Ursus americanus, Ursus arctos ssp, Ursus maritimus
Bear Conservation and Coexistence Plan
First introduced in Nevada
Black and North American brown bears play an important role in forest ecosystems. For example, they are among the most important dispersers of seeds for the numerous plant species producing fleshy fruits i.e., chokecherry, huckleberry, and buffalo berry. Bears often eat large quantities of fruit, and commonly excrete seeds in germinable condition.
Bears also break up fallen logs in their search for ants and grubs, accelerating decay that returns nutrients to the soil. They are known as an Umbrella Species: because bears require large habitats, their conservation results in the conservation of many associated species at the ecosystem or landscape level.
Black and N. American brown bear numbers are rebounding in North America, and because more people are moving into and recreating in bear habitat, the number of human-bear conflicts have been increasing.
Conflicts occur when bears raid camp grounds and wander too close to human habitation to raid garbage cans.
Offensive (mother protecting her cubs) and predatory (rare) attacks by bears on people are serious and most times fatal. However, these types of attacks predominantly happen in remote areas where bears have had minimal or no exposure to people. “Nuisance” bears that raid campgrounds or garbage cans are almost never involved.
With better understanding of bear behavior, and how to act during an encounter, people and bears can coexist peacefully. This is achievable even in remote areas deep in the woods, during years when natural food is scarce and bears expand their home range into residential areas, and in places where both humans and bears are plentiful.
Contact us for more information on how to safely coexist with these magnificent animals, and to learn how “bad” behavior in the human landscape can be corrected with use of diversionary strategies and stimulus control.