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Don't wake the Sleeper

The climate of areas inhabited by bears is mostly known for cold and harsh winters. In the winter food becomes scarce and the freezing cold and snow make life tough for animals to survive. Since the diet of bears is vegetal for 85% there is very little possibility to feed for them, unlike for the carnivorous wolf and lynx. For these reasons bears have a fantastic adaptation: hibernation!

The hibernation of bears is different from that of other hibernating animals, such as squirrels. They don't have to hibernate; they only do it when the circumstances force them to. When there's enough food they don't go to their hibernating dens. Bears do not eat or drink during hibernation, but they sleep rather lightly. They can wake up regularly (without leaving their den) and then go back to sleep again. Bears hibernate in dens. In the Carpathians most dens are located in small hollows in rocks and in some cases (only 10%) between/under roots of large trees. Inside they make a comfortable bed with grass, leaves and twigs. The females are the longest and most constant hibernators since they give birth to their young during hibernation. Young 2 year old bears (just getting independent) often have a lot of trouble to go in hibernation with good condition. They hardly have enough fat and face harsh times.

Nowadays there are more problems or conflicts between humans and bears ( the main activitie of Canine Efficiency is predator-human conflict prevention). Due to the vanishing borders between human residence and wilderness, humans and bears are in each other's way. Because more humans go in the forest during winter to winter sport, collect timber or to hunt, more bears are disturbed during hibernation. A disturbed hibernating bear is very moody and dangerous!

Also climate change creates problems: long periods of warm weather during winter makes the bears come out of their den. When they are out they soon discover there is little to no food available in the forest. Sometimes they go back in the den, but often they wander around. To fill their empty stomach, bears will aim their attention to easy food sources, which is available in human communities. Storage houses for fruit, corn and livestock stables are easy opportunities for bears to eat. And in winter the only feeding opportunities.

As one can see: bear-human conflict prevention has a lot of challenging facets to deal with! Canine Efficiency is working on active conflict prevention and at the same time we will keep monitor population data, threats and specie info. All this contributes to the safeguarding of nature and wilderness in general to the benefit of both human and animals.

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