1. Do bears travel outside their usual home ranges to find mates? Females do.After they leave their yearlings, they cover their usual territories three times as fast as when they had their young with them and they venture into neighboring territories, all the while leaving a scent trail to lead males back into their territories. Often several males find the trail and follow, leading to competition when they get near the female. The winner gets to mate, at least until a bigger male runs him off. Males have big mating ranges, not territories. Their mating ranges are too big to defend as territories, so they overlap with the mating ranges of other males. They defend the female instead of their mating range, although they do discourage dispersing young males from settling in their home ranges.
2. How can I learn more about bears? Not to sound like an ad, but the North American Bear Center is full of information both in Ely at the Bear Center and on www.bear.org. My daily blogs since January 2010 are all on www.bearstudy.org . The last four entries come up automatically in a rotating banner on the home page of bearstudy.org. To see all of the blog entries, hover on the menu heading "Updates" and click on the drop down menu item "Daily Updates". You will find a list of them on that page. Another source are my publications about bears in this area of Minnesota. Hover on the word "Publications" and click on the drop menu item that says "published papers". Click on any highlighted title and the entire paper can be seen and downloaded. Not to brag, but number 55 on the list (Rogers, L. L. 1987. Effects of food supply and kinship on social behavior, movements, and population dynamics of black bears in northeastern Minnesota. Wildlife Monograph 97. 72 pp.) was voted among the top 4 contributions to an understanding of bears in a worldwide survey of bear biologists conducted by the International Bear Association, and it is about the black bears of this area.
3. What happens to the proceeds from the Wildlife Research Institute’s Black Bear Field Study Courses? All go directly into the nonprofit Wildlife Research Institute for research and education. I take a $15,000 annual salary.
Out the window today, Donna spotted a strange moth. It was one that neither of us had seen before. We looked it up. It was a male Promethia Moth, also known as a Spicebush Silkmoth at the edge of its range. I had to click a picture. I’ve always heard of them, but never spotted one; and suddenly today there were six. That’s how it goes.
One more thing, if anyone has left a message on my cell phone and wondered why I didn’t call back, today I got a message that was sent on May 26, setting a new record for late notifications.
Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Centere
Wildlife Research Institute
145 West Conan Street
Ely, Minnesota 55731 USA