Climate change may force supplemental feeding of bears

John and Frank Craighead, two biologist twin brothers, whose ground-breaking work with radio telemetry revolutionized wildlife management, were leaders of the wildland preservation movement. Their grizzly bear research revealed that the bears inside Yellowstone National Park depended on habitat far beyond its borders.

Frank first identified the area we now call the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. The two men took on the federal government in the 1960s and 1970s when the National Park Service decided to close all of the dumps inside the park and to put in place sanitation policies aimed to force bears to rely on natural foods.

The avid whitewater rafters also challenged the Bureau of Reclamation’s plans to dam the Teton River in eastern Idaho. For their advocacy they had their taxes audited, their reputations challenged and their research on bears ended in Yellowstone.

The fundamental debate has never really died. Making the bears go cold turkey on garbage led rangers to kill dozens of grizzlies. Many believe that is why their numbers were so low when they were listed as a threatened species in 1975.

But grizzly bear numbers recovered as the opportunistic creatures learned to thrive on natural foods available throughout the ecosystem. Their numbers had risen enough by 2007 that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed them from the threatened species list.

But grizzly bear advocates said the government had acted too quickly. Too many bears were killed in years like this one when the natural foods they need, especially whitebark pine nuts, are unavailable.

Climate change has allowed mountain pine beetles to survive at the higher elevations where whitebark pine grow. They are killing many of the trees that supply the nuts that squirrels gather and bears steal in the late summer and fall.

This means, says Natural Resources Defense Council grizzly expert Louisa Willcox, that every year now is a bad crop year for whitebark pine and therefore a hard year for bears.

She and others convinced a federal judge to reverse the federal delisting and bears are back on the threatened list. The Obama administration has appealed the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The impact of climate change on whitebark pine is all but irreversible.

Perhaps through replanting or wise use of fire we can restore the trees over time. But the fact is the trees probably don’t belong in the ecosystem that the new climate conditions will create.

So the question is can the bear survive in that ecosystem? Remember, people live there and are encroaching on the private lands of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem in ever growing numbers.

We can manage this growth but we cannot stop it, experts say. That brings me back to Frank Craighead

He argued in the 1980s that most healthy bear populations in the world have an annual source for feasting such as salmon spawning streams. These “ecocenters” as he called them, allow them to put on the weight necessary to get them through hibernation, even in poor crop years.

He called for developing artificial, backcountry ecocenters in Yellowstone. His idea was to use the large elk population present then as the source for bear nutrition.

There were all sorts of good reasons not to go that direction in the 1980s. Bears already were feeding on dead elk in the spring left by hunters when they crossed back into the park from its northern boundary.

The recovered cutthroat population in Yellowstone Lake was providing much of the same food source as salmon elsewhere. Without ecocenters, the bear discovered alternative food sources like army cutworms they might not have found.

But now the reintroduced wolves have reduced the surplus of elk in the ecosystem and illegally introduced lake trout have cropped the cutthroat runs. Bears are foraging farther from the core and getting into trouble with people.

Craighead’s idea of supplemental feeding of grizzly bears will be hard to dismiss in the face of the reality of climate change. It is the kind of extraordinary management that may be necessary for the survival of many species as their habitat moves or disappears.

But like so much with climate change it will force many people to challenge their fundamental beliefs about man and nature.

idiot

Bears already were feeding on dead elk in the spring left by hunters when they crossed back into the park from its northern boundary

***
Rocky, how can you possibly write krap like this?

Hunting in the fall.
And for whatever small number of animals that were fatally wounded, you think they were not scavenged in the FALL when they died and some how that SMALL number fall kills actually carried over to the SPRING and supported some # of bears.

***
I hope a bear eats YOU since your liberal boss refuses to fire you!

Dead elk

The hunting season in Montana is later than in Idaho. When the elk cross back over to the park they die and freeze. That makes them available in the spring when the bears awaken.

I can write this because I have been on that boundary in March and have seen scores of dead elk just waiting for bears.

Thanks for your thoughtful inquiry Mr. Pimp.

blind

Yes, I'm sure you have seen scores of dead elk.
AND how in the f do you know they were shot by hunters?

