New Bear on the Block: Grizzlies Spotted in Black and Polar Bear Habitats
For the first time, scientists have observed three American bear species—the black bear, polar bear and grizzly bear—using the same habitat in Canada's Wapusk National Park.
"Scientifically, it has never been documented anywhere," Doug Clark of the University of Saskatchewan told the Canadian Press.
Using remote cameras, Clark and his research team documented 401 bear-visits of all three species (366 from polar bears, 25 from black bears and 10 from grizzlies) at three camps in the national park from 2011–2017. The findings were published this week in the journal Arctic Science.
We found grizzly, black and polar bears together for the first time: "This particular story of the three bears isn’… https://t.co/K6CWiB0tnq— Nunatsiaq News (@Nunatsiaq News)1542916354.0
The presence of polar and black bears was not unusual. After all, Wapusk National Park is home to one of the world's largest maternity denning areas for polar bears. The park also lies north of a forested region, where black bears call home.
It was the number of grizzly visits that was the biggest surprise.
"These observations add to a growing body of evidence that grizzlies are undergoing a substantial range increase in northern Canada and the timing of our observations suggests denning locally," the authors wrote.
Clark delved deeper into the study in an essay for The Conversation:
Three dynamic ecosystems—forest, tundra and ocean—converge at Wapusk, and all are changing quickly as the Arctic warms.
What we've seen in Wapusk is consistent with how researchers expect northern carnivore populations to respond to climate change.
The study adds more evidence that grizzly bears are showing up in places where they are not usually found. Other scientists have suggested that increased sightings of so-called "pizzly" or "grolar" bears—or grizzly-polar hybrids—are the result of grizzly bears in Alaska and Canada expanding north due to the warming environment, thus bringing them in contact with polar bears.
"The combination of warmer temperatures and vegetation growth means there is more overlap between the species and I'd expect that overlap to increase," Chris Servheen, a grizzly bear expert at the University of Montana, told the Guardian in 2016.
It is not currently clear if the three bear species are interacting with each other, or what effect their combined presence has on the larger environment.
"How they interact is a really big question," Clark told the Canadian Press. "There's all kinds of things that could go on."
Sighting of Sperm Whales in Arctic Waters 'Really Shocking' https://t.co/xEW4KHZOol #ClimateChange #globalwarming… https://t.co/PO9RE8yCED— Sea Shepherd SSCS (@Sea Shepherd SSCS)1541540942.0
People across New England witnessed a dramatic celestial event Sunday night.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Reichmuth
Over the last month, I've seen a number of opinion articles attacking electric vehicles (EVs). Sadly, this comes as no surprise: now that the Biden administration is introducing federal policies to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, we were bound to see a reaction from those that oppose reducing climate changing emissions and petroleum use.
The majority of EVs sold in 2020 were models with a starting price (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) under $40,000 and only a fifth of models had a starting price over $60,000.
On Friday, China set out an economic blueprint for the next five years, which was expected to substantiate the goal set out last fall by President Xi Jinping for the country to reach net-zero emissions before 2060 and hit peak emissions by 2030.
The Great Trail in Canada is recognized as the world's longest recreational trail for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Created by the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and various partners, The Great Trail consists of a series of smaller, interconnected routes that stretch from St. John's to Vancouver and even into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It took nearly 25 years to connect the 27,000 kilometers of greenway in ways that were safe and accessible to hikers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow, the TCT is increasing accessibility throughout The Great Trail for people with disabilities.
Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>