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From glaciers to grizzlies, climate changes

Posted by bchristensen at Apr 11, 2008 12:11 PM |

As we already know, climate change affects more than just glaciers. Researchers studying grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park have noticed a shift from their normal hibernation habits...

From glaciers to grizzlies, climate changes

Yellowstone grizzlies are heading to their dens later and emerging earlier, possibly due to climate change

As we already know, climate change affects more than just glaciers. Researchers studying grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park have noticed a shift from their normal hibernation habits.

Bears have been going into hibernation later and emerging earlier, apparently corresponding with warmer fall and spring temperatures. For bears, less snooze time means they need more food.  The need for more food increases potential conflicts with humans.

Also, many plants and animals are ecologically connected to bears, coined the "rototillers of the forest" because they use their large claws to dig for roots, insects, and tubers. One can hypothesize that if the grizzlies are changing their behavior as a result of climate change then so are countless other organisms.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team hopes to learn more about this emerging issue by acquiring funding to continue their study.

Here in the northwest, we are working to buffer and restore already dwindling populations of North Cascades grizzlies. Please watch our grizzly video, take action, and keep an eye out for Grizzly Bear Awareness Week in May!

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