear whose mother was illegally shot and killed along Dry Creek Road north of Belgrade two weeks ago was expected to be released back into the wild this week. Meanwhile, authorities continue to pursue leads in the felony poaching case, a Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman said.

The bear cub, spotted trying to nurse off its dead mother and later taken into captivity, was to be released, but not in the same area where it was found, game warden Brian Lloyd said.

“That particular area, while it does support a number of bears — it’s kind of a corridor — we’ll probably put this little guy where it’s not going to have a problem finding water and appropriate food.” he said. “At the same time we need to get it away from residential areas.”

The cub, which weighed 20 to 25 pounds when it was captured, was fitted with a unique ear tag to help FWP monitor it, he said.

“If he starts getting into trouble or starts needing help, we can monitor it,” Lloyd said. “People will be able to see that specific ear tag. That will be the only cub marked that specific way.”

Lloyd said in spite of the cub’s young age and small size, FWP bear experts believe it can survive in the wild.

“It’s weaned, so it’s not surviving only on mother’s milk,” he said. “It does have some knowledge, and I think it has what it needs to survive on its own, as long as we’re able to find an ideal spot to put it in.”

Investigators continue to follow leads related to the fatal Aug. 3 shooting of the cub’s mother. No arrests have been made.

“We have no new developments in the case,” he said, “but I am getting a few names coming in about a potential suspect. Unfortunately, most of what I’m getting so far is hearsay. But the leads are starting to come in.”

Grizzly encounters and other reasons for federal regulations In The Christian Science Monitor By Walter Rodgers

August 19, 2011

I see this bear as a brown bear and not an interior grizzly…but the point of the article is well taken…
Matt
My Alaska encounters with fly fishing and grizzly bears reveal how much America benefits from federal regulations. Without them, this pristine wilderness would likely not exist, and neither would many protections for consumers and workers

Imagine standing 40 yards across a river from a good-sized Alaskan grizzly bear emerging out of willow scrub. There is no tree to climb.

We regard each other, yet both of us go about our business. The grizzly is fishing for spawning sockeye salmon. I am trying to raise a meaty rainbow trout or a Dolly Varden on a fly resembling a salmon egg. We share 100 miles of the Kanektok River because the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge is strictly regulated by both the federal government and the state of Alaska. I encounter two, three, and sometimes more grizzlies a day. There are plenty of fish for all of us. This is the tundra as God made it.

But, absent federal regulation, this primordial wilderness would likely not exist. It was saved in 1980 when President Jimmy Carter and Congress worked to preserve Alaskan wilderness refuges, creating enclaves the size of California.

Birds Are Migrating, Already

August 18, 2011

Raptors, shorebirds and waterfowl are now migrating. I am happy about that.
Matt

Two Wyoming Grizzly Cubs Going To Cleveland Zoo By AP

August 17, 2011

The mother was killed and the cubs, though alive, are not counted in the Yellowstone Ecosystem…SAD!!!!
Matt
CODY, Wyo. —
Wildlife officials in Wyoming say two grizzly bear cubs from the state are being sent to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

The Wyoming Fish & Game Department said Wednesday that the mother of the cubs was euthanized after repeatedly causing property damage and other problems. She was captured Aug. 7 in the Shoshone (shoh-SHOH’-nee) River valley in the northern part of the state.

Female grizzlies that are captured three times because of problems can be euthanized after a consultation with federal wildlife officials.

The male and female cubs each weigh about 50 pounds. Their names haven’t been released.