Heal Our Planet Earth

Grizzly bears emerging early from hibernation - What we must do/stop doing - by Anthony Marr

Female Grizzlies usually enter their dens first around mid-November and males around late November or early December. The males usually emerge first as early as March, and females, especially those with cubs, in late April or early May. For Grizzlies to emerge in February is almost unheard of.

The reason for this seems uncertain. Given 10 experts passing opinion, we would end up with about 10 different explanations. But I think there will be two answers in common: 1. It probably has more than one cause, and 2. One of the causes is probably climate change.

Others are less persuasive, e.g. disturbances by nearby helicopter activity, since there have been industrial and recreational disturbances in most of grizzly bear habitat for well over a century, including logging, mining and of course hunting.

Speaking of which, this does not mean that logging and mining in prime grizzly bear habitat and hunting of grizzlies anywhere can continue. Considering that climate change will impose huge alterations in the ecology of current grizzly bear habitat, including die-back of forests, decline in salmon and changes in vegetation, further disturbances imposed on the Grizzly bears and their habitat should be curtailed, beginning with logging, mining and hunting.

The uncertainty in our understanding itself dictates that we must access Grizzly bear conservation with unprecedented caution. And we must take immediate and effective action to control climate change, meaning, much more than what we are currently doing, immediately or sooner.

See Also: Grizzlies wake early from winter slumber

Anthony Marr, founder and president
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
216-386-7362 / 604-222-1169

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