During 1983, Yellowstone National Park began to close areas of high density grizzly bear habitat for part or all of the period when bears are not denning, called Bear Management Areas. These closures were intended to eliminate human entry and disturbance, prevent human-bear conflict and habituation of bears to people and near prime food sources, providing places where bears can pursue natural behavioral patterns and social activities (Robbins et al. 2006).
Females with COY typically have increased security for their young during spring by selecting habitats, and least preferred vegetation at higher elevations, while other bears in cohorts are found at lower, more productive elevations (Blanchard et al. 1991).
Females with cubs may be displaced due to sub ordinance of the female to other bears in a very similar proximity, or even the ignorance of vulnerability of her cubs to predation, stemming from lack of experience (Blanchard et al. 1991).
With this being said, the significant use of the Lamar Valley by grizzlies is important to recognize. Preventing human-conflict and eliminating disturbance is a crucial element in assuring that these bears can behave and live normally, as bears should. I have attached an image of the proposed Lamar Valley bear management area. This area was constructed based on density of grizzly observations, estrus (courting activity) and presence of females with cubs.
Please note this is a MODEL, a mere SUGGESTION and effort to alleviate, and prevent future human-bear conflict. Comments are welcomed.
Tyler Brasington is a native born and raised Pennsylvanian, yet proud current Wisconsin resident. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a B.S. in Environmental Science. Currently, Tyler is pursuing his masters in Natural Resources with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He has worked in Yellowstone National Park under the guidance and supervision of Dr. George Clokey and Dr. Jim Halfpenny.
Disclaimer: The information and views expressed on this page do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Interior, US Geological Survey, National Park Service or the United States Government.
The Greater Yellowstone Grizzly Project
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