Let me throw you a bone- those elk are winter kill.
Just like mtn sheep & goats that slip and fall during the late fall/winter -- they are there for bears when the high mountains thaw out.
NO HUNTERS involved!
Sometimes animals just die during the winter!

****

Montana general season is not much later to justify such a statement
in defense of your L A M E statement.

Lets take a look:

Montana elk general season Oct23-Nov28
Yet Idaho has some units, (some with restrictions) till Dec 31.

Idaho-
Unit 61 & 62A are adjacent to YNP.

UNIT 61 (next to YNP) with muzzleloader goes as late as Dec 9
Island Park Zone - General Oct 15- Oct 28
Anterless is open till Nov15

Other Eastern Idaho:
Teton zone UNIT 62- Oct 22- Nov 15
You think 13 days in one zone is enough to say MT is later?

And then there's
Palisades zone Oct 22-Nov 30 TWO DAYS Later

And for the finale:
CONTROLLED HUNT IN 62A (NEXT TO YNP)is Nov 1 -DECEMBER 15 - either sex.

Rocky you continue to write krap.

Who cares about dammed elk and will you breach them?

Feed the wolves AND the ELK to Yogi and Boo-Boo.

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"Say a prayer for the pretender..."-Jackson Browne

hey bubu, how about another picanik basket?

obviously you don't care for any of the animals, Nature in harmony can only result in balance, the status Qua , but it's gravely out of sync, a blind man could see that, MANAGEMENT and education of people like you, is our mission

I care for femme skunks that don't babble, bawl and such.

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"Say a prayer for the pretender..."-Jackson Browne

tid bits

Although fully capable of killing ungulates, especially in spring, grizzly bears now appear to seek out wolf kills and are often successful at driving wolves from carca sses.

That is from YOUR friends at wolf.org
http://www.wolf.org/wolves/learn/intermed/inter_mgmt/yellowstone.pdf

****
From http://fwp.mt.gov
"One Yellowstone study showed that black and grizzly bears kill more newborn elk calves each spring than wolves do."

****
Given the rampant volume killing of wolves, maybe those 'scores' of dead elk were actually killed by YNP wolves just having a good time in the winter- when no one is watching them and the pickens are easy with elk in snow. Too many for the wolves to eat, so they left em for the bears.
Who knows?

R. excessive sheep killing, by wolves, has been doc umented in MT.

it's called....

surplus kills ( i.e to those of us who are not DUMB translates into "sport killing", like dogs in a chicken house, given the opportunity, they will kill everything they can for FUN, just the nature of the beast the offenders of wildlife don't want JoeQ public to know... so they politically call it "surplus kills", arg! enough is enough, you might be able to fool the city folks, but us ranchers and outdoors-men know the difference! c'mom people use your heads!

Well, sign them all to a registry for fine cutlery!

At least save a general merchandiser!

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"Say a prayer for the pretender..."-Jackson Browne

Have we ever fully established P2's gender?

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"Say a prayer for the pretender..."-Jackson Browne

winter kill or wolves

wolves and winter kill you dweeb, you need to go back to school, that many elk killed by hunters? Montana goes and harvests
illegal and unfortunate kills for food banks all across our state!, Fed law states they are the only ones that have a right to enter off land to retrieve "kills gone wrong"... if they were not hazed back into the park in the first place maybe there would still be some elk left? elk are a plains animal and very migratory too bad no one gets that!

I agree it's CRAP

This whole mask of climate change is just that crap... the problem with everything as it's has been for the past 15 years is wolves and the displacement of other native species, there is HOARDS of browse and berries in our canyons, yet the bears will not venture back to the lions den for fear of being killed or their cubs killed, or just pushed clean back out of the area, if the pack is large enough in numbers, they just kill the bear, if it isn't the dog the animal with relentless relays until the animal is pushed clear out of the territory - this is happening all over the west!... stop playing into the lies, and propaganda that the offenders of wildlife feed you, step outside the box for once, and do some real reporting, by getting a hold of those people who are on the front lines, this includes F&S personnel, actual F&S biologists studying this "UNUSUAL" bear behavior, and they will tell you the same thing they have told me!, the country can not support apex predators at such a rate that they influence the normal range and activity of other native species to a detriment.
WAKE UP GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND DO SOME REAL INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING FOR ONCE.

