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Well, what do we have here? | by beingmyself
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Well, what do we have here?

Depending on the species, bears prefer different habitats, although blacks and grizzlies may overlap habitats. North American black bears are creatures of the forest, preferring extensive wooded areas with a variety of fruit- and nut-producing species and small openings that promote fruiting of many shrub species. Lowlands and wetlands are important sources of succulent vegetation. Streams and pools are needed for drinking and cooling. Trees larger than 20 inches d.b.h. with strong, furrowed bark are easily climbed refuges for spring black bear cubs. Old growth trees are preferred denning sites.


A grizzly is a creature of the whole landscape. Along the west coast, grizzlies forage in old-growth temperate rain forest, with its many small clearings and lush understory. In the interior mountains and plateaus, they prefer burned forest, where berries grow in abundance, ants thrive in rotting logs and sweetvetch roots spread through the sun-warmed soil. They wander along flood-scarred river flats, fishing for spawning salmon or trout in season, digging roots or grazing on succulent hairgrass. They venture up meltwater gullies eating horsetail foliage, they wander into avalanche slopes where they find abundant green vegetation, berries, and in spring, sometimes an avalanche-killed elk or mountain goat.


Bears don't have exclusive territories that they defend from other bears. A bear may occupy a home range that overlaps the territories of other bears and simply choose to avoid the other bears most of the time. A bear's home range can change in size from one year to the next, or from one area to another, depending on the distribution of food and other resources. Male bears tend to range over larger territories, probably because of the wider area over which he can distribute his genes. Females with cubs will have smaller home ranges, especially with cubs-of-the-year, as they are not as mobile. A grizzly's home range in B.C. might average 1,000-2,500 km2; a female grizzly 200-500 km2; a male black bear 100-475 km2; and a female black bear's home range would be as small as 20-300 km2.


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Taken on January 26, 2008