For Love of Nature: Black bears (principally) hibernating for winter | Way of life

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For Love of Nature: Black bears (mostly) hibernating for winter | Lifestyle
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Because the polar vortex descended upon us over the weekend, there was little doubt that bears have been of their dens dozing.

However winter doesn’t all the time imply bears are hibernating, which we discovered over Christmas.

After two days away, I got here dwelling to seek out the highest of our wood trash bin ripped aside and rubbish scattered on the bottom.

After I completed choosing up after the marauder, I seemed as much as see our set-in-concrete chicken feeder on its aspect. Granted, the bottom was smooth from a lot rain, nevertheless it shouldn’t have been that simple to topple.

I referred to as the Division of Recreation and Inland Fisheries to see if others had reported a bear go to for Christmas.

Dan Lovelace, a wildlife biologist, stated he had not obtained different calls and that this time of yr is often fairly quiet. Most nuisance calls come between April and October, with June because the busiest month.

Relying on climate and meals situations, black bears enter their dens between October and January. Bears won’t eat, drink, urinate or defecate whereas denning, in line with the DGIF web site, however bears are simply awoken and could also be energetic throughout heat winter days.

Bear cubs are often born between early January and mid-February. Cubs and adults emerge between mid-March and early Might. In Virginia, most bears den in massive, hole timber.

When the mom is able to breed once more, often in June or July, she sends her yearlings to fend for themselves. At all times hungry, these yearlings will search simple sources of meals.

The power to entry human meals sources can spell bother for bears, which are sometimes killed in the event that they proceed to trouble people.

In Virginia, it’s unlawful to feed or bait bears deliberately or inadvertently. To keep away from bear conflicts, retailer rubbish in bear resistant trash containers or in a safe constructing. Take away chicken feeders if a bear is within the space. Preserve grills clear. Don’t depart pet meals outside. Don’t put meat scraps in your compost pile.

Lovelace stated it’s additionally a good suggestion for beekeepers and folks with small livestock to make use of electrical fences, although livestock predation is uncommon.

Bears are opportunistic omnivores and can even eat carrion. In fall, males can achieve as much as 100 kilos to arrange for hibernation.

Final fall, acorn manufacturing was spotty, Lovelace stated, which creates a starvation drawback for these massive mammals, which vary from four to 7 ft tall. Females can weigh as much as 250 kilos, whereas males could also be double that dimension.

The bear inhabitants in Virginia has been rising for the reason that early 1900s, once they have been virtually worn out by habitat destruction and searching. Administration plans have been serving to, as evidenced from searching statistics.

Through the 2017-18 searching season, 2,861 bears have been harvested. From 1929 to 1986, fewer than 500 bears have been taken yearly.

Now, as people more and more transfer into their territory, bears have to deal with lowered ranges. We should share their territory, and keep in mind, as Lovelace put it, “Bears are simply searching for one thing to eat.”

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