PINE NUTS

they are not ripe yet, a bears main source of food intake at this time of year?, grass, berries, and scavenged meat, in trying to lay on fat for winter, they are consumed with gorging themselves on what ever is readily available in mass quantity ...
I have the utmost respect for the "original Craighead" the boys however I feel just don't have feet big enough to fill daddy's shoes!

I'd stop you from talking to yourself but you're ENTHUSED.

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"Say a prayer for the pretender..."-Jackson Browne

Rex

I suppose supplemental feeding of T-Rexes would have saved them too?

Junk 'journalism'

For their advocacy they had their taxes audited,

***
Got any proof that link?

bird theft

From a NYTIMES article:
"When they climbed cliffs to collect baby falcons, they wore helmets to blunt attacks from angry mothers."

***
That's nice.
Good "environmental" work there- taking falcons from their nest.

Times have changed.

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/04/us/frank-craighead-85-an-outdoorsman-and-a-protector-of-the-grizzly-dies.html

Whitebark Pine

We could all use a little education...

A Review of the Literature on Seed Fate in Whitebark Pine and the Life History Traits of Clark’s Nutcracker and Pine Squirrels

Teresa J. Lorenz, Carol Aubry, and Robin Shoal USDA FS April 2008

Paper (1.6 Mb 68 page PDF file)

http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/pnw_gtr742.pdf

summary

maybe if you have already read it, could you summarize for us slow readers.

Otherwise, I caught the part that says squirrels, birds,and rodents are more responsible for the reduction of whitebark pine populatoin- not climate change. I also read the paragraph about how the Forest Service study proved Rocky Barker is an idiot.

Of course the counter weight is, "climate change" affects the squirrels.
So then what?

****
Now, how about the army cutworm moths?
The real "ecocenter" for grizzly bear survival.
Oh yeah, the Rock doesn't even mention that food source.

Maybe we'll have to have MORE hunters make bad shots on the elk to provide a spring stash for the griz. Maybe Rocky will just go there- he could to be a spring meal for 4 or 5 sows.

Cutworm Moths

Pretty sure I saw that cited in the above article.

As to supplemental feeding of the bears. I can think of few things more abhorrent. They are adaptable omnivores. If you feed them they will multiply even further beyond their available food supplies and become even more dangerous. If you let them work it out on their own they will. They seem to have done pretty well in the past.

Truth is hard to come by

correct

it was mentioned as 'army cutworms' which is the caterpillar stage.

The bears eat the MOTH form. Barker also implies since the trash was gone, the bears turned to the worms (moths) instead. That is not so correct. The moths were always there as a food source for bears. Bears are eating moths in locations that have never had tourist/trash problems. Barker is still an idiot.

But somebody would give them Quest cards anyhow.

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"Say a prayer for the pretender..."-Jackson Browne

Whitebark Pine Seeds

The tree only puts out seeds in quantities every few years. So it is not a reliable source of yearly food. If the trees grow in a pure stand, squirrels cannot survive due to the years there are no seeds. If the stand of trees is mixed, then squirrels will live there and harvest the cones before the seeds are ripe (so no viable seeds to propagate trees survive.) The main "predator" of the seeds (and trans-planter) is the Clark's Nutcracker. The bird stashes small amounts of seeds in many places - not enough in one place to benefit bears. I found it interesting that the tree and bird have evolved this cool symbiotic relationship. The cones retain the seeds (unlike other pines) and the nutcrackers have strong enough bills to harvest the seeds from closed cones.

The main reason the trees are failing is due to an introduced "blister rust" - that slowly kills the tree and makes it susceptible to bark beetles. Where the trees grow it gets plenty cold in winter at tree line. They have found a few trees that can naturally resist the rust. Perhaps they can propagate a super tree and plant them someday.

