03. April 2020 · Comments Off on Living with Black Bears – Black Bears in Idaho · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

Black bears (Ursus americanus) are found throughout both the foothills and forests of Idaho. Between 20,000 and 30,000 black bears roam these wild lands. These bears share space with a human population that is expected to grow by more than 15 percent during the next 10 years. This means that human/bear encounters will continue and likely increase.

Every year, Idaho Fish and Game Department staff respond to dozens of calls from citizens reporting bears that have become become attracted to — and then accustomed to — human food sources such as garbage, bird seed, and pet food. Though the bears are just following their sensitive noses to high-calorie foods, being in constant contact with people can cause them to lose their natural wariness of humans. Bears intent on getting a good meal can cause harm to someone who gets in their way. For this reason, Fish and Game staff are regularly forced to euthanize some bears that have become too comfortable around people. That’s treating the symptom, not the cause of the problem.
Idaho’s mountain towns are a great place for humans, but why do bears like them so much?

Bears spend approximately one-third of the year in their den, sleeping through winter. To prepare for this, they spend most of their time during summer and fall fattening up by consuming as many calories as possible.

Contrary to popular belief, more than 90 percent of most black bear diets consist of vegetation: berries, nuts and plants. A bear’s keen nose can smell foods up to five miles away!

Bear Country
How To be Safe Around Bears

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