Black Bear Re-Introduction

Speaking of Furbearer Management

FoF is pleased to post this enlightening essay ... an important, perhaps valuable life-saving read for all citizens living, visiting and working in bear country today!

A message from the author ...

Over a decade ago I was asked by the Wildlife Society to deliver a keynote address on habituation and related matters, things wildlife biologists should know. I was ten years past retirment then, so I decided to give a thorough summary of the matter, based, as it was, on over 40 years of experience, research and teaching - a sort of a Swan Song. The paper was too long, and too controversial for the editor. So, it was not published, but might still be in an anthology. It's long, sorry. However, it argues in the end for a kind or bear management that - drastically - reduces bear/human encounters - without killing too many bears, just by pushing the right buttons in the bear's experiential repertoire.

Black bears are exceptionally intelligent, courtesy of surviving as a minor predator in Pleistocene North America, which was a veritable Hell-Hole due to numerous, huge predators - including the carnivorous, high speed short-faced bear, some of which stood seven feet at the shoulder. Black bears rival chimpanzees in braininess. For all their brazenness, they do have a big Achilles heel. They are cannibals, and little bears must be highly alert to being stalked. The rest follows.

Habituation of wildlife to humans: research tool, key to naturalistic recording and common curse for wildlife and hapless humans.

Important quote to remember from Val's essay ...

"Tame and negatively conditioned animals are usually not very dangerous. Unfortunately, habituated animals are potentially dangerous, because habituation is a state of unconsummated interest on the part of the animal, expressing itself as tolerance of humans.
One discovers this through systematic habituation and taming."

Valerius Geist, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science, The Univeristy of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Click here to read the essay.

Madame Bardot, Canada is no longer a colony!, says senator Céline Hervieux-Payette
OTTAWA, March 22, 2006 – Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette and Senator Michel Biron, with the support of Senators Charlie Watt and Willie Adams, who are currently in the North, and Senator Marcel Prud’homme, have joined forces against the international campaign against seal hunting practices, a traditional activity of the Inuit and Canadians living on the perimeter of the continent, that is, in Newfoundland, the Magdalen Islands etc.

Madame Bardot, le Canada n’est plus une colonie ! dixit Sénateur Céline Hervieux-Payette
OTTAWA, le 22 mars 2006 – Le Sénateur Céline Hervieux-Payette et le Sénateur Michel Biron, appuyés par les sénateurs Charlie Watt et Willie Adams, séjournant présentement dans le grand Nord, ainsi que le Sénateur Marcel Prud’homme, ont joint leurs efforts pour contrer la campagne internationale de dénigrement des pratiques de la chasse aux phoques, une occupation traditionnelle des populations Inuits ainsi que des Canadiens vivant aux périphéries du continent, soit à Terre-Neuve, aux Îles-de-la-Madeleine, etc.