However, from what I have read, whitebark pine seeds do not seem be a reliable yearly source of food for bears, and only in mixed stands where the squirrels harvest them. The squirrels are not good for the trees tho, and it almost sounds like they have 'invaded' the areas where other trees mix in with the whitebark.

Then again, I'm not a scientist...

Thanks YP

That was very informative. I would love it if you would throw a couple links in for sources if you have them.

Truth is hard to come by

P_J - this is my source

A Review of the Literature on Seed Fate in Whitebark Pine and the Life History Traits of Clark’s Nutcracker and Pine Squirrels

Teresa J. Lorenz, Carol Aubry, and Robin Shoal USDA FS April 2008

Paper (1.6 Mb 68 page PDF file)

http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/pnw_gtr742.pdf

I have not finished reading all of it yet, but I found it very educational.

Tim Ingalsbee and the Craigheads (lyrics by R. Barker)

Rocky:

This is one of the more hilarious account of AGW ("Apocalyptic Global Warming") I've read yet, beginning with your nutty "may force" headline. Rocky, either you're one of the most gullible greenie journalists yet, or you have an extremely dry sense of humor and enjoy yanking pimp2's chain just for the fun of it. Tim Ingalsbee and the Craigheads? If they can sing at all I think we have the makings of a group that might challenge Weird Al Yankovich for air time. You could be the lyricist!

Please! "Craighead’s idea of supplemental feeding of grizzly bears will be hard to dismiss in the face of the reality of climate change." Talk of your hyperbole! Their idea is, of course, idiotic, and will be simple to dismiss by anyone with even the least shred of common sense. Weird Al could write the melody.

Maybe the bears need to be shipped to zoos and fed there, while the Craigheads are institutionalized and kept fed on their own -- that "Global Warming reality" calls for all kinds of "ideas" that will be "hard to dismiss." But dismissed by whom, Rocky? Most of us will have no problem at all dismissing this nonsense, and these "ideas" will be forgotten soon enough. No one will be giving them another thought a year of two from now -- that is, unless they can be put to music with a snappy hook couplet and a YouTube-worthy videoclip.

Or" "But like so much with climate change it will force many people to challenge their fundamental beliefs about man and nature." I do know that my own ideas of specific people are often changed dramatically when I read such goofiness! Not enough to change my "fundamental beliefs" (there's a lot of crazy stuff in history), but certainly enough to make me wince when I see how our taxpayer's dollars are being wasted on agenda-based "science," how our forests are being mismanaged into "Dead Zones," and how such idiotic "ideas" are being floated about as if the promoters had good sense.

Those crazy Craigheads! Isn't the answer obvious, whether AGW is happens or not? Open the garbage dumps, again, Rock. No other "extraordinary management" really needs to be considered, if bear feeding is really an issue. Problem solved. Or reduce the bear populations and take their management out of the hands of the courts and put back into the hands of professionals. Problem solved. But please stop promoting the Craigheads of the world (at least without a good rhyme schemes and a catchy tune). They're making you look bad, and they might not have any singing talent.

Rocky and Bowinkle

as I mentioned before at this time of year the nuts are not ripe yet, yes they are the main food stuff's for pine squirrels Kybab squirrels, and various other rodents, global warming is a fashion statement that translates into " I dunno", the Craig boys have a long way to go to get a shoe size big enough to fill dads track!, oddly as pack sizes and ranges skyrocket and go un managed we are seeing unprecedented "odd" bear behavior in that they are seeking out other areas as food sources, not because it's easy, or better taste, but because survival of the specie has demanded it.
wake up folks and stop trying to point the middle finger at US, take your pointer finger and push it into the chest of the "offenders of wildlife" they're the true culprits! put the blame where it belongs for once.... do all the other animals have to die off before you admit you are WRONG!

in conclussion

Guest Editorial
As I read daily (and it takes hours to get through it all) the mass dribble bellowing forth, like white foam from a rabid dogs mouth, all the tedious, redundant broken record mealy mouth trash gurgling from these environmentalist groups and these “greenie” news papers articles, for example the Idaho States men’s new expose on Global warming being the cause of depleted pine nuts and the bears going hungry? What? The article was absolute garbage, and more appropriately should be called the Rocky and Bowinkle show, the article and I quote in part...

