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The Bear Requirements: Why Our Forests Want Bears


Aug 12, 2022
The Bear Requirements: Why Our Forests Want Bears

What involves thoughts whenever you consider bears? Many rural Canadians typically consider them as intimidating nuisances that prowl our forests, mountains, and dumps. However bears play an important function in our ecosystems. 

Enriching forest soil

Bears are recognized for his or her love of fish, however do you know that dragging caught salmon by way of the forest helps soil? Animal carcasses enrich the soil and forest cowl vegetation, including the nitrogen required for wholesome plant development. These processes are so interconnected that scientists say you possibly can really use the well being of a forest to gauge the well being of the close by river’s salmon run

The Bear Requirements: Why Our Forests Want Bears
©Darryl Mills

Seed dispersion

The assistance supplied by bears continues after digestion. Following their meals, bears drop their scat within the forest, which is an efficient technique of disbursing seeds from the fruits and berries they eat. Bears, significantly brown and black bears that eat a whole lot of fruit and different vegetation, course of the vitamins and digest the seeds, which re-enter the ecosystem within the type of scat. Bears are at all times on the transfer, and so too is their inadvertent planting undertaking. Brown and black bears can disperse greater than 200,000 seeds an hour per sq. kilometre!

Every pile of bear droppings incorporates a formidable focus of seeds: one pile of scat collected in Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park in Colorado yielded 1,200 seedlings after it was replanted in an area greenhouse.

Image of two black bears on a log
© Megan Lorenz

Ecosystem steadiness

Lastly, bears hold populations of deer and moose in examine. Like wolves and different carnivorous mammals, bears invoke concern amongst their prey, that means animals like deer are at all times on the transfer. 

This has two optimistic ecosystem implications: it prevents deer from leisurely grazing and overeating vegetation in a single spot and in addition upturns the soil after they run. With out bears and wolves, none of this could occur. For instance, in Yellowstone Park, the extermination of wolf species had numerous unfavorable results on the ecosystem at massive (wolves have since been reintroduced, and the ecosystem bounced again!).


Essential as they’re, Canada’s bear species face quite a few threats, together with lack of habitat, looking, poaching, seize, and local weather change. Increasing protected areas is the simplest method to make sure pure habitats can maintain populations and forestall inhabitants collapse.

Canada’s federal authorities has dedicated to defending 30 % of our land and ocean by 2030. As we inch nearer to the deadline, it’s extra crucial than ever that we hold decision-makers accountable. Join common marketing campaign updates to remain tuned on how one can take motion.

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