Posts Tagged ‘Bears’

On a Thursday!

  • First, something that put a smile on my face. One of my posts was included in the most recent edition of Scientia Pro Publica (Science for the People) blog carnival! There are plenty of great blog posts about science in this edition about everything from drunk bats and venomous mammals to discussions of the peer-review process. So go check it out!
  • Cosmic curiosity reveals ghostly glow of dead quasar– discovered through the citizen science project Galaxy Zoo!
  • Do you ever get sad from reading about endangered species and losses of biodiversity? Then you must read Back from the Brink: Victories in Conservation over at Southern Fried Science. It discusses a recent paper in Science which shows conservation efforts are helping to slow extinctions. I couldn’t help but notice that a few of the success stories they highlighted are in part thanks to zoo breeding programs, including that of the the Asian Wild Horse. The Minnesota Zoo played a significant part in their recovery, and here’s a great video on that story.
  • And related to my rant yesterday, I think the paper mentioned above supports how important scientific publications can be, especially considering the paper provides evidence that conservation efforts work and need more support. In addition, one of the co-authors is none other than the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Bear Biologist David Garshelis. He is also co-chair of the IUCN Bear Specialist Group, and was recently on The Colbert Report sticking to his story that he’s not afraid of bears. Videos below!

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For a while now, I have considered writing about the controversy surrounding Dr. Lynn Roger’s black bear research and whether collared bears should be protected from hunting. I haven’t done so yet because I haven’t formed a solid opinion, can see both sides of the argument, and am not a bear hunter. But recently, Lynn Rogers made some comments that I can’t ignore.

Lynn Rogers and Black Bear


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I’ve had zero time to blog lately. Hopefully, I will have some time by the end of this week. But, I did still get the chance to put together a quick links for this week!

  • It’s almost Halloween! If you will be giving out candy this Halloween, make sure it doesn’t contain non-sustainable palm oil that harms Orangutans and other wildlife by following the Orangutan Friendly Halloween Candy Guide (.pdf file). You can learn more about Orangutans and the Palm Oil Crisis here.
  • More reasons why I wish I had a smart phone: What kind of beetle? This app knows.
  • New tools use citizen science to monitor wildlife diseases and human health.
  • From the Star Tribune: The Bear Whisperer. An in-depth look into Lynn Roger’s and The Wildlife Research Institutes’s Black Bear Research. However, I don’t think the article fully delivers on the “But not everyone agrees with methods of Lynn Rogers” aspect of the story and the controversies surrounding this research and bear hunting. I may write more on this if I get enough time in the near future.
  • In my last Quick Links, I asked if anyone could name the favorite plant of Carl Linnaeus without looking it up. No one answered! I’ll give you all one more chance to answer (you can even look it up this time- but then you have to add some extra info you find interesting :)). Either way, I’ll write up a post this weekend with the answer.

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This Saturday is National Public Lands Day! You can celebrate by finding a site to volunteer and help restore and maintain our public lands. In addition, all National Parks are offering free admission on NPLD!

Oh and don’t worry, you probably won’t have to do any Bald Eagle head-rewhitening, bear fur combing, or hanging of pinecones.

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Yesterday, Bear Head Lake State Park near Ely, MN was announced as America’s Favorite Park through online voting at Coca-Cola’s Live Positively campaign. As the winner, Bear Head received a $100,000 donation that they will use to build a new three season trail center. Up against state and national parks across the nation, Bear Head beat out the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by over a half a million votes. In comparison, Bear Head receives about 100,000 visitors annually while the Great Smoky Mountains receives more than 9 million!

So what makes Bear Head so special? I have been there many times and can tell you that it is a great park. The lakes and trails are beautiful. the fishing is good. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and it is close to Ely and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. But the real reason is the wildlife. Some of the more common sightings include white-tail deer, red fox, common loons, and bald eagles. In fact for many years, a pair of bald eagles had their nest right in the picnic area. If you are lucky you might even see a wolf, moose, or bear.

But it is two particular bears that occasionally use the park that helped Bear Head win this contest. Lily and Hope, a female black bear and her cub became internet sensations when a camera placed in Lily’s den allowed Hope’s birth to be viewed live on the internet. On Lily’s facebook page, fans of the bears coordinated voting efforts so that Bear Head (a.k.a. Lily’s Park) would win the grand prize. Some fans reported voting over 1000 times throughout the contest and over 300 times in one day (there were no limits on how many times one person could vote).

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