“Frank identified the area we now call the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. The two men took on the federal government in the 1960s and 1970s when the National Park Service decided to close all of the dumps inside the park and to put in place sanitation policies aimed to force bears to rely on natural foods”

*special note: The closing of the Dumps at Many Glacier in Glacier National Park was resounded by Craighead at the time, as being the worst thing the park service could do, as spot lights were arranged for the big hotels guests to sit after dusk to watch the bruins feed in the big hotels dump site, the bears “habituated” by modern terms to humans were on a way track to doom when the easy food source dried up, not to mention Many Glaciers lost Revenue from Hotel patrons who could no longer take lawn chairs and enjoy the show. Many bears perished the following year from starvation and encounters with the public.

“He called for developing artificial, back country ecocenters in Yellowstone. His idea was to use the large elk population present then as the source for bear nutrition. There were all sorts of good reasons not to go that direction in the 1980s. Bears already were feeding on dead elk in the spring left by hunters when they crossed back into the park from its northern boundary“. **( there is something amiss here about the time frame 60/70's jumped miraculously to the 80's hummmm?)

Hello? It was not hunters who left that mass grave yard of “surplus” dead elk! It was the evasive, non-native Canada wolves that laid out that grizzly scene (no pun intended), and yes the bears took great advantage of the spoils, it was still a misnomer both in theory and reporting, nobody and I mean nobody, wants to take accountability for the worst ecological disaster inland in current modern times. As the article progresses or regresses which ever way you want to read it I found another extraordinary oversight and that was in the native cut throat trout, and that was the listing of the lean mean eating machine the ravenous bull trout!, save 100 game fish, throw a bull trout on the bank for a raccoon, if that nasty ‘pike’ of the northern streams had been left alone to perish by knowledgeable fishermen, native game trout today would be flourishing! Instead of catch and release, it would still be hook and cook and the bears would still be laying on winter fat, lake trout, PHOOEY
So the article keeps dribbling on…

”“There were all sorts of good reasons not to go that direction in the 1980s. Bears already were feeding on dead elk in the spring left by hunters when they crossed back into the park from its northern boundary. The recovered cutthroat population in Yellowstone Lake was providing much of the same food source as salmon elsewhere. Without ecocenters, the bear discovered alternative food sources like army cutworms they might not have found But now the reintroduced wolves have reduced the surplus of elk in the ecosystem and illegally introduced lake trout have cropped the cutthroat runs. Bears are foraging further from the core and getting into trouble with people. Craighead’s idea of supplemental feeding of grizzly bears will be hard to dismiss in the face of reality of climate change. It is the kind of extraordinary management that may be necessary for the survival of many species as their habitat moves or disappears. But like so much with climate change it will force many people to challenge their fundamental beliefs about man and nature.

What about man and stupidity? Not only in the glaring contradiction from the first part of the article to the last part of the article, we can research a specie to death, and still never have an answer besides the one that goes by way of a monthly income into these peoples pockets, by way of federal funding and public donations by duping an unsuspecting and ignorant American public. The Now answer is education of this public, with solid data real videos and modern technology in the use of the radio collared wolves to show these people the error of they’re ways. While no one wants to admit they made a huge 140 pound times a 1000 mistakes, People are just going to have to keep in the trenches and do what has been done for the past 15 years, a constant and steady vigil of accurate data that finally people won’t be able to ignore. EDUCATION is the only tool left in the box, and until these people decide to pull their heads out of the sand, that’s our only alternative and mission statement.
Sincerely
**LadyElk**
Paula Raines Victor MT

video of interest

go to http//www.LP/yolasite.com and watch the first video of the Idaho fish and game numbers of taking movents of wolves in the 3 targeted states, satellite data doesn't lie!!! very interesting information to your self a favor come take a look and if you still have a stomach left view the others one the main page and the ones on page 2, you just might open your eyes!

My computer is too crippled to do video right now

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"Say a prayer for the pretender..."-Jackson Browne