Cool baths help bears adjust to hotter summers | Wild montana


Grizzly bears have slow breeding histories – females don’t mate until they are 4 to 9 years old, then only every 2.6 to 5.6 years, and they have small litters. Thus, a warmer climate could affect bear populations. If bears need to be near cool water from mid-June to late September, it could affect where they spend time in places like Yellowstone National Park as the climate warms. warms up.

However, scientists have noted that the most common factor affecting the location of grizzly bears in Yellowstone is altitude, especially higher elevations, and distance from roads. Both are areas where there are fewer humans. The highlands in summer also contain two important sources of high protein food: whitebark pine nuts and cutworms.

Small, secluded bear tubs can be found around Yellowstone National Park. They are well used by grizzly bears and black bears.

National Park Service-Sinopah Wildlife Research Associates


Kerry Gunther, a bear biologist from Yellowstone National Park, stumbled upon bear tubs about 20 years ago. A bear had dropped his search collar so he set off to search for his location. The transceiver guided him to a distant swimming pool. The collar was down. Looking around the area it was clear that the site was a well known bear pool due to the number of trails and trails.

In 2015, National Geographic magazine published photos and videos of grizzly bears and black bears using the same pool in the Yellowstone backcountry. The images were taken using high resolution camera traps.

“The bears came to the pool, soaked, bathed and cooled,” Gunther wrote in a “Yellowstone Science” article. “The females brought their young to play in the pool. Even adult bears have been observed playing with sticks pulled from the bottom of the pool. Interestingly, bears also smell along the edge of the pool, rubbing their necks and cheeks on the ground and the lush grasses surrounding the pool.

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