SOME "Bare' FACTS
Here are some notes I took from Mark's presentation which you may or may not have known...
600-700 bears are tagged annually. Each area depending on estimated populations and previous harvest are assigned so many bears to tag.
20% of the bears harvested have been tagged.
Tagging helps to determine the populations as well as identify certain bears.
Each bear, when tagged, gets a tag in each ear, so just because you may see a bear that has two tags does not mean he was tagged at two different times..
Some bears are collared and some get an additonal tattoo in their mouth. The mother we saw was tattooed but not collared. Collared females are often useful when an orphaned cub is discovered. By using the collar they can locate the bear and if she has cubs they can attempt to add the orphan to the litter. The PGC has been very successful in this.
Pa leads the Nation is having female bears produce litters at a younger age... Average is three years old here in Pa...5 to 6 years old in other states
Pa also leads the nation in the number of cubs in a litter, our average is 2 with 5 being the second most common number of cubs, about 20 % have 5.
50 counties harvested bear last seson.
Currently the population is about 15,000
Cubs stay with mother for 18 months and will den with her the second winter.
Pregnant females will den about the middle of November and not leave until the begining of April to mid-month. They give birth in mid-January
Males will roam about 20 miles
Females tend to stay in one area of up to 10 miles
Food sources will play a large part in a bear travel
After breeding males will leave the area and not return which helps prevent "in-breedng"
Mothers will "RUN OFF" their young the second summer so they can breed again. Our females breed every two years.
The basic habitat of Pa is just great for black bears and that is why they are doing so well in our state. A couple sources we have are acorns and all types of berries.
Females will mate with different males, thru DNA the PGC researchers have discovered litters of cubs with different DNA (fathers)
Females usually do not re-use the same den after giving birth to a litter in that den.
The beginning of July is mating season. It is a good time to see bears on the move all day long, but also a time to use caution, because it is mating season.
It is not uncommon in Pa for the cubs to outweigh the mother in the fall, especially males which are bigger to